How to Tell When Your Steak is Done Plus a Recipe for One

Being able to tell when your steak is cooked to the exact doneness you desire is relatively easy.  You will need an instant-read thermometer, if you don’t have one don’t worry as we have plenty in stock in our store. You will need to place the probe into the thickest part of the meat. This next part is important; once the internal temperature of your steak is roughly 5 to 10 degrees below what you want it to cook to, immediately take the steak off of the grill. The reason for doing this is that thicker cuts of steak will retain a lot of the heat from the grill even while sitting at room temperature and will therefore continue to cook even once off the grill.

When it comes to temperature and the definition of what category your steak fits into (examples: rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, well done) there are two guides to go by. The first is the USDA, which recommends cooking red meat to 145°F and ground red meat to 160°F. Then you have chefs, which almost unanimously believe medium rare is an internal temperature of 130°F. Ultimately the decision depends upon you as to which guide you’ll use.

Here is a chart to show how to determine the doneness of your steak using temperature alone:


Checking the doneness of steaks with an instant-read thermometer can be a little tricky. The reason for this is in order to get an accurate temperature gauge you’ll need to insert the thermometer and get the sensor directly in the middle of the steak. If you go too far or not far enough into the steak you will get an inaccurate reading. Another thing to consider is that your batteries on your instant-read thermometer could run out. For both these reasons we recommend learning the “touch test”. A completely raw steak is approximately as soft as the fleshy part of your thumb when it is relaxed. As your steak cooks it gets tougher and tougher. If you were to press your index finger and thumb together at its fleshy part, that’s a raw steak. If you push your middle finger to your thumbs fleshy part, the firmness of your thumb is very close to how a medium rare steak would feel. 

If after all these techniques of determining the doneness of your steak you are still concerned about the doneness of your steak, take the steak off the grill and make a small incision into the middle of the steak and look at the color of the steak’s interior. This method is great for seeing whether or not your “touch test” was accurate also. Now that we have covered how to ensure your steak is cooked to the doneness you desire, we are going to offer one of our favorite recipes we learned from Weber. This recipe is perfect for thick cut steaks and one we have enjoyed numerous times.

The name of the recipe is Bistecca alla Fiorentina. According to Weber, “This steak dish hails from the culinary epicenter of Tuscany…” It is a true piece of culinary art. Here are the directions for your perfect thick cut steak:

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Method of Grilling: Direct and indirect medium heat (350° to 450°F)

Grilling Time: 25 to 27 minutes

Ingredients:       1  porterhouse steak, about 2 ½ pounds and 2 ¼ inches thick

                            Gray or coarse sea salt

                            Freshly Ground black pepper

                            2  lemons

                            Extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Let the steak rest at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling.
  2. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat.
  3. Liberally season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub the seasoning into the meat.
  4. Grill the steak over direct medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the steak 45 degrees about every 3 minutes to create a nice crust, turning once. Move the steak over indirect medium heat and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 125° for rare, about 15 minutes, rotating the steak as needed for even cooking. Let the steak rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
  5. To carve the steak, cut the filet side first as close to the bone as possible. Repeat the procedure for the strip steak. Slice each piece crosswise into ½-inch slices, keeping the slices intact. Transfer to a serving platter and reassemble the steak with the bone. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over the slices and serve with fresh lemon.

This recipe was provided by our friends at Weber and all credit goes to them for this wonderful recipe.

This is one of many of our favorite ways to prepare a thick cut steak. In our next article we will cover the basics of properly grilling an exquisite burger, and in the coming weeks we will be listing some more of our favorite steak and burger recipes. Stay tuned for more info and view our Knowledge Center for all the info you could possibly need when it comes to grilling and the equipment required to do so. If you ever want to get in contact with us, give us a call at +966 13 845 6798.