How to Check Steak For Doneness

How to check steak for doneness

Many home cooks and professional chefs struggle to cook steaks to the perfect doneness. Luckily, a little hack can help you check if your steak is done cooking.

The palm test, also called the finger test, is a common method to tell steak doneness. Simply touch the fleshy part of your palm right below your thumb to feel how rare it feels.


A meat thermometer is a must-have tool for any grill master. It ensures that you don’t undercook your steak, which poses a food safety hazard, or overcook it, which dries it out and reduces its flavor.

The thermometer reads the internal temperature of cooked meat, and displays it on a digital display to help you keep an eye on it during cooking. When your steak reaches the desired doneness, remove it from the heat source and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Steaks are unique because they tend to be wider than thick, so it can be tricky to find the center of the cut without piercing it. Chef Arturo Torres of La Palapa in New York City recommends inserting the thermometer from the side, aiming to hit the thermal center.

This method is quick, easy, and effective. Plus, it avoids cutting into the steak, which can compromise the flavor. You’ll also be able to check the temperature of every steak on your grill in no time!

The Palm Test

Whether you’re a steak expert or an amateur, checking your meat for doneness with your hand is one of the easiest ways to determine how much it has been cooked. However, it’s not always the most accurate method.

For this reason, some experts recommend a more precise method. For example, you can use a thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your meat during the cooking process.

Another popular way to check steak for doneness is by using the “Poke Test.” This method involves touching the palm of your hand and comparing it with how it feels with other fingers.

This test isn’t a substitute for an accurate thermometer, but it can give you a quick idea of how much your steak has been cooked to the desired doneness. And it’s an excellent back-up method when you don’t have a thermometer handy.

The Fist Test

If you are cooking steak without a meat thermometer, there is a simple way to check if it is done. It involves using your fingers and comparing the tension of your hand to the firmness of a steak.

To do this, place the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand (left if you’re right-handed) together gently and press them with the base of your thumb to feel for tension. This will tell you if your steak is rare.

Then, repeat with the middle and ring finger. For medium rate, touch the tip of your middle finger to the base of your thumb.

Alternatively, you can touch your pinky to the base of your thumb for well-done steak. However, this method isn’t as accurate and relies on your own subjective interpretation of the texture of the meat.

The Face Test

If you’re a steak lover, you know how important it is to cook your meat just right. A grilled steak with a bit of chewiness on the outside but still warm inside is a perfect cut!

There are a few ways to check for doneness, but the best way is a thermometer. It’s fast, accurate and requires no experience.

But if you’re a chef or even just a regular home cook, there are other methods you can use. These include using your eyes, hands and face.

The most common way to test your steak for doneness is by touching the palm of your hand, right below your thumb. If the fleshy area of your palm feels soft, that means it’s rare.

The second method is to touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb. When it feels firm, that means it’s medium or well-done.

Did you miss our previous article…