Just how well-done a steak must be cooked is a very individual thing. A simple pressure test by hand provides assistance.
Cooking levels test
If you lightly press the meat with your finger and compare it with the ball of your thumb, you can easily determine how well-done it is.
How a steak should be prepared, whether rare, well-done or something in between, is a matter of taste. Finding out the perfect cooking level is really rather easy: all that you need is your hand.
Press the index finger of one hand on the ball of the thumb of the other and then in the middle of the steak. Depending on how well-done you prefer the meat to be, touch the tip of the thumb and index, middle, ring or little finger together to more or less tense the ball of the thumb.
This cooking level is reached after around two minutes of frying.
Place your thumb and index finger together to form a circle and press the ball of the hand with the index finger of your other hand. This represents the cooking level “bleu”, meaning that the meat is still very bloody in the middle.
This cooking level is reached after three to four minutes of frying.
If you feel a bit more resistance when the thumb and middle finger are placed together, then the cooking level “saignant” has been reached. This means that the meat is slightly bloody in the middle.
This cooking level is reached after five to six minutes of frying.
The tension felt when you place your thumb and ring finger together represents the cooking level “à point”, meaning that the meat is pink in the middle. This cooking level is preferred by most meat lovers.
This cooking level is reached after around eight minutes of frying.
If you place your thumb and little finger together, then you can feel how the meat feels at the “bien cuit” cooking level. The meat has been cooked through.