The appropriate level of doneness is critical when it comes to grilling the ideal steak. While many cooks swear by their meat thermometers, you may find yourself without one at times.
Not to worry! Without using a thermometer, there are various tried-and-true methods for determining if your steak is done to your preference. This article will go over these approaches and assist you in becoming a steak doneness expert.
The Thumb Test
It may not be as exact as a meat thermometer, but it can serve as a guide and requires no equipment other than your hand.
Put the tips of your thumb and pointer finger together in a gentle pressing motion. Grab the ball of your hand just below your thumb with the hand that doesn’t have your thumb.
If your steak has a mushy texture, it should be served rare.
Rare to Medium
Put the rounded ends of your thumb and middle finger in contact with one another. Apply pressure with your hand to the muscle that is located underneath your thumb.
When both sides of your steak have the same amount of give, it is medium rare.
Put the very tips of your thumb and ring finger against one another in a gentle but firm press. The ball of the thumb now has a more solid sensation and takes a greater amount of pressure to be pushed.
If the steak has a consistency like this, it has reached the medium-rare stage of cooking.
Put the tips of your thumb and pinky finger together and press them together gently. Make use of the hand you don’t normally push on the ball of your thumb. The muscle has reached its full contracted state.
This is the texture of a steak that has been cooked to a medium rare.
Your eyes can also be used to verify the doneness of meat. For example, steak, pig, chicken, and turkey breasts can appear cooked on the outside but cold on the inside.
The size of the protein fragment is a simple but subtle signal. If it seems burned or golden on the exterior but retains the same “footprint” as when you started, it most certainly needs more time. If the meat begins to shrink, it is likely that it is nearing completion.
A Juice Test
Insert the skewer and insert it into the thickest area of the thigh for a thermometer-free method of determining when chicken is done or when your Thanksgiving turkey is ready to serve. If the juices run clear, it’s done. Alternatively, wiggle the leg, which should be loose.
For smaller pieces, such as a boneless chicken breast, cut through the thickest section of the poultry with a knife. If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked sufficiently to consume. If the fluids are crimson or pink, it probably requires a few minutes longer.
Test with Tongs: Resisting the Meaty Resistance
You may get an indication of how done the steak is by applying a light amount of pressure to it using tongs. A steak cooked to a rare state will have a spongy and mushy texture, whereas a steak cooked to medium will have some resistance, and a steak cooked to well done will have a firm texture.
Timer Method: Utilizing Time as a Reference Point
Timing your steak can be an effective way to attain a specific level of doneness, even though it is not as accurate as using a thermometer. Keep a record of an approximate estimate of the amount of time needed to cook to various degrees of doneness.
Cutting and Checking: For the Curious Cooks
If you want to examine the color of the steak and see if it is juicy, you can make a small cut in it and see what it looks like underneath. This technique works better for more substantial slicing jobs.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find it helpful.