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Steak myths (or not?) from Serious Eats

mcf Jun 13, 2013 06:13 AM


  1. s
    sparky403 Sep 29, 2013 01:56 AM

    The last couple of times I've grilled Steaks - I've warmed them up on indirect heat as the article suggests... Prior to searing the meat...

    It works extremely well to dry out the meat a bit and bring it to a uniform temp. (I use wet marinade - mustard and worchestershire sauce).

    I was skeptical of much of it... but I've changed my thinking.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sparky403
      Puffin3 Sep 29, 2013 03:37 AM

      IMO there is no better way to cook a steak. then how Heston does it. I've been cooking steaks the way he describes in the video and the results are wonderful.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-9NgO...

    2. free sample addict aka Tracy L Sep 28, 2013 03:41 PM

      I am not sure about this information. I cook a steak perfect to my tastes and most of my guests tastes everytime. I think if you can't cook a steak decently then you might want to consider trying some the changes the article mentions, but I doubt I'll change much of what I do. BTW the touch test is what I use, but have found it is sometimes unreliable.

      1. p
        plasticanimal Sep 28, 2013 06:58 AM

        My only gripe with this article is it should be titled "7 Old HUSBANDS' Tales About Cooking Steak" :^)

        All of these myths have been spouted to me by dudes over the years (although my wife has been a proponent of the "bone adds flavour" theory).

        1. RetiredChef Sep 28, 2013 03:09 AM

          I disagree with #1 vehemently as does many, many top chefs throughout the world and most people who try it. Take your steaks, chicken, pork, etc out 1 hour before you grill it. Besides look at how many CHers have tried this and sing it's praises. Just FYI Thomas Keller says this is probably the most important thing a home cook can do when cooking steaks.

          #2 I've heard this from home kitchen cooks not professionals, we sear to brown (flavor) the outside (maillard reaction). Incidentally when cooking in commercial slow-cookers the meat will brown at low temperatures over time so we don't sear then. Searing is done only when needed.

          #3 and #4 Call me silly but I have never heard of those before.

          #5 No comment, I either marinade before hand or I season after but I season right at service time to have that small crunch of salt flakes that I like. This is a personal preference.

          #6 You really don't want to pierce any meet item when you cook it. Some juices will escape and it simply doesn't look professional to serve a cut open or pierced piece of protein.

          #7 One of the restaurants I owned was a steakhouse that specialized in wood grilling of steaks. If you know what you are doing then the poke test works just fine. I can poke fish, chicken and meat and tell you within a very close degree of accuracy it's doneness. Just because the author doesn't have the skill to do it doesn't mean it's a myth. I know professional bakers that still mix dough without weighing the liquid, it's all done by feel and look, same thing cooking steaks.
          The real key to understanding the touch method is to know how each cut feels as it cooks, flank steaks at MR feel very differently than tenderloins are MR. Also a well marbled choice NY will feel differently than a select NY but these are all things that you can learn.

          3 Replies
          1. re: RetiredChef
            Tom34 Sep 28, 2013 02:25 PM

            Thank You!!!!!!!

            1. re: RetiredChef
              linguafood Sep 28, 2013 02:56 PM

              All he's saying with regard to #1 is that 1 hour is generally not enough to bring your steak to room temp, depending on thickness. I often take my meat out up to 2 hours early and salt it well (if it hasn't already dry-brined in the fridge).

              1. re: linguafood
                Tom34 Sep 29, 2013 12:20 AM

                I always bring my steak out of the fridge at least an hour prior to cooking and the surface temp definitely rises.

                I am totally guessing and maybe Retired Chef can put some professional thought to it but I have found that one of the most common mistakes back yard cooks make is they overcook & dry out the outer 1/4 inch or so.

                I know many things can cause this but I wonder if the muscle fiber reacts differently to extreme searing heat when its closer to room temp (vs) at or near freezing.

                I would also think that heat can not reach the inside until the outside temp rises. The longer the outside takes to heat up in order to allow heat to pass to the inside, the more the outside would dry out.

            2. tim irvine Sep 28, 2013 02:49 AM

              The idea of poking a piece of meat and comparing it with your hand always seemed silly to me. Compare meat with meat. My first day cooking steaks in a restaurant another cook said, pointing to some steaks and touching them, "see, this one feels rare, this one feels medium rare, and this one feels medium. If it's well it will just feel very firm."

              Another observation is that a lot of this lore assumes, more or less, a common high end cut like a ribeye or a NY strip. It seems to me the cuts I use a lot like skirt, hanger, and flatiron, cook differently than rib eyes and strips. They seem to cook more slowly and are much less forgiving of anything beyond rare.

