As steaks cook, the meat becomes progressively more firm as the muscle fiber in them tightens. By pressing on the center of the piece of meat, being careful not to burn yourself, you can tell how firm, and therefore how cooked, it is. This isn't a very exact method, since it will vary depending on the cut and thickness of the steak and other factors, but this is the general method.
*RAW: First press on the large muscle at the base of one of your thumbs
with the hand completely relaxed. The firmness of that muscle is a
little tighter than a raw steak.
*RARE: Compare the texture of the meat
to the firmness of the muscle at the base of the thumb of your
completely relaxed hand. If they feel the same, the steak is
'blue-rare' to rare.
*MID-RARE: Touch the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb of the
same hand. Feel the firmness of the muscle at the base of the thumb.
Check the meat to see if it is the same firmness. If it is, the steak
*MEDIUM: Press the tip of the middle finger against the thumb of
the same hand and feel the muscle at the base. That is what a medium
steak will feel like.
*MEDIUM-WELL: use the ring finger, as above.
*WELL-DONE: Use the pinky, or in other words: Burn the hell out of it.
This is a rough guide, and it will take some practice, but remember that you can cook the steak more.
Keep Right On Prepping - K