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Medium Rare +

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  • JoLi Nov 22, 2006 06:37 PM
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How many of you have heard/used the term "Medium Rare +"? A cross between Medium Rare and Medium

We were out at a steakhouse and one of my friends ordered his steak Medium Rare +. Some of us thought it was funny.

Just curious to see how many of you guys use this convention.

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  1. Yet another reason I like the Chinese system better. Steakhouses will ask you what number you want your steak cooked to. If I recall correctly, a medium is 7. Maybe it stands for 70% cooked? That would make sense, as a rare steak is about 50% cooked. That way your friend could get his medium rare+ and not be subjected to your laughter. :)

    Steakhouses vary so much here that I always say "Medium rare, but slightly bloody in the middle." I don't want to risk some kind of bizarre notion that medium rare is cooked all the way through. Maybe I need to order a medium rare-

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pei

      Never heard of the number system but it totally makes sense. The U.S. standard of rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well has 5 parts or variations based on 20%. Going w/ 7 variations seems to be a bit more precise without being over the top. Some smart steakhouse in the U.S. figure this out and use it to their advantage since there does seem to be differences in what one place calls what.

    2. I'd be in favor of more gradations if you could actually get a steak cooked to that degree of precision. But I can just imagine the arguments with the waiter over whether your steak is 60 percent cooked or 70 percent cooked.

      I like the description of medium-rare minus, though. I'll have to try that one.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I have ordered steak "medium rare, on the rare side of that" and have gotten them cooked just the way I like them.

        1. re: JasmineG

          whenever i order rare i get a bloody raw mess, and if i order medium rare i get on the wrong side of well done. i have given up ordering steak in restaurants and just do it on my grill.
          maybe the medium rare - will work

          1. re: JasmineG

            I will second this, I always order it medium rare, but leaning towards the rare side, and it works out great, at least for my tastes.

            1. re: jdestes

              I do something similar, I order "rare to medium rare" and clarify to the waiter to please err on the side of underdone rather than overdone.

        2. I've never heard the term medium rare plus, but that's exactly how I like my meat cooked.

          I used to order my steaks medium rare. However, since the trend for "rare" has taken over the marketplace (rare/seared tuna, etc.), oftentimes places will serve me a steak that is too rare when I order it medium rare. Now, I'll explain to the waiter that I want it somewhere between medium rare and medium. More often, I'll just describe that I want the steak cooked, but pinkish-red in the middle. Medium rare + sounds just right.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DanaB

            This is exactly how I like steak cooked as well and usually get what I want when I say "in between medium-rare and medium - pinkish red".

          2. Try living in Colombia where meat is flattened and then charred to the consistency of dried leather. One has to ask for raw and bloody to get something like medium.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              I know! I've never been to Colombia but I love to get the Hillbilly Platter (plato montanero) in NYC. But I love my steak rare and could never get it. I even phoned the Colombian embassy for advice on how to say it. They didn't know. Someone finally told me to say "Huerta! Huerta!" (which I think means bang! bang!) and that they understand (though they still overcook the steak) At least they get the chicharron right.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Interesting! I'm headed to Argentina/Chile/Peru in a few weeks, for the first time. If I want my steaks rare -which I *do*- how will I need to order them.....?! Anyone?

                1. re: spigot

                  You have to ask for "semi-crudo" or "casi crudo". That "hillbilly platter' is a "bandeja paisa".

              2. I rarely get my steak served the way I like or order it. I order MR religiously. Usually the piece is brought right off the "1600 degree grill" and is still smokin'. The waiter then hovers and asks me if it done to my liking. I normally ask him to come back in 5 after the meat has "sat". Then I slice into the center and see dark red and cold. I then call the waiter over and ask him to take it back to the kitchen to cook to MR. Then it comes back either correct or well done. Then we dance about what to do next.

                And this occurs in the best steak houses in America with my steak (with no sides) normally in the $40's.

                Some steak houses now place the definition of each. Medium = blah; medium-rare = blah, blah. Does the kitchen know this. NOPE! But now it gives me something to point to when I send it back for the waiter to show the kitchen.

                Why do i do this. I LOVE PORTERHOUSES!!! WORTH IT

                1 Reply
                1. re: jfood

                  if you're going to go to a steakhouse where you're paying $40 for a steak you'd better hope they already rested your steak for you.