              1. x
                Xine Sep 28, 2013 02:02 AM

                I'm sure the longer salting, on a rack in the fridge yields even better results, but I often don't plan that far in advance what I'm eating. I have found that taking the steak out and salting, and letting rest on a rack on my counter while I get everything else ready -- about an hour -- is an improvement over straight from the fridge. A compromise for eating dinner at a reasonable hour, that is still tasty.

                1. HillJ Sep 6, 2013 09:49 AM

                  One of the best tips on the SE link is the Thermapen. It's pricey but so worth the money and if you follow the link directly here and recruit a few of your meat loving pals, you can save yourself a bit of your hard-earned green by buying a brown Thermapen:

                  1. fldhkybnva Jun 25, 2013 10:56 AM

                    Any opinions on the bone-in vs boneless issue?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      JoanN Jun 25, 2013 11:12 AM

                      I'm in total agreement with this part of it: " I personally find the tiny bits of connective tissue-rich meat, fat, and gristle stuck to the bone to be the tastiest part of the steak (and if you don't want your bone, pass it on over, I'll gnaw on it)." I'll give you the meat from my steak if I can have the bone from yours.

                      1. re: JoanN
                        fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 05:46 AM

                        I'll have my bone, but my mother will gladly give it away.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                          JoanN Jun 26, 2013 07:38 AM

                          I have friends like your mom and I always try to steer them to the best steakhouse in town. I have no shame when it comes to asking to take home steak bones. Mine, or anyone else's.

                          1. re: JoanN
                            fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 07:42 AM

                            I never thought to doggie bag the bones, great idea!

                    2. scubadoo97 Jun 15, 2013 01:46 AM

                      I know the science suggests that piercing the meat does not lead it to bleed out but I still cringe when poking my thermapen into a steak to check it's temperature and see a trickle of juice run out of the hole

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: scubadoo97
                        c oliver Jun 15, 2013 04:21 AM

                        Operative word being "trickle."

                        1. re: c oliver
                          mcf Jun 15, 2013 05:26 AM

                          It's not as if there aren't juices left behind on the plate or cutting board, either, and you still get a very juicy mouthful of steak if you've cooked it right.

                        2. re: scubadoo97
                          DWB Jun 17, 2013 12:40 AM

                          I could not agree any more! I hate to lose even one drop of that precious delicious juice!! But I am still gonna use my Thermapen.

                        3. d
                          DWB Jun 14, 2013 11:07 AM

                          Kenji is an absolute Kitchen Ninja Rock Star. That said, I don't always agree with his conclusions or methodology, but I wish I had half of his drive to actually perform the science!

                          Instead, I blurt out my own theories on these here internets while trying to learn something, without sounding too stupid.

                          1. g
                            gfr1111 Jun 14, 2013 01:14 AM

                            I've always been irritated when someone presents someone else with scientific evidence and the second person responds with anecdotal evidence to refute the first person. For example, person A says that scientific tests have shown that wearing a seatbelt in a crash results in fewer and less severe injuries and person B replies, "Well, my uncle was in a car crash and he didn't wear a seatbelt and his passenger did and my uncle was fine, but the passenger suffered internal injuries from the seatbelt." Sheesh! That may be true, but it is one isolated instance.

                            However, in this case, I'm going to present anecdotal evidence to refute the scientific evidence from the article. I never used to let a steak warm up before I cooked it. Then, the Food Network chefs started recommending doing that and I followed their advice. I let my steaks rest an hour at room temperature before cooking. It has revolutionized my steak cooking. My steaks are so much more evenly cooked, with a nice, pink center and a nice, charred outside. For me, this advice about letting the steaks warm up before cooking has had a terrific benefit. I can't explain it, but I swear it is true.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: gfr1111
                              Gastronomos Jun 14, 2013 01:16 AM

                              I like my steaks straight out of the fridge and onto a blazing inferno. Charred Black outside, still cold inside.

                              1. re: Gastronomos
                                James Cristinian Jun 14, 2013 11:45 AM

                                You've got a steak that works for you, I've got one that works for me, sounds like we don't need serious eats.

                                1. re: James Cristinian
                                  Gastronomos Jun 14, 2013 12:05 PM

                                  that's about right!

                            2. e
                              Edward Tyson Jun 13, 2013 10:30 AM

                              I salt my steaks 8 to 24 hours in advance. I use my thermapen when I cook steaks that are 2" think.

                              1. fldhkybnva Jun 13, 2013 10:07 AM

                                What are thoughts on the salting of steaks? Since I read the Food Lab article on salting at least 40 minutes ahead of time I always do this. I have been wanting to do the several hour to overnight salting, leaving uncovered in the fridge but didn't know if it'd have any effect or just be really salty.

