Meat cooking guide

How do you like your meat cooked?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? Cooking meat is an endless debate. Whatever the method you use, you can be sure that each meal is a success with our short (and very practical!) guide.

Types of doneness

Barbecue cooking

Barbecuing is so popular that the season often lasts all year long, and we’re not ones to complain! Grilling involves rapid cooking adapted to our first-quality cuts. Here are two methods for grilling on the barbecue:

Direct cooking:

The meat is placed directly above the heat source. The barbecue lid must remain open. Because it will cook quickly, you must monitor and flip it often in order to get that perfect caramelization without the charring.

Indirect cooking:

The meat is placed opposite to the heat source. The barbecue lid must remain closed to ensure even cooking and the most tender, tasty results.

To get those beautiful checkerboard marks, simply turn the piece a quarter of a turn on each side, halfway through cooking.

You can mimic barbecue cooking by using a grooved pan without any fat. Remember, no matter the method, you must use intense heat to properly sear the meat without boiling it, and always remember to clean your grills. See the table below for the recommended cooking times for each type of meat.

Pan frying

This method is also great for steak, chops, fillets, tournedos, some types of skewers, sausages and more. The result is a nice and crispy crust with juicy, flavourful meat. To sear meat properly, use an oiled pan over medium-high heat, and for some cuts, cooking can be finished off in the oven. See the table below for the recommended cooking times for each type of meat.


It’s better to cook some types of meat in the oven, or to finish off cooking in the oven after searing. In any case, it is recommended to turn meat over halfway through for even cooking.

Tips and tricks

How can I check doneness?


Thermometer method:

The ideal and precise method: an instant-read thermometer is best.

Touch method:

This method is not as precise but is very useful for a quick check. Press your finger to the meat, and its resistance will give you a good idea of doneness. As a reference, apply pressure with the base of your thumb, as seen on the picture.

Press your thumb to each finger (with moderate pressure): you will notice that your muscle becomes harder and harder.

Open hand: blue

Thumb and index finger: rare

Thumb and middle finger: medium

Thumb and ring finger: well done

Thumb and pinky finger: overcooked


Open hand



Thumb and index finger



Thumb and middle finger


Should I let the meat sit out?

This is really a question of personal choice. Letting your meat sit prevents a sudden temperature change from affecting its taste. To do this, let your meat rest at room temperature for 15-30 minutes prior to cooking. It is important that the meat be defrosted. Since our meats are vacuum-sealed, simply place them in cold water for about 20 minutes. This method does not apply to poultry or ground meats.

What about salt?

Now here’s a myth that’s finally been debunked! It’s now been proven that salt does not harden or brown meat, nor does it drain it of its juices. It is recommended that you salt your meat at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Tests have proven that steak salted for a long period of time before cooking is tastier and juicier. Meat can be salted the day before or just before cooking if you let your steak rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. You can also salt it immediately before cooking.

What about resting time?

It is recommended – essential even – to let meat rest for 5 minutes after cooking. Simply tent it loosely with aluminum foil. This helps the fibres relax and the blood spread through the flesh, which will in turn become tender and tasty.

Ground meat: Bye bye bacteria!

Make sure to handle ground meat properly and follow the safe cooking recommendations.

  • Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.
  • Preheat the barbecue and do not scorch the meat: even if the exterior is cooked, the interior might not be properly cooked.
  • Place cooked meat on a clean plate. Do not use the same plate as one used for raw meat.
  • Use different utensils for raw and cooked meat.
  • Do not press down on hamburger patties while cooking, as they will lose their juices. Avoid pressing and your meat will be tender, well cooked and tasty.
  • Always be vigilant with ground meats, because the bacteria on its outside surface travels to the interior when ground. To destroy this bacteria, you must cook the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 70 °C or until its juices run clear.

Cusson family secret

Here’s a trick that the Cusson family loves to dig their teeth into! To get even tastier steaks, simply baste them with concentrated beef stock. A little family trick that’s worth a try!

How do you like it cooked?


Beef is served: blue, rare, medium and well done.


The following is a guide for recommended cooking times.

DONENESS ½ inch thickness Minutes per side
Blue 49 °C (120 °F) to 54 °C (130 °F) 4 min
Rare 54 °C (130 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F) 5 min
Medium 60 °C (140 °F) to 65 °C (150 °F) 6 min
Well done 71 °C (160 °F) to 76 °C (169 °F) 8 min

Stovetop and oven cooking

MEAT Oiled pan, medium-high heat, minutes per side Oven temperature Approximate cooking time Internal temperature
Burger patty Turn after 4 minutes - - 70 °C (160 °F)
Flap meat steak (230 g), rare Seared 190 °C (375 °F) 6-8 min 63 °C (145 °F)
Flap meat steak (230 g), medium Seared 190 °C (375 °F) 10-15 min 70 °C (160 °F)
T-bone steak (340 g), rare 3-4 min - - 63 °C (145 °F)
T-bone steak (340 g), medium 4-5 min - - 70 °C (160 °F)
Striploin steak (340 g), rare 4-5 min - - 63 °C (145 °F)
Striploin steak (340 g), medium 5-6 min - - 70 °C (160 °F)
Rib Steak (500 g), rare 3-4 min - - 63 °C (145 °F)
Rib Steak (500 g), medium 4-5 min - - 70 °C (160 °F)
Rib eye steak (350 g), rare 3-4 min - - 63 °C (145 °F)
Rib eye steak (350 g), medium 4-5 min - - 70 °C (160 °F)
Sirloin steak (500 g), rare 4-5 min - - 63 °C (145 °F)
Sirloin steak (500 g), medium 5-6 min - - 70 °C (160 °F)
Filet mignon (170 g), rare 3-4 min - - 63 °C (145 °F)
Tenderloin (170 g), medium 4-5 min - - 70 °C (160 °F)
Skewers (200 g) - 180 °C (350 °F) 10-15 min 70 °C (160 °F)


Chicken is served: well done.



Pork is served: pink, medium or well done.



Veal is served: pink and medium.



Sausages are served: well done.

The team at Alimentation Garde-Manger wishes you bon appétit !