Cooking Beef: Methods

The versatility of beef lends itself to several cooking methods. Choose your technique and follow our tips for cooking it to perfection.
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  • Braising: Meat is seared, or browned in fat, and then simmered in liquid on low heat in a covered pot for a long time. Long, slow cooking develops flavor and tenderizes meat by gently breaking down its fibers. Braising can be done on the stovetop or in the oven. Also known as pot roast.
  • Broiling: Meat is cooked directly under or above a heat source. Can be done in an oven, directly under the gas or electric heat source, or on a barbecue grill, directly over charcoal or other heat source.
  • Grilling: Meat is cooked over hot coals or other heat source; often referred to as barbecuing.
  • Roasting: Meat is cooked in the oven in an uncovered pan, a method that usually produces a well-browned exterior and moist interior.
  • Skillet Cooking: Tender cuts of meat are quick-cooked in a small amount of hot oil (frying) or without oil (broiling). While slower than stir-frying, pan-frying preserves the flavor of the meat and lends a nice brown color. Great method for cooking for tenderloin steaks!
  • Stewing: Meat is barely covered with liquid and simmered slowly for a long time in a tightly covered pot. Tenderizes tough pieces of meat and blends flavors deliciously.

When is it Done?

Cooking perfect beef every time is easy with a meat thermometer.


  • Oven-proof thermometer: Insert into the thickest part of the meat and leave in throughout the cooking process.
  • Instant-read thermometer: Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat for about 15 seconds toward the end of cooking time. Remove the thermometer and, if necessary, continue cooking.
  • Cook until temperature reaches at least 145°F (rare), 160°F (medium), 170°F (well done).


  • Use an instant-read thermometer in steaks 1/2" or thicker. Insert horizontally from the side, so that the thermometer penetrates the thickest part or the center of the steak and doesn't touch bone or fat.
  • Cook thicker (thickness of 1" or more) cuts of raw beef to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F as measured with a food thermometer and allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.
  • Cook thinner (less than 1" thick) cuts of raw beef to a minimum internal temperature of 160°F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Cook until temperature reaches at least 145°F (rare), 160°F (medium), 170°F (well done).
  • For reasons of personal preference, you may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.

Ground Beef

  • Use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center or thickest part of a meatloaf or meatball, or horizontally from the side into the center for patties.
  • Cook ground beef (patties, loaves, meatballs) to an internal temperature of 160°F (medium doneness), until not pink in center and juices show no pink color. Remember that color is not an indicator of doneness!

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