                2. Since that first trip to Morton's where my friend ordered Medium Rare +, I've asked around in some steakhouses, apparently it is a commonly used term.

                  1. Personally I think theh biggest problem with ordering steaks is that everyone seems to have a different vision of what rare, medium rare, etc. mean. I'd guess that if you served 10 different people the same steak and asked them how it's cooked, not everyone would answer the same.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Rick

                      I think these definitions are pretty well accepted... at least in theory.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steak#De...

                      I don't know why restaurants don't err, if they err at all, on the side of undercooking. You can always cook an underdone steak a little more but it is beyond the capacity of 21st century science to uncook a steak.

                      1. re: Brian S

                        Sorry, as an ex-waiter, I can tell you there are no "accepted" definitions. Everyone wants to order a steak "medium rare", based on countless promptings from TV and movies, but when the steak shows up with a red centre (as it should), too often, the customer shrieks "I want my steak cooked, not raw!", and you end up delivering a medium well or (shudder) well-done steak. I applaud restaurants that post doneness guides on their menus; there are far too many idiots out there who need education.

                    2. Went to Abe & Louie's in Boca Raton last night. Big discussion with the waiter as I wanted "very rare" but not a dead cold center. I said "how about rare -" and he laughed but it was perfect!!!!!!

                      1. I've always order my steak medium, but usually at mid-range restaurants sometimes with a real chef, sometimes not. The results vary widely regardless. Sometimes there's very little pink, sometimes it comes back medum rare-, which is preferable because I can always send it back.

                        I wonder if this is a matter of how the person cooking the steak like sit. For instance, if someone truly likes a rare steak, then they'll think medium must be way more done than it really is. And if for some reason they like it well done, then they might consider medium to be quite rare.

                        I've only been to $40 steak houses 4-5 times in recent years, and have never had a problem there.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Ace_Mclean

                          Almost everytime I'm asked by the waitperson how I'd like my meat done, I ask what the kitchen means by medium rare. Thus I can gauge whether their idea of m-r is same as mine, or if i have to adjust my request to be on same page as the kitchen. More often than not, i ask for medium rare to medium, which probably is tantamount to m-r +, and, if it seems necessary, i explain that it means reddish pink in the middle, but somewhat cooked and not cold. Bottom line, though, is that, regardless of the terminology used, you need to find out what that particular kitchen thinks m-r means.

                          1. re: Wayno

                            Exactly. I never have a problem getting MR, but I know my DH likes it closer to rare, and he often says "medium rare closer to rare." I would think ordering by color would be a much more clear way -- but it feels weird to me to get into a long discussion of how I want something cooked -- seems to take the magic out of a restaurant experience. :-P

                        2. At restaurants I trust, I simply order it to the chef's recommended level of doneness ("as the chef would recommend"), which can vary by particular cut of meat. I've only once been less than delighted with the result, and even then it wasn't bad (the cut was just not quite right).

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Karl S

                            My husband does this as well with very good results.

                            1. re: Karl S

                              Are there certain types of meat that SHOULD be cooked medium or well done?

                              1. re: Covert Ops

                                Definitely chicken and pork

                                1. re: JoLi

                                  Duh. :-P I should have said "cuts" of meat, or a particular tyep of preparation. . .because I can't understand doing that with beef.

                                  1. re: JoLi

                                    Both chicken and pork are very nice raw or rare thank you. Chicken sushi is something I always get when I can trust the chef and his sources.

                              2. I've found that at least one of the steakhouses I go to (may be Capital Grille) will ask how you want it done, and when you answer will be sure to clarify by color and temperature (and then they usually get it right when they bring it to you):

                                "How would you like your steak?"
                                "Medium rare"
                                "Thin crust, warm red center?"
                                "Yes."

                                I've never ordered "medium rare +" before, but my wife will ask for "medium - medium rare" and usually get what she wants.

                                I think most places will understand this - whether the guy standing over the grill can execute it is a different story.

                                For a pretty good overview of doneness guidelines and terminology, check out the Bern's Steakhouse website:

                                http://www.bernssteakhouse.com/bs_fra...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Frodnesor

                                  I love the "well done" description at Bern's:

                                  Very thick crust.
                                  No color.
                                  No juice.
                                  Dried out.

                                2. I do it all the time - "medium rare on the medium side." If the wait person looks puzzled, like "I don't know if we can do that", then I go with medium. I've had to do this because over the years in a lot of restos, "medium rare" has become almost "rare".