Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day Grilling Tip: Rule of Thumb for Steaks

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.

When you think the steak is approaching the degree of doneness you are looking for, using the muscle at the base of your thumb as a guide, check the firmness of the meat.  Here's how:

*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 is medium-rare.
*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