Cooking Perfect Steaks…My OK Method

How to Test Your Steak Is Cooked To Your Likeness..

Everyone has their own cooked steak preference. But if you are the cook, how do you keep everybody happy. “I like mine well done, I like mine medium to well, I want mine rare etc etc etc” If you want to be precise then you can use an instant read thermometer to take the core temperature or cut into the steak to see how things are coming along, but this will let out juices and moisture that we’d rather keep. Taking the core temperature is easy with a thick steak, but with a thin cut of meat, it’s difficult to get an accurate temperature read. Here’s a little trick I use that is easy and you can get your guests to decide their choice. That way you put the responsibility back on them.

I call it my “OK” method.

Touch your thumb and your index finger and make the “OK” sign. Press down on the fleshy part of your palm right below the thumb with your other hand. Feel how soft and malleable that is? That’s the way rare steak feels when you press it with your tongs or fork!

Now touch your other fingers to your thumb, one at a time. As you move from your index finger to your pinky, the pad of your thumb will get progressively firmer and resistant. This feels similar to steak as it cooks, moving from rare (index finger) to medium-rare (middle finger) to medium (ring finger) to well-done (pinky).

As your steak is cooking, occasionally press its centre and then compare it against this finger test, taking the steak off the heat as soon as it feels as done as you like it. Try it for yourself and if you don’t want to share the trick with your guests you show that you are a pro-cook when it comes to steaks!

If you still would like cooking temperatures for done-ness see below chart as a guide. Buy yourself a good quality Thermometer though.

Cooking Temp Done-ness Chart…

Beef and Lamb


 125-130°F Rare



Medium Rare






Medium Well



Well Done


74°C 165°F


Pork and Veal



Medium rare






Well Done


steak-cooked-donenessWhen using a thermometer, insert into the thickest part of the meat making sure it is not touching bone or fat. Wait 10-15 seconds for a reading. Note, best to remove meat 3-5 degrees before reaching cooking temperature as the meat will continue cooking when removed from heat.


Hope the OK method will help you with your next steak cooking venture. Surprise your friends at how well you can judge a steak cooked specially for them.

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