                                42 Replies
                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                  mcf Jun 13, 2013 10:13 AM

                                  It's not really salty. Unless you use some absurd amount, I guess, but mine has never been really salty, just seasoned.

                                  1. re: mcf
                                    fldhkybnva Jun 13, 2013 10:18 AM

                                    Do you leave it overnight? I guess I'm always confused as to what liberally means. Starry sky or salt on the sidewalk?

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                      mcf Jun 13, 2013 10:23 AM

                                      I leave it about 2-3 days; I think we discussed this in another thread?

                                      This rub from this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                                      But I don't use plastic wrap and I leave it in a couple of days.

                                      If you're very nervous, you could wrap it for one and let it air dry for one.

                                      1. re: mcf
                                        fldhkybnva Jun 13, 2013 10:28 AM

                                        Sorry, forgive my ever-worsening memory.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                          mcf Jun 13, 2013 10:42 AM

                                          I guarantee, this is probably the first time in a week I've remembered anything!

                                          1. re: mcf
                                            Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 12:00 PM

                                            Sometimes forgetting is a good thing.......so is not giving a sh*t when you do remember :-)

                                        2. re: mcf
                                          fldhkybnva Sep 1, 2013 11:06 AM

                                          I have a lovely 2 lb bone in ribeye on the docket for dinner tomorrow so i think I'll try out this technique with a 24 hour salt uncovered. I want to try this method and will just "risk" it. I am looking forward to it, thanks for your tips.

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                            mcf Sep 5, 2013 05:49 AM

                                            I hope you enjoy it! Don't do what I did the other night; forgot to use a lower, slower grill temp for a gras fed ribeye. It wasn't ruined but it wasn't as buttery tender as it usually is, either.

                                            1. re: mcf
                                              fldhkybnva Sep 5, 2013 06:30 AM

                                              Wow, I have to say that was the best ribeye I have had in a long time. I actually had stopped eating them for a while because they had become big pieces of meat that sort of just tasted like beef and had been eating more flat iron and hanger steaks, but with this method I think I'm back to my old favorite. I only salted for 20 hours or so, but I think longer would definitely be even better. It was very interesting to watch the color and surface of the steak change.

                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                mcf Sep 5, 2013 06:35 AM

                                                Yeah, and the flavor concentration is wonderful, right? RIGHT??? ;-)

                                                It gets so wet on the surface at first, then dries right up. I flip it over on the rack for the second day or half of the time.

                                                Glad you liked it. I've also done a day wrapped, and a day or two unwrapped afterward.

                                                1. re: mcf
                                                  fldhkybnva Sep 5, 2013 06:42 AM

                                                  Yea, when I salt for 2 hours before cooking it never seems to dry up and the surface is still quite moist. I flipped probably 3 times periodically throughout the day.

                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                    fldhkybnva Sep 6, 2013 02:49 AM

                                                    I couldn't resist. I've had a NY strip in the freezer for 2 weeks which I've been avoiding because for some reason I remember thinking they a tough chew, odd I know. I thought I'd try to clean out the freezer and give this guy the salt treatment to see what I think.

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                      mcf Sep 6, 2013 02:51 AM

                                                      I never get all the love folks have for NY strip. Doesn't do it for me, either. Ribeye, ribeye, ribeye! :-)

                                                      Don't forget to report results.

                                                      1. re: mcf
                                                        monavano Sep 6, 2013 02:54 AM

                                                        I don't get strip either.
                                                        btw... we've been enjoying Costco's Prime sirloin. Incredible taste and not all that $$.

                                                        1. re: monavano
                                                          fldhkybnva Sep 6, 2013 03:34 AM

                                                          I actually love sirloin and never find it tough, well it has chew too it but nothing I mind. With the Strip, however, there's something that doesn't appeal but I can't really put my finger on it.

                                                        2. re: mcf
                                                          fldhkybnva Sep 6, 2013 03:35 AM

                                                          It's not my favorite by far but better to try it again then waste it I guess.

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                            mcf Sep 6, 2013 03:54 AM

                                                            If you already have it, definitely! I don't like the texture, and I don't like the flavor or lack of it as compared to ribeye. I can enjoy a good sirloin, though if going lean, I prefer flank.

                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                              fldhkybnva Sep 6, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                              OK, not just me. Even when insanely marbled, it doesn't beat a ribeye in my book though it's such a steakhouse favorite.

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                linguafood Sep 6, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                Not just you. Never understood the strip fascination. It's one of my least favorite cuts. I never buy it.

