For all the meat lovers like me, getting your steak at just the right point is mandatory. There are a a few ways out there to check this. I will compile them in one post to make your life easier. Most of these can be used for beef, veal and lamb steaks.

There are three main ways your steak to your favourite point:

  • Steak’s internal temperature (most accurate);
  • Cooking time method (depends on many factors including the thickness of your steak);
  • Hand comparison method.

Before we discuss each of these, you should consider a few pointers to get the perfect steak.

  1. Ensure you have an adequate meat thickness: beef 2cm or more and lamb 1.5 cm or more. Some beef minute steak recipes may be less thick than the recommended.
  2. When defrosting the meat, keep it in the fridge until the steaks are fully defrosted.
  3. Ensure that the meat is at room temperature before cooking. To achieve this, remove the steaks 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.
  4. If using the barbecue, trying oiling the steaks instead of the grill. This will help the steaks not to stick.
  5. Ensure the pan or the barbecue is hot before placing the steaks in. For better flavouring if frying, add the butter or oil to the pan only when it’s hot too.
  6. Try to turn the steaks as few times as possible. Many chefs recommend turning the steak only once. For very thick steaks, you may have to place them in the oven to finish cooking.


The steak temperature method 

This is the most accurate method to get your steak at your favourite point. To get this, you will need to have a meat thermometer. You can find these on specialised local shops or online. On this post I will not reccommend any, however,  I hope to do a thermometer review in the near future.

  • Rare – steak internal temperature should be around 55ºC;
  • Medium – steak internal temperature should be around 65ºC;
  • Well done – steak internal temperature should be around 75ºC.


Cooking time method 

This strongly depends on the steak thickness. For increased thickness you may need more time.

  • Rare – cook each side of the steak for about 2 minutes;
  • Medium – cook each side of the steak for about 3 minutes;
  • Well done – cook each side of the steak for about 4 minutes.


The hand comparison method

For this you need to compare the steak tenderness with the resistance your hand’s thenar eminence (the round muscle part below your thumb on the palm of your hand) placing your thumb against different fingers.

  • Rare – place your thumb against your index finger;
  • Medium – place your thumb against your middle finger;
  • Well done – Place your thumb against your ring finger.

Well done steak

Medium steak

Steak rare

And this is it. You can use these methods isolated or together. I suggest you try them all and develop your way of identifying your perfect steak. Happy cooking.

Featured photo at this post downloaded from

Posted by Rod Frade (@apubwithnobeer)

Occupational Therapist by day. Food passion by night. Mac User. Rugby addict. All opinions here are my own.

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