The Best Way to Cook a Perfect Steak
It’s easy if you use the “poke test,” says Steven Raichlen, host of PBS’s Barbecue University and the author of How to Grill ($21, amazon.com).
The test entails poking the steak in the middle of the meat for doneness and then comparing the feeling to the flesh below your thumb, on the inside of your hand, when making an OK sign. Sounds weird, but it works. Use the guidelines below.
Rare: Make the OK sign with your thumb and forefinger and touch the flesh at the base of the thumb. It should feel soft and squishy, just like the meat when you touch it.
Medium-rare: Change fingers so that your thumb connects with your middle finger. The flesh at the base of the thumb should yield yet feel less soft. So should the meat.
Medium: An OK sign with the thumb and the ring finger will make the base of the thumb feel firm, like a medium steak.
Well-done: An OK sign with the thumb and the pinkie will make the base of the thumb feel hard, like well-done.