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How do you cook a medium rare steak in a Ninja Foodi grill?

Cooking a perfect medium rare steak requires getting the internal temperature just right. Using a Ninja Foodi grill makes it easy to cook steaks to the ideal doneness thanks to its precise temperature control. With a few simple tips, you can enjoy mouthwatering medium rare steaks off your Ninja Foodi grill anytime.

What temperature is medium rare?

For a medium rare steak, you want an internal temperature between 130-135°F. This results in a steak that is hot and juicy in the center with a touch of pinkness. Going above 135°F will start pushing the steak more into the medium doneness. It’s important to rely on an instant-read thermometer to determine when your steak has reached the ideal internal temp for medium rare doneness.

How to grill a medium rare steak on a Ninja Foodi

Follow these simple steps for perfect medium rare steaks every time using your Ninja Foodi grill:

  1. Take steaks out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. This helps them cook more evenly.
  2. Preheat your Ninja Foodi grill to 450°F.
  3. Pat steaks dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  4. Brush both sides of the steaks lightly with oil. This helps promote browning.
  5. Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper or any other seasonings you desire.
  6. Place steaks on preheated grill and close lid.
  7. For a 1-inch thick steak, grill approximately 4 minutes per side.
  8. Use a digital instant-read thermometer to check internal temp. Remove from grill when it reaches 130-135°F for medium rare.
  9. Let steaks rest 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips for the best medium rare steak

Follow these extra tips for guaranteed success:

  • Pick at least 1-inch thick steaks. Thinner steaks will overcook too quickly.
  • Pat steaks very dry before seasoning and grilling. Moisture on the exterior can prevent browning.
  • Use ribeye, strip, tenderloin, or other premium cuts for the most tender and flavorful steaks.
  • Flip steaks only once during cooking for better browning.
  • Always let steaks rest after grilling before cutting to allow juices to redistribute.
  • Slice steak thinly across the grain when serving for most tender results.

How long to grill steak by thickness

Grilling times will vary depending on the thickness of your steaks. Here are general guidelines for how long to cook steaks of different thicknesses to reach medium rare:

Steak Thickness Grilling Time Per Side
1/2 inch 3-4 minutes
3/4 inch 4-5 minutes
1 inch 5-6 minutes
1 1/2 inches 6-8 minutes

Keep in mind grilling times are simply a guide. Always rely on an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness instead of cooking times.

How to tell when a steak is medium rare

The most foolproof way to tell when your steak is cooked to medium rare is to use an instant-read digital meat thermometer. Simply insert the probe into the thickest part of the steak and it will give you a temperature reading. As mentioned above, you are looking for a temperature between 130-135°F.

If you don’t have a thermometer handy, you can also use the finger touch test. Lightly press on the steak with your finger. With medium rare, it should feel gently yielding. A rare steak will feel very soft and squishy, while a medium or well-done steak will be much firmer.

Visually, a medium rare steak will be reddish-pink in the center and juicy looking. It may still be cool and bright red in the very center and will become more brownish towards the exterior crust.

Common mistakes

It’s easy to go wrong when attempting the perfect medium rare steak. Be mindful of these common pitfalls:

  • Overcooking: Letting the steak go too long on the grill is way too easy to do. This results in a dry, gray steak versus juicy and pink. Use a timer and thermometer to avoid.
  • Uneven cooking: Steaks that are thicker on one end or have lots of fat can cook unevenly. Pay attention to differences while cooking.
  • Cutting too soon: Slicing into a steak immediately off the grill causes the juices to run out instead of resting. Always wait 5-10 minutes after grilling before cutting.
  • Grilling on too high heat: Super high temps can make steaks char on outside before cooking properly inside. Keep around 450°F for best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between rare, medium rare, medium, and well done steak?

The difference comes down to internal temperature:

  • Rare: 120-125°F – Bright red center
  • Medium Rare: 130-135°F – Warm red/pink center
  • Medium: 140-145°F – Hot pink center
  • Medium Well: 150-155°F – Slightly pink center
  • Well Done: 165°F+ – No pink, brown throughout

What cut of steak is best for grilling medium rare?

The most flavorful steaks to grill medium rare include:

  • Ribeye
  • Strip Steak
  • Tenderloin
  • T-bone
  • Porterhouse
  • Sirloin
  • Flank Steak

Stick with thicker steaks around 1-1 1/2 inches for best medium rare results.

Can you microwave a steak medium rare?

It is not recommended to microwave steak if you want it cooked to medium rare. The microwave does not allow for precise temperature control like grilling. It will likely overcook the steak instead of achieving that perfect pink center.

Is it safe to eat medium rare steak?

Yes, a medium rare steak is completely safe to eat when cooked properly. The briefer cooking time avoids drying out the meat while still heating it to temperatures that kill any potentially harmful bacteria on the surface and throughout. Many beef connoisseurs prefer steak cooked medium rare to enjoy the most juicy, tender results.


Grilling tender, juicy medium rare steaks is easy with the Ninja Foodi grill. Allow steak to come to room temperature before cooking, then grill approximately 4-5 minutes per side for a 1-inch thick steak, checking the internal temp with an instant-read thermometer until it reaches 130-135°F. Let steak rest before slicing and serve immediately for the perfect medium rare experience every time. Mastering the art of medium rare steak on your Ninja Foodi will make you the ultimate backyard grill master.