                                                          2. re: mcf
                                                            Tom34 Sep 6, 2013 05:17 AM

                                                            I found years ago that Supermarket select & low choice grade strips, which often hit the meat cases too soon after slaughter, lack flavor and are chewy. I found the same true for low quality rib steaks where the eye was not only chewy but downright tough. Grade & age are as important as cut to me and I would much prefer a high quality strip over a low quality rib. Given the same quality I would like a fair balance of both.

                                                            1. re: Tom34
                                                              mcf Sep 6, 2013 08:18 AM

                                                              You must know by now that I don't buy supermarket or low grade beef, right? :-)

                                                              1. re: mcf
                                                                Tom34 Sep 6, 2013 09:37 PM

                                                                I know but many people do either by choice or necessity and some cuts like filet are still tender in the lower grades but other cuts like strips are usually not. I have served high quality dry aged strips cooked M/R to people who were not crazy about strips and they raved about them.

                                                                I love a good rib steak but they don't always like me. When I crave that extra fatty rich flavor of a rib I often smoke beef ribs in the BGE and limit 2 ribs per meal and even then have a good bit of bread with it.

                                                                1. re: Tom34
                                                                  fldhkybnva Sep 7, 2013 02:20 AM

                                                                  I usually buy choice ribeye which is great, do you think it is OK for that cut and that the tenderness related to lower grade is somewhat particular for strip/

                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                    Tom34 Sep 7, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                    I think select & low choice grade fillets are still tender but very lacking in flavor. I have had mixed results with the same quality ribs where the cap meat & the meat running right along the bone is usually always juicy, tender & flavorful but the eye chewy and bland. My experience with strips of the same quality has been chewy & bland. Like the filet, I think strips need lots of marbling for flavor and definitely a min 3 weeks age to tenderize, neither of which I have found to be prevalent in select or low choice.

                                                                    IMHO, the extra 20% cost for the branded products like CAB, Sterling Silver & Chairman's Reserve that grade high choice or better is well worth it, especially when buying whole sub primals like I do as 15 lbs of sub par steaks makes for a lot of not so good meals.

                                                            2. re: mcf
                                                              Gastronomos Sep 6, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                              dad always brought ribeye home for the grill or broiler. I cant bring my love for another, ribeye is my my one and only since I was very young...

                                                            3. re: fldhkybnva
                                                              fldhkybnva Sep 6, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                              Hmm, I guess SO didn't get the memo about updating the freezer stock list. My tentative chewy strip steak apparently has already been consumed by a hungry man some weeks ago. I guess I know have free reign to try out the salt technique on some other of beef I acquire tomorrow. Btw, just a question which I've probably already asked and forgot the answer to, how much salt do you find it most effective? I think last week I used 1/2 tsp per lb.

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                mcf Sep 6, 2013 11:14 PM

                                                                I never measure, but I do salt pretty generously, with pinches of kosher salt. If you liked your results last time, go with that, I think.

                                                    2. re: mcf
                                                      fldhkybnva Sep 22, 2013 01:09 AM

                                                      mcf, thanks for all of the tips about the salting technique. I currently have a steak that's been in the fridge for 36 hours or so and the edges are now quite hard. Do you have to contend with hardened dried fat that should be trimmed or did I do something wrong?

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                        mcf Sep 22, 2013 01:26 AM

                                                        In my experience, it crisps up really well, due to absence of water content. Only time it got excessive char was when I forgot to lower the temp enough for cooking on indirect after searing. Really tasty fat, IME. Report back!

                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                          fldhkybnva Sep 23, 2013 03:24 AM

                                                          Wow! Again, a fantastic result. This time I salted a Hanger steak. I was somewhat afraid that it was too small to salt and leave uncovered for that long but it worked great. The seared crust on this steak was incredible.

                                                          I think I'll be doing this most of the time for steak from here on out though should I worry with smaller cuts. For example, I imagine it'd really improve a sirloin but usually I have them cut 12 oz or so at 1/2-3/4 inch thick but I'd love to get these results.

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                            mcf Sep 23, 2013 07:55 AM

                                                            I haven't yet done a thin steak uncovered, so can't say. Maybe wrapped a day, uncovered overnight or for day time only? Your steak looks amazing!

                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                              fldhkybnva Sep 24, 2013 12:38 AM

                                                              Thanks, I'm loving this. The crust is often the best part of the steak and no matter what anyone says, to me the salting is definitely making a difference, placebo or not.

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                mcf Sep 24, 2013 01:03 AM

                                                                Placebo???? Imagined flavor and enjoyment? :-) There is no placebo effect, the way folks use the term a meta study found, anyway.

                                                              2. re: mcf
                                                                fldhkