Not knowing how to cook your steak to perfection can cost you the steak and make you never want to try steaks ever again. This is exact what this article discusses – the different techniques you can use to tell if your steak is cooked to perfection. This information should help you when preparing steak to ensure it fits your preference.
The degree to which steak is cooked is referred to as doneness and you can check this using a meat thermometer and by hand.
- Using a Meat Thermometer
Different steaks should be cooked at different temperatures, depending on their type. This is because tender steaks take longer to cook, while the thinner ones take a shorter amount of time. The easiest way to tell if your steak is cooked to perfection is by checking its temperature at different intervals of the cooking time. This is done using a thermometer designed for meat only. Having made sure that your steak is evenly cooked, you just insert the tip of the thermometer into the steak until it reaches the middle, let it sit for a few seconds, then remove it and take the temperature reading.
However, this method comes with a major drawback. This is because once you poke into the steak, the juices and marbling flow out of it and this makes the steak dry and firm to your teeth. At the same time, the thermometer is expensive and not everyone can afford it. In this case, you can always explore other options on the table.
- Using Hand
The best and most effective method of telling if your steak is done to perfection is by using your hand since this does not involve cutting into the steak. This means you get to keep all your juices and marbling for a more flavorful steak. When you press your palm with your finger, the feeling should be different, depending on the different fingers folded into your other hand.
With your one hand finger, press the thumb area of your other hand. The area is soft and very fleshy and this is how a raw steak feels like on your fingers. Press your index finger against your thumb of one hand and use the index finger of the other hand to feel the same part of the palm. The area should feel a little firm and this compares to a rare done steak.
Press your middle finger against your thumb of one hand and use the index finger of your other hand to feel the same part of the palm. The area should be more tensed and this is what medium-rare done steak should feel like between your fingers. Press your thumb against your ring finger of one hand and use the index finger of your other hand to feel the same area of the palm. It should be a little flexed and this is what a medium done should feel like between your fingers.
Repeat the process with your small finger pressed against your thumb. The feeling this time should be rather firm and this is what well-done steak feels like between your fingers.
As much as the method is effective in determining the doneness of a steak, it however comes with its fair share of drawbacks. The major drawback being the fact that it is only meant for tough people. This is because it is not just anyone who is ready to persevere the heat of the steak. In addition, a good number of people would not find it very hygienic, which does not augur very well with your guests gathered around your kitchen area.
Whichever method you use to determine the doneness of your favorite steak, the level depends on your unique taste and preferences. Rare-done steaks have a pink color at the center and may even have some blood. These are not good since they may still have some active bacteria. The perfect done steak should be between medium and well-done levels. In this case, it is always good to go to a steakhouse if you want steak done to your perfection. Ask for a steak done at 145℉ since this is the perfect temperature for a perfectly cooked steak.