Look, I bloody love a good steak, and it’s only just hit me that with restaurants closed it’s going to be a while before I get to enjoy one properly. Rest assured, I’ll be first in line when they open up.

Until then, I’m going to have to resort to cooking at home. My BBQ is so rubbish I’m not sure I can pull this off – but, if you’re BBQ game just needs a tweak, here’s a bunch of tips and info supplied to us by the folks at Traeger Grill and their Chef De Cuisine Nichole Daily.

Key tip is to invest in a digital thermometer with a thin probe – poke that baby in and all the info you need is there on the inside.

Steak Doneness Internal Temperature Grill Time at 205 °C  (Mins. Per Side) Centre Colour
Rare 49-51°C 2:30 Red
Medium Rare 55-57 °C 3:30 Pink
Medium 60-63°C 4:30 Some Pink
Well 65-69°C 5:30 Sliver of Light Pink
Well Done 71°C 6:30 Mostly Brown
What Have You Done? 75 °C + 8-10 Brown Throughout

As for how to get to that point, here’s the two key things you need to do.

Firstly sear the surface of the steak – get that up to 140 degrees. Then you’re heating the inside.

For each of the types of steak preparedness (doneness?) – here’s the Chef’s complete guide:

RARE – Just a minimal sear on the exterior of the meat. People cook it rare because they’re embarrassed to eat it fresh out of the fridge in front of guests.

•             Internal Temperature: 49-51°C
•             Grill Time: ~2.5 minutes per side
•             Centre Colour: Red
•             Centre Temperature: Cool

MEDIUM RARE – A truly seared steak. A medium rare steak is the recommended doneness to taste the natural flavour of the meat. It’s usually how meat connoisseurs and chefs like to eat it.

•             Internal Temperature: 55-57°C
•             Grill Time: ~3.5 minutes per side
•             Centre Colour: Pink with thin brown stripes on top and bottom.
•             Centre Temperature: Room Temperature

MEDIUM – Almost everyone is happy with this doneness, it’s not as bloody or as dry as the Sahara Desert.

•             Internal Temperature: 60-63°C
•             Grill Time: ~4.5 minutes per side
•             Centre Colour: Some pink
•             Centre Temperature: Lukewarm

WELL – It’s definitely cooked, still showcases the flavour of the meat.

•             Internal Temperature: 65-69°C
•             Grill Time: ~5.5 minutes per side
•             Centre Colour: Sliver of light pink
•             Centre Temperature: Warm

WELL DONE – It’s browned and cooked throughout.

•             Internal Temperature: 71°C
•             Grill Time: ~6.5 minutes per side
•             Centre Colour: Mostly brown
•             Centre Temperature: Warm throughout

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! – This is the hockey puck of steaks – Go ahead and eat a salad if you hate steak this much.

•             Internal Temperature: 75°C
•             Grill Time: ~8-10 minutes per side
•             Centre Colour: Brown throughout
•             Centre Temperature: Hot off the grill

If you’re really trying to achieve “the perfect steak”- go for high-quality meat.

  • The thicker the steak, the easier it is to cook and the better it will taste.
  • Stop by your local butcher shop and ask for exactly what you want, i.e. a 2” thick cut steak.
  • Most grocery stores stock steak that is ½” to 1” thick, thin steak cooks faster and has less flavour.
  • Pre-heat your grill and make sure the temperature is set to its highest temperature (200-260°C). Grilling steak can be a quick and easy process. Also, thick cut steak has more forgiveness with cook time and tenderness.


Challenge accepted. To be honest, I always go for a thin cut, and I’ve never come close to a restaurant taste, so perhaps I can use this home-based time to get this right!

And if you want to get jealous of the pros, follow the team at The Smoking Joint on Instagram