In the Charleston area, we’re pretty serious about BBQ of all kinds, including the perfectly cooked steak. If you’re trying to master grilling this summer, then you need to learn how do you grill the perfect steak. Don’t just throw it on the fire and hope for the best! You don’t want to over or under cook it. That may leave your wondering, “Then how do I know when it is just right?”

The secret is simpler than you think! You just need to learn the internal temperature for the perfect steak and you’ll be having everyone thinking you’ve been grilling for years. Find out how your guests want their steaks cooked, and follow the below temperature guides. And, be sure to get a good steak thermometer, especially if you’re just starting.

The secret to grilling the perfect steak isn’t anything fancy; it doesn’t require numerous steps, or some super fancy equipment. The trick to grilling a steak to perfection is all about the temperature. And, we are not talking about the temperature you are grilling at, we are talking about the inside temperature of the steak. The ideal temperature of the steak is going to vary based on how you like your steak done, well done is going to be the highest temperature while rare is going to be the lowest.

Well Done

The internal temperature of a well steak needs to reach at least 170 degrees, but it can be higher. The key to grilling a well done steak is to not burn the outside, which can only be done if you cook it at a low temperature for a long period of time. With a well done steak, you should use medium heat and cook it between 10 to 12 minutes per side.

Well Done Steak

Medium Well

The temperature of a medium well steak needs to fall between 155 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The outside of the steak will have a nice charring, while the inside is still going to be stiff, but a tiny bit squishy. With this type of steak you want to heat the grill as hot as you can and grill on one side for 7 minutes and then 5 minutes on the other side.

Medium well Steak


A medium steak will have a light pink thick band running through the middle. The temperature for a medium steak is 140 to 150 degrees. To cook a medium steak, heat the grill as hot as it will go and cook the steak for 6 minutes on the first side, flip it over and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

Medium Steak

Medium Rare

Medium Rare is by far the most popular option for steaks. An internal temperature of a medium rare steak will be between 130 to 135 degrees. The inside of the steak will be red towards the middle, surrounded by pink. The outside will be a caramelized brown color with decent grill marks. Heat the grill as hot as you can, cook on the first side for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for an additional four.

Medium Rare Steak


Rare steaks are going to be bright red in the middle, as well as soft. A rare steak is basically a raw steak that has been browned on the outside. The internal temperature of a rare steak is between 120 and 130 degrees. To cook a rare steak to perfection heat up the grill, cook 5 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other. With rare steaks grill marks are not usually an option.

All cook times listed above are to be applied to a steak that is about 1 inch thick. Cook times are an approximation and will vary based on the grill you are using. To ensure that you cook your steak perfectly you will want to use a grilling thermometer.

If all this information seems like way too much work, then there are plenty of steakhouses in the area that will grill your steaks just the way you like it. Some of the top places in the Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, and Ladson regions include:

Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill – Charleston, SC

Page’s Okra Grill – Mt.Pleasant, SC

Ocean Cowboys – Ladson, SC