Doneness of steaks or roasts is ultimately a matter of personal preference, and it’s important to identify your target before you cook. Our guidelines can help.


Testing for doneness

  • Use a meat thermometer or, preferably, an instant-read thermometer.
  • Insert thermometer through the side of the cut, with the tip in the center, not touching any bone or fat.
  • Remove steaks and burgers from the heat when the thermometer is 5°F lower than your desired doneness.
  • Roasts should be removed from the heat when the thermometer is 5-10°F lower than your target.
  • Rests steaks and roasts before serving. The temperature will continue to rise to meet the target while the beef is resting (i.e. carryover cooking).

Additional notes

  • The USDA recommends steaks and roasts be cooked to 145°F and then rested for at least 3 minutes.
  • To ensure food safety, ground beef should be cooked to a minimum 160°F. Be sure to check with a thermometer, as color alone is not a foolproof indicator of doneness.