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Old 09-19-2008, 06:09 PM   #1
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Testing for "done-ness?"

Hello everybody! I'm a new member. My name is Sam and I'm 15. :)

Well, I have a not-so-great diet that really only consists of meat and bread. I believe the last time I have had something other than meat or bread was a potato maybe two months ago. It seems like I can always get whatever I'm cooking on medium.

I have started to cook more for other people as well. Really being the family and friends. Alot of them want whatever I'm cooking in something other than medium.

My question is, without a meat thermometer, how can I test the level of doneness? My mom was talking about this a while back but she could not remember what it was at the time. She was saying it was something about your palm. If it feels like some area of your palm, it is this level of doneness. If anybody knows this, I would love to know what it is. A picture/diagram would help. :)

Well, let me know how you can test level of doneness without a thermometer.

Thanks!

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Old 09-19-2008, 07:46 PM   #2
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Hi Sam

If you're talking about steak/fillets cooked in the skillet (we call it a fry pan here in Australia), then the rule is to cook it on medium/high temperature for 3 minutes one side, turn it once and cook 3 minutes on the other side. Remove it and let it rest for med/rare, or if you want it more done you turn the heat down and return it to the pan for 1 minute more each side for medium and I think it's 2 minutes more each side for well done. I find it too tough if it's more than medium rare, that's why I'm a bit foggy on exactly how much longer to leave it for well done.

I never use a thermometer when cooking like the above, but if I stick to the 3 minutes each side I always get it right. If the meat was particularly thick it could possibly take longer, but I've never cooked a really thick piece so I don't know.
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:48 PM   #3
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hey sam, welcome
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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Hey Moondog.
I know what you're talking about, just don't remember it exactly. Something about pressing a finger into your palm and the way it springs back is the way your meat should spring back when you press on it. Closer to the the base of your thumb is the way rare meat should react? While more towards your actual palm means it is more well done if that is how it springs back?
Someone will know.
Or there's probably a youtube vid on it (lol).
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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Tried and true, NEVER fails:

Preheat your oven to 425 (Note: Not all ovens are accurate - get a good oven thermometer and calibrate your oven before using this hint. To calibrate, remove the temp knob. On the back of it is a screw and a movable metal pointer of some sort. If the oven is too low, move the pointer to the "+" side, opposite for too high. Try the temperature again, and repeat until it is right.)

Now then - - based on a thick steak, 1 1/2" - 2" - in a heavy, oven proof pan over medium high heat, sear the steak(s) in light film of oil for five minutes. Turn the meat and place the pan in the oven. Roast as follows:
Rare 5 minutes
Medium-Rare 7 minutes
Medium 9 minutes
Medium-Well 11 minutes

Remove the pan from the oven and let the meat REST for 5 minutes before serving. Don't forget to turn on the vent fan first! The Palm of Your Hand method is a very rough way of estimating doneness and to some extent depends on how muscular your hand is. I wouldn't recommend it.

Oh! And welcome to the group.
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:10 PM   #6
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The palm method is:
first finger to the base of the thumb is what Rare feels like
second finger for medium rare
ring finger for medium

Remember, it's the finger and base of thumb on the same hand, Not one hand feeling the other.
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave the baker View Post
The palm method is:
first finger to the base of the thumb is what Rare feels like
second finger for medium rare
ring finger for medium

Remember, it's the finger and base of thumb on the same hand, Not one hand feeling the other.
Ahhh, I didn't know that, but I did know somebody here would know
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:11 AM   #8
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sparkly77 - If you're "down under", nows the time to get outside and light up the barby!!
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave the baker View Post
The palm method is:
first finger to the base of the thumb is what Rare feels like
second finger for medium rare
ring finger for medium

Remember, it's the finger and base of thumb on the same hand, Not one hand feeling the other.
I came in here to say this, Thanks Dave!
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:01 AM   #10
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Now that just didn't make sense to me!

My test is one hand making a fist - other hand with "Pointer finger" pressing on the top of the web between thumb and pointer finger

fist hand loose - feel between thumb and first finger - rare
slight tightening medium rare
strong fist - done
anything further ruined
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