This article will cover why people like medium-rare meat over well done or well cooked meat. For the individuals that like their meat well done, it can be difficult to understand why it is that there are so many people that like their meat medium-rare. The medium-rare meat is usually lighter in color on the inside when it is cut, and in some meat, like beef, it even looks pink or red.
Why would someone want to eat that, right? Well here we will give the perspective of the individuals that like medium-rare to explain why that is.
First off, there is one thing that has to be said, medium-rare for red meats, like beef, are nearly safe to eat once they reach a certain temperature while they are cooking. Other meats like lamb and pork can be eaten medium-rare too. Note: The FDA says that meats should be cooked at 145 degrees Fahrenheit internally, while medium-rare is usually cooked to 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
So do the people that like medium-rare meats just want to have meat that looks different from well done meat? Is it all about the looks of the meat when it is cut open? No. There is another reason why people like medium-rare meat over well done, and here is why: it is the texture of the meat that they are after.
One of the best examples of the reason why many people like medium-rare is with steaks. If you have ever had a rubbery, thick, chewy steak that requires floss from getting sick in your teeth after every bite, then this is why medium-rare is preferred over well done. It makes eating steak for them just a better experience and a lot more tolerable.
Some steaks can be so tough that some individuals can’t eat it. Usually a tough steak is seen by many as a bad steak. This is why many individuals that eat steak prize a steak that is medium-rare, because it is more tender. Making a tender steak isn’t the normal for most individuals that cook it. In fact, some individuals hate steak or won’t eat steak unless it isn’t unbearably tough. They just don’t want to deal with the hassle of putting their jaws through the extra labor of tedious chewing for every bite.
This same thing can apply to other forms of beef, and definitely other types of meat besides beef. Venison for example, is described by many as being pretty tough. It is just better served medium-rare if it isn’t going to end up really chewy if it cooks for too long.
There are some key things happening when a steak is only cooked to medium-rare. This also applies to other meats that are only cooked to medium-rare. The first thing is that it allows the meat to retain more of its flavor. When meat is cooked for too long, then it loses its fats. This in turn can cause the meat to lose its flavor.
In fact, meats that are cooked well done have the potential of losing 3 times more juices and flavor than medium-rare meats. Basically, medium-rare can make a well season meat taste 2 times better or more.
This is one of the reasons why people prefer medium-rare over well done. There is just more flavor in the meat when it is this way. Also, it is juicier, because the fats (the oils) aren’t cooked out of the meat all the way. If the oils leave the meat, then it can look, feel, and taste dry.
If you have ever seen a comparison of a juicy medium-rare burger to a well done burger, then you will see a big difference. A medium-rare burger can be flowing with juice after it is cooked, yet a well done burger is tougher and may be a lot more dry. Juicier meats usually taste better, because they retain more fats than if they are cooked for a longer period of time.
When the juices leave the meat, so does some of the seasoning that was placed on the meat. It drains out with the juices, because it was in the juices.
Cooking certain meats to medium-rare can also save that specific meat from being overly tough and chewy when when it is already lean. Lean meats are already prone to being less juicy and more difficult to flavor than meats with more fat, after they have finished cooking. This is even more true for cooking thicker meats. Ribeye steaks for example, are already one of the best cuts to have in terms of achieving a juicy and tender cooked meat, but thicker ones can still come out tough.
Cooking meats only to medium-rare quality can also save more expensive meats from being completely ruined from overcooking. Ruining an expensive piece of meat can really deter someone from buying it and cooking it again, which is why people would prefer to cook them to medium-rare to avoid it from possibly being ruined.
It also controls the quality of the meat when it is all cooked to medium-rare, by ensuring that all the meats of the same type will come out the same. If a lot of steaks are prepared and cooked to well done, then some may have more tenderness than others. However, if all the steaks are cooked to medium-rare, there is a better chance of them all coming out with the same tenderness and flavor for each piece.
The individuals that like medium-rare feel as if they are getting the best experience that they can possibly get in the terms of how juicy the meat is, and in texture. Of course, sometimes it isn’t necessary to cook only to medium-rare, but cooking many meats medium-rare can be a better experience.
Medium-rare makes tougher meat easier to deal with when it is time to eat it. It could even be the difference of safely chewing medium-rare tender meat, over tough gummy meat that may end up getting swallowed in larger pieces than desired after diligently trying to chew it.
For medium-rare meat, the rule of thumb for eating it safely is to cook the meat until its internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This is how people that live to eat medium-rare get away with doing it without getting sick. It is considered safe to eat at this point.
Restaurants can serve medium-rare meat to their guests because of this. They use thermometers to stick it in any meat that they cook, to check and see if it is at or above these temperatures when cooking it. This is what is done for steaks and other popular meats that are medium-rare too.
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