Testing Steak Doneness On Your Food Truck

When a food truck serves steak they have entered a business that sells meat products that are produced for each customer they way the customer wants it. The doneness of a steak that customers ask for varies from order to order. While there are those who prefer their steak served medium-rare…there are those that prefer their steak to be cooked well done.

steak doneness chart

So how do you prepare these orders as quickly as possible but at the same time in a way that will please the customer and keep them from returning the product because it was either under or over cooked? How do you test steak doneness without cutting into the meat?

3 Common Ways To Check Steak Doneness

Steak Doneness Test by Temperature

This is the scientific and most accurate approach. Poke an instant-read digital thermometer into the center of the steak (or the thickest part) and take a reading. Based on the internal temperature, you can tell when the steak is done to your customer’s  liking:

  • Blue rare – 120°F
  • Rare – 125°F
  • Medium-rare – 130°F to 135°F
  • Medium – 140°F to 145°F
  • Medium-well – 150°F to 155°F
  • Well-done – 160°F

Carryover cooking must be considered when using this method. Keep in mind that just because you take a steak off the grill doesn’t mean it’s through cooking. The heat built up in the steak will continue to cook the meat until it begins to cool off, adding up to an additional 5° or 10°F of doneness.

Steak Doneness Test by Touch

Use the following list as a guide, but experience is the best teacher. As you test the temperature with your thermometer, give the steak a poke and note its firmness. This will help you develop a feel for doneness and you can eventually put the thermometer away.

  • Blue rare – feels soft and squishy.
  • Rare – feels soft to the touch.
  • Medium-rare – yields gently to the touch.
  • Medium – yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up.
  • Medium-well – firm to the touch.
  • Well-done – hard to the touch.

Finger and Hand Steak Doneness Test

  • Rare – Take your thumb and touch your index finger. Then feel the fleshy part of your palm below the thumb.
  • Medium-rare – Take your thumb and touch your middle finger. Then feel the fleshy part of your palm below the thumb
  • Medium – Take your thumb and touch your ring finger. Then feel the fleshy part of your palm below the thumb.
  • Well done – Take your thumb and touch your pinky. Then feel the fleshy part of your palm below the thumb.

steak doneness hand test


Do you have any other steak doneness testing tips? Feel free to share your tips. Facebook | Twitter

2017-03-31T08:41:42+00:00 By |Culinary Lessons|

About the Author:

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.

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