Meat Doneness Check Using Your Hands

There are two ways you perform a Doneness Check on your meats while grilling. You can use a meat thermometer, or use your finger tip to check meat.

Most folks use a meat thermometer since its quick and accurate. The only problem is that every time you use it, you poke a hole into the meat. Juices will inevitably escape and this will make make your meat a little drier.

This is why most pros use what is called a "poke test". This test is simply using the tip of you finger to press on the meat. Depending on how much "give" you feel, you can find out the doneness of the meat. Sounds easy right? Well, it is! Just remember the old saying, "Practice Makes Perfect!"

Hope you find these pictures ease to follow. They show how much a piece of meat should "give" when you press with your finger. Try this technique even if you still use a meat thermometer. Before you know it, you'll be relying on this test instead of the thermometer.

By the way, this test works just as well on grilled seafood!


Rare Check

Rare:

Lightly touch the tip of your index finger with the the tip of your thumb. Now lightly press the fleshy area below the thumb. It should be soft and should give quite a bit. This is what meat cooked to rare feels like.




Medium Rare Check

Medium Rare:

Lightly touch the tip of your middle finger with the the tip of your thumb. Again, lightly press the fleshy area below the thumb. It will be less soft than the "rare check". This is what a steak cooked to medium rare feels like.




Medium Well Check

Medium Well:

Lightly touch the tip of your ring finger with the the tip of your thumb. The fleshy area below the thumb should be a getting stiffer. This is what a steak cooked to medium well feels like.




Well Done Check

Well Done:

Lightly touch the tip of your pinky finger with the the tip of your thumb. The fleshy area under the thumb will the stiffest of all. This is what a steak cooked to well done feels like.





There you have it, the best way to check for meat doneness without using a meat thermometer. One last thing, don't worry about burning your fingers. You don't need to keep your finger on the meat for more than a few seconds (usually 2 to 3), so getting a nice blister to go along with your grilled meats is something you won't have to worry about.

Enjoy this tip!!!

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