How to Cook the Perfect Steak
Some cooks rely on the famous but contestable touch test: A rare steak is supposed to feel like the fleshy triangle of skin between the thumb and index finger of a relaxed hand; that same spot on a fist matches the firmness of a medium steak; if you want it well done, compare it to the feel of the tip of your nose. Use this method if you wish, but an easier option would be an instant-read thermometer—or else making a slit along the bone (or in the center of a boneless steak) and judging the color. A very rare steak, which has a bluish tinge, is done at 120°; one that is rare, about 140°; medium rare, which is brown near the surface, 145°; medium, 160°, and well, which is completely brown, 170°. Two things to remember: Thicker steaks keep cooking after they're removed from the heat; and practice makes perfect.