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Many hours spent and many pages are created trying to define the cooking time for meat, and steak especially. We all want to learn how to make that perfect steak. The truth is that nearly everybody who cooks a mean steak had to learn this by just doing it – practice makes perfect. There are many different aspects that influence cooking times, like the size, the cooking method and the cut of meat. The only common factor is the temperature.
The temperature of your steak gives the best indication of the color and juiciness when cooked. The graduations of cooking are mostly used in reference to beef but you can use these figures also with lamb, pork and poultry.
Judge your steak by touch
Many people I come across say that they simply feel it when there steak is perfect. To judge if your meat is cooked by touch is something I strongly advise against. This is only for the very experienced cooks. Every cut is different and will feel different when cooked. Do yourself a favor and get a meat thermometer
Naturally there is a lot of difference in gradations and their description vary regionally from cuisine to cuisine The first table below comes from the reference book ‘Field Guide to Meat’ and pertains to beef and lamb.
The second table comes from the meat specialists at Omaha Steaks. As you can see there are only small differences. Really the temperature is the best guide for obtaining a good result.
TIP > Learn all there is to know about cooking thermometers on the special page ‘How to use a meat thermometer‘