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Old 11-20-2003, 08:40 AM   #1
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Doneness through touch...

I've read a number of times now that one can determine the doneness of a sauteing meat by giving it a poke with the knuckle or a fork. Based upon how quickly the flesh bounces back (or doesn't), and the toughness, it's possible to differentiate between rare, medium-rare, etc.

So they say. I've attempted to do this on a number of occasions with no luck. I've recognized that bones, the cut, and how well thawed the meat is tends to complicate the process.

Does anyone actually do this on a routine basis, and if so, how accurate do you tend to be? Any tips would be appreciated.


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Old 11-20-2003, 08:52 AM   #2
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Hi loOll - I used to test meat by poking with my index finger but I was cooking full time and it's just something that you get used to. But mostly I cooked meat for the appropriate amount of time just because I had been doing it for so long day in and day out. I would imagine that timing the meat according to the thickness would be the most accurate.

I'm sure ironchef can add to this. And I would never poke the meet with the tines of the fork - but I think you were referring to using the bottom of the fork versus poking.


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Old 11-20-2003, 09:10 AM   #3
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I use my index finger to tell the doneness when i'm grilling. It's something that I'd heard worked, but it took me about 40 or 50 times before i really got it down. Now i can even push on the meat with my tongs and tell. It really does just take a lot of practice, but it keeps getting easier...

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Old 11-20-2003, 12:15 PM   #4
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hmm...well there's no realy scientific way of doing it, like everyone else has said, it's all about practice. like for myself, i don't even poke the meat, i kind of just have a mental clock that tells me when to turn it, or take it off the grill or whatever. the best sure fire way though, is to use a timer, or just use your watch and be aware of how long the meat has been cooking per side.
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Old 11-20-2003, 01:31 PM   #5
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Yoou folks are all correct, but I notice all overlooked a major factor: the temperature at which the cooking is taking place. Timing is very accurate if one takes into account the type of meat, the thickness, the initial temperature (frozen or room temp?) AND the cooking temp; Obviously using high heat compared to medium is going to affect the time.
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Old 12-08-2003, 03:54 PM   #6
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Hold your left hand as though making a fist. Relax it completely. Now with your right hand press the area between your thumb and forefinger.

That's medium rare

Flex it slightly and you have medium

I hope that helps
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Old 09-26-2004, 02:12 PM   #7
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I use the poke test, but I am not very accurate with it. I find that I tend to overcook food a little if I do that. I am getting better at it though. The last time I tried I got it right. I think it just takes practice.
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Old 09-26-2004, 02:16 PM   #8
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I do what Abaco does. Results are pretty consistent. Hands: the best tools for most things!

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