The thickness of the steak determines the necessary surface temperature for cooking. Thinner meat requires higher heat ranging from 425 F to 450 F, while thicker pieces cook at 325 F to 350 F.
When cooking steak, the internal temperature of the meat matters more than the external temperature of the oven, grill or pan. Steaks range from rare at 130 F to 140 F to well done at 170 F. Because the steak continue cooking after it's removed from the heat, the chef should not let it sit too long before serving. Using a meat thermometer is a necessity.