Ground Beef Cooking Tips

Why Can You Eat Steak Rare, but Not Ground Beef?

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Why Can You Eat Steak Rare, but Not Ground Beef?

We can all agree that food poisoning is no fun, and food sickness and other food-related illnesses can ruin your experience forever with certain foods, brands, or restaurants. If you’ve ever experienced food poisoning, it was likely one of your worst days, but we will tell you the best ways to avoid food poisoning when eating ground beef in the future! Most food-borne illnesses are from by undercooked meat. To avoid getting food sickness, bring your beef to a safe temperature before eating it. Bringing the meat to the correct temperature ensures that any bacteria present in or on the meat will die.
To safely eat a steak, grill or sear it on high heat. Then bring the internal temperature up to 120-125°F (rare), 125-130°F (medium rare), or 135-140°F. To safely eat ground beef, an internal temperature of 160°F must be reached. So, what gives? Why does ground beef require an internal temperature of at least 20°F over that of a medium steak? 

Why are Steak and Ground Beef Different?

Believe it or not, the reason behind this is relatively simple. Bacteria can grow on the surface of the meat. A steak has bacteria on the outside which is immediately killed when you throw it in a hot skillet or grill. When beef is ground, you essentially chop or grind up all the surface area, and the bacteria sitting on the surface is brought into the meat and distributed throughout. So, ground beef must be cooked more thoroughly to ensure all the bacteria are killed before consumption.

Meat Safety Tips

Regardless of whether you’re grilling up some steaks for your family or whipping up a batch of burgers for the neighborhood block party, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to meat safety. Using proper precautions while cooking beef can make or break your day.

Make it HOT

Set your grill to the proper temperature to make the process easier. Use high heat (450-500°F) for grilling steaks and medium-high heat (375-400°F) for hamburgers.

Use a Meat Thermometer

Our Pre® team favorite is the Theremapen MK4. When cooking steaks, use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature has reached a minimum of 120°F. Hamburgers are typically too thin to measure an accurate internal temperature, so continue to cook until the juices run clear.
 Read more: Kitchen Tools We Can’t Live Without

Sanitize Cooking Utensils

Meat thermometers, tongs, and turning utensils should be sanitized after every use so they’re ready to go next time. You don’t want any bacteria hanging around and contaminating your perfect cut! Ensure you keep utensils that have touched raw beef away from any vegetables or cutting boards.


Pre Steak Cuts and Premium Ground Beef

Whether you’re eyeing a 100% grass-fed and finished New York Strip steak to throw on the grill or looking for the perfect ground beef for some beautiful, juicy, hand-formed burgers, Pre has you covered. Order some premium cuts from Pre today and see why cattle raised with care on pasture year-round are better.
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