Cheatsheet: How Done Is Your Steak?
By Sadie Hobbs
Rare, medium, well-done, and everything in between -- there are many different ways to cook a steak. And if you're anything like us, you have a strong opinion on which way is best. Perfect your skills before summer starts and wow all your future party guests!
The best and most surefire way to see how a steak is cooked is to take the internal temperature with a meat thermometer:
- Rare (cool red center): 125°F
- Medium Rare (warm red center): 135°F
- Medium (warm pink center): 145°F
- Medium Well (slightly pink center): 150°F
- Well Done (little or no pink): 160°F
Check out the Certified Angus Beef website for detailed pictures of how each temperature looks.
Sometimes, though, you just don’t have access to a thermometer. Use this quick-and-easy "cheat" method for telling how your steak is cooked without taking the actual temperature. This is not always exact, but it keeps you in the ballpark.
Simply feel the tenderness of the steak with your finger, then compare it against the following sensations:
For a rare steak, put your thumb and index finger together then feel the tenderness of your palm.
For a medium-rare steak, move your middle finger to your thumb feel the tenderness of your palm change.
For a medium steak, do the same as medium rare but use your ring finger on your thumb.
For a well-done steak, touch your thumb with your pinky finger and feel the tenderness of your palm.