How to Tell if Your Steak Is Medium Well?

A common challenge for beginner cooks is determining the doneness of a steak. If your steak always comes out too rare or overcooked, there’s a simple trick that can help you cook perfect steaks every time.

Rather than cutting into the steak to check doneness, which can release moisture and juices, compare the firmness of the steak to the fleshy party of your palm just below your thumb. Here’s how it works.

Touch your index finger and thumb together to make an “OK” sign. Press on the fleshy part of your palm just below your hand with your index finger. This softness is similar to how a rare steak feels. As you touch other fingers to your thumb, you can feel how steak feels as it cooks. The fleshy part of your palm when touching your middle finger feels like medium-rare. Your ring finger produces the same firmness as medium, which should feel firm to the touch with some give. Touching your pinky finger produces the sensation of a well-done steak.

Medium-well is the most common request for people who don’t like any pink in their meat. It should feel similar to medium with more firmness and just a little give in the middle. When the steak reaches the firmness of the fleshy palm of your hand while your thumb is touching your ring finger, remove the steak from the heat and it will continue cooking just a bit to reach medium-well.

As you cook, occasionally press on the center of the steak to check the firmness and compare it with this simple finger test.