Cooking beef does not have to be difficult yet, how many times have you over cooked your beef to then hear “Well, the flavor is good” while every one chews on tough pieces of dry leather? cringe. The best guarantee for the best results, cooking beef perfect every time, is an accurate thermometer. Time charts are good guidelines, but there can be several variables:
- How cold is the meat? (Was it just removed from the refrigerator or has it been sitting out at room temperature?)
- Is your oven temperature accurate?
- Is the cut long and narrow or short and thick?
A thermometer is the best way to ensure the same degree of doneness time after time – assured success when cooking beef (or a turkey). Experiment to find just the right temperature that your family prefers.
I have found, for instance that when I cook beef, removing a roast from the source of heat when it reaches 135 degrees, covering with foil and allowing it to stand 10-20 minutes produces a beautiful medium rare and removing it at 140 degrees produces a wonderful medium. For my family, I pull my beef from the oven at 133 degrees.
For the juiciest meat always allow the 10-20 minutes standing time (10 minutes for smaller cuts like steaks). The beef will continue to cook and the temperature will continue to rise during the standing time.
The following chart is from my cookbook Six Ingredients or Less 4th edition.
I was going to recommend a brand of meat thermometer that I have used for probably twenty years, but after checking the reviews on Amazon, I see that their recent quality has come into question. So, here’s what I will say, get a thermometer that is not PRE-programmed. These pre-programmed temperatures are too high for cooking beef on all the thermometers we tested. Get a thermometer that gives the actually temperature. The one I have uses a corded probe that stays in the meat, while the base of the thermometer sits on the counter. I can set it for any temperature and an alarm will sound when it reaches that temperature. It also has a timer function. Amazingly helpful.