How do you like your steak cooked? There is only one
right way to interpret the doneness you like---cut the steak in
half and check it. That's not practical for a chef to do when
cooking in a restaurant. Steaks may vary in thickness and
size, and the grill may vary in temperature. Also the
temperature of the meat in the refrigerator may vary by a few
degrees. All of these factors contribute to how much time the
steak spends on the grill and the end result. An
experienced chef, after years of practice, can tell the doneness
just by feeling the firmness of the steak, rare being soft and
spongy and well done being very firm.
The only sure way of determining the doneness is to test the
internal temperature with an instant read thermometer inserted
precisely into the center of the meat at a 45 degree angle to
the flat surface. This will ensure a correct reading of the
internal temperature. Don't worry about losing any juices---it's
only one small hole you're making. The pictures below represent
what each doneness means to a chef.
Black and Blue---
Internal Temp. 70 F
Seared black on outside, ice cold raw center and will
be slippery soft in texture.
Internal Temp. 100 F
Hot on the outside, raw on the inside and will be sort of wobbly.
Internal Temp. 120 F
Red cool to warm center and will be soft and spongy.
Internal Temp. 126 F
Red warm center and will have a springy firmness.
Internal Temp. 135 F
Hot pink center and will have a less springy firmness than medium rare.
Medium Well--- Internal
Temp. 145 F
Slight color, cooked throughout and will feel firm.
Well Done--- Internal Temp. 160 F
No color Left and will feel very firm and unyielding.
Resource List: Information was gathered from these sources