If you’re going to shell out big bucks for a fancy dinner, you want your food to be prepared flawlessly. When it comes to steak, though, there are often differences in opinion about what the “perfect” preparation is. Everyone has different preferences about how well done they would like their meat to be cooked.

Most high-end steak chefs and connoisseurs agree that the worst mistake you can make when it comes to cooking red meat is to overcook it. Overcooked steak tends to be tough, chewy, and devoid of tenderness. In fact, you’re likely to see any estimable waiter at a quality steakhouse cringe at the sound of the words “well done”.

But is the alternative safe? Many people are wary about ordering steak per the chef’s recommendation for fear that the outcome will be steak that is too rare and therefore could be dangerous to eat. What guidelines should be followed when it comes to eating rare steak?

Dangers of Rare Meat

The main danger of rare meat is that it might not reach a high enough internal temperature to kill any bacteria that may be in the meat. Ideally, meat should reach an internal temperature of at least 145°F to ensure that it is safe for consumption.

Making Safe Choices

In general, steak that is cooked to at least medium rare doneness can guarantee that it has reached an internal temperature that makes it safe to eat. If you prefer your steak rare, there is a slightly higher risk — but this is still the preferred method of steak preparation for countless aficionados out there.

Your best options for eating rare steak are to do so at a high-quality and reputable steakhouse. In such establishments you can rest assured that chefs are well-educated about the different cuts of meat, the risks of eating rare meat, and the best practices for reducing associated risks. In particular, delicacy dishes such as Beef Carpaccio or Steak Tartar that feature raw meat should only be consumed at high-end restaurants with a flawless reputation.

If in doubt, ask the waiter to ask how the chef recommends a given cut of meat should be cooked. While there are instances where choosing to consume raw meat comes associated with few risks, there are other instances where it should be avoided no matter how nice a given steakhouse is.

Finding a High-Quality Steakhouse

Looking for a top-shelf steakhouse that meets all of your needs for superior cuisine, excellent service, and knowledgeable staff? Check out reviews online to find the best value option that will meet all of your expectations. At a high-quality steakhouse you can rest at ease knowing that you and your dinner party are in good hands. If you prefer your steak in the rarer side, it’s even more important to find a steakhouse with a highly professional and reputable approach to steak preparation. There is obviously something to be said for steak that’s rare or medium-rare, but no matter how well it’s done, the important thing is that it’s done right.