What’s Rare Meat?

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Rare meat lovers enjoy the buttery, soft texture and bright red center of meat cooked to an internal temperature of 120 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Ordering rare meat can be tricky as some cooks may not know when to pull it from the heat source. True rare meat has a cooked surface, a dark pink inner ring, and a blood red core. Many people order meat cooked medium rare or more due to fears of meat-borne diseases.

For some, a steak needs to be charred nearly black before it looks edible. Others want medium well to medium rare meat, cooked to one side or the other of just about right. A prime cut of meat served rare, though some fear it as a possible source of parasites or bacteria, it brings to the table a rich flavor and almost barbaricly juicy appeal that no other meat can offer. Rare beef was cooked to an internal temperature of 120 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (48.88 to 51.66 degrees Celsius).

Rare meat aficionados point to the buttery, soft texture that has been gently kissed by heat as just one of the standouts. Steak or hamburger that has been cooked until the outside surface has turned brown reveals a bright red heart when opened, and that’s what rare meat lovers are looking for. Grilling a T-bone for more than a couple minutes on each side, for the rare meat lover, just won’t do.

Ordering rare meat at a restaurant or dinner party may not be as simple as it seems. While most cooks know the definition of rare, the man using the grill may not have a thermometer to announce the exact moment the meat should be pulled from the heat source. The grill may pull the meat out before much heat gets inside or it may only let it rest for a minute.

For some, there’s little difference between rare and raw meat. These folks treat heat as if its purpose were simply to warm the outer surface of the meat. Technically, this is called blue rare, and when that first bite is cut out of the steak, the inside will be as red as blood.

True rare meat has a cooked surface. Some home cooks and backyard grillers sear the meat briefly to seal in the juices. A cross section of cooked rare meat shows a cooked surface, a dark pink inner ring of meat, and a blood red core.

These days, most diners order meat cooked medium rare, medium well, or just medium. In many cases, this is due to fears of meat-borne diseases caused by parasites or bacteria. The more thoroughly cooked a cut of beef, the more uniformly gray the inside will be. It’s important to note that the longer the heat cooks the meat, the drier it will be, the tougher the meat and the harder it will be to chew.

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