Be careful how you order your steak. "Medium rare" doesn't mean the same thing it used to.
We’ve all heard how to order steak: medium rare, which translates to an internal temperature of 135°F. Most chefs recommend this temperature, as it brings out the flavor while ensuring that the cut stays tender, and also allows a little more time for a nice char on the outside.
But if you order your steak medium rare these days, you might get it quite a bit more rare than you bargained for. In fact, some restaurant-goers are reporting receiving their “medium rare” steaks to find that the steaks are almost completely raw!
The reason for these mishaps is not due to a personal affront from the chef or your server. It primarily comes down to one thing: cost.
The meat of it is, costs are rising all across the board. A quality pound of rib eye that was $6 two years ago now sells for $8. Rents are climbing. Labor costs are increasing. And competition between restaurants is fierce, resulting in even more expense as restaurants try to out-do each other with decor and advertising.
What does this have to do with your steak?
If a customer finds that their steak is underdone and they send it back, it’s easy to put that steak on the grill for a few more minutes and have it out to the table with no lost cost. However, if the table finds that their steak is overdone, that steak has to be thrown out, and the restaurant loses the money on the product. Pressured by tight profit margins, chefs tend to err on the side of caution, which can result in under-cooked steaks.
How to get exactly the steak you want
To keep a raw steak from hitting your table, be communicative with your server about what you’re looking for. Order your steak “medium-rare-plus,” not quite medium but more cooked than medium rare. This ensures you’re getting the juicy, ready-to-eat steak you’ve been waiting for.
Grilling at home? Check out our 10 Great Grilled Steak Recipes!