Steak Cook Time Calculator

Created by Mariamy Chrdileli
Reviewed by Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate and Adena Benn
Last updated: Oct 14, 2022

Welcome to the Omni steak cook time calculator, the convenient tool for when you want to calculate steak cooking time by the thickness of the steak, as per your doneness preference. This steak calculator will also tell you what internal temperature your steak should reach and give you other crucial tips for cooking a delicious steak! Grab your apron 👨‍🍳 and come along to learn about:

  • How to choose the proper cut of beef;
  • Steak cooking chart;
  • The difference between grilled and pan-seared steak;
  • How the steak cook time calculator works; and more!

Steak 101

Before we talk about steak-grilling times and how the steak cook time calculator works, let's start by choosing the proper cut of beef. If you haven't already purchased your perfect cut of meat, here are things you can consider:

  • Tenderness: if you are aiming for a tender cut of beef, you should aim for a part that has less muscle. For instance, tenderloin is farther from the horn and hoof and tends to be more tender than legs or shoulders. Besides muscle, pay attention to the so-called "marbled" appearance of the cut; more white dots of intramuscular fat in meat can indicate the higher quality grade of the cut. Note that intramuscular fat is not the same as intermuscular fat; the latter is the type of fat you usually cut off from your meat.
  • Flavor: the flavor of the meat can depend on the amount of intramuscular fat, aging of the cut (the process where natural enzymes break down the connective tissue in the meat that holds the muscle together), and diet of the animal. Grass-fed cows 🌿🐄 tend to have less fat since the food they consume is not as nutrient-dense as that consumed by grain-fed cows, who unfortunately spend less time roaming free. In terms of aging, the meat can be dry-aged (stored in a temperature and humidity-controlled place for around 30 days) or wet-aged (meat is vacuum-sealed and stored in the refrigerator). Some believe dry-aged beef has a more decadent flavor!
  • Are you wondering what resources are needed to produce your steak? Then head to our meat footprint calculator.

Things you may need to cook a delicious steak

For cooking a steak, you may need several tools and ingredients:

  • Meat thermometer;
  • Timer for steak cooking duration;
  • Steak cook time calculator; 😉
  • Salt and pepper;
  • Oil that has a high smoke point, such as avocado oil or peanut oil; and
  • Butter, garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs if you choose to cook pan-seared steak.

There are many ways you can season your steak, so don't be shy. Experiment 🥩. If you're having a barbecue and you're unsure about the amount of meat you should buy per person, our BBQ grill size calculator is here to help!

Steak cooking time by thickness. Steak cooking chart

If you want to grill a perfect medium-rare steak, its internal temperature should reach 130-140°F or 55-60°C. Cooking times will vary according to the thickness of your steak, so take a look at the steak cooking chart below, where cooking times are given in minutes:

Thickness

First Side

After Turning

1/2" (1.27cm)

3

2

3/4" (1.9 cm)

4

3

1" (2.54 cm)

5

4-5

1 1/4" (3.17 cm)

6

5-6

1 1/2" (3.81 cm)

7

5-6

1 3/4" (4.45 cm)

8

6-7

2" (5.08 cm)

9

7-8

2 1/4" (5.7 cm)

10

8-9

If medium-rare is not your doneness preference, don't worry; our steak calculator will give you cooking instructions as per your taste! Keep reading to learn how the steak cook time calculator works and determine your steak grilling times (or pan-searing times, whatever makes your tummy happier 🍽️).

How does the steak cook time calculator work? Your personal steak timer

We know you're ready to dive into cooking your steak by now, so here is what you have to do to make your personal steak cooking assistant work:

  1. Indicate your method of cooking.
  2. Indicate your preferences of doneness.
  3. Select the thickness of your steak.
  4. Voila! The steak calculator will tell you your steak pan-searing or grilling times, the internal temperature that your steak should reach, and the temperature at which you should grill or sear your steak.

Do you want to learn how much steak you should consume for your weight and activity level? Then check out Omni's protein calculator.

FAQ

What is the difference between grilled and pan-seared steak?

Grilled steak usually has a smokey flavor, not present in pan-seared steak. On the other hand, you can make your pan-seared steak buttery and infuse it with herbs. Although, keep in mind that you can achieve caramelization of your steak with both methods!

How long should I grill 1-inch thick steak to make it medium rare?

For a medium-rare steak, it is best to grill your meat for 5 minutes on one side and another 4-5 minutes after turning - until its internal temperature reaches 130 - 140°F (55–60°C).

How long should I sear a 1-inch steak before putting it in the oven?

For a medium-rare steak, It would be best if you seared your steak on an oven-proof pan for 2-3 minutes on the first side or until well browned. Then, flip the steak and place the pan in the preheated oven for 5-6 minutes. The internal temperature of the steak should reach around 130-140°F (55–60°C).

How should medium-rare steak look?

Medium-rare steak should be gray-brown from the outside and have a pink or reddish color in the center when cut. To achieve medium-rare doneness, cook your steak until the internal temperature reaches around 130-140°F (55–60°C).

How can I check if the steak's doneness is medium-rare without a thermometer?

One of the ways you can check if your steak is medium-rare is the touch test.

  1. Push the tip of your middle finger on the tip of your thumb.
  2. With your second hand, poke the base of your thumb, the flashy area.
  3. The way the base of your thumb feels when poking is the way your steak should feel when medium-rare.
Mariamy Chrdileli
Method
Grill
Doneness
Rare
Thickness
1/2" (1.27cm)
Preheat your grill to 450°F (232°C) and then reduce to medium heat before cooking.

It is best to cook your steak for 2 minutes on one side and another 2 minutes after turning until an internal temperature reaches 120°- 130°F (49-55°C). 🥩
Note that the given cooking times apply to already thawed steaks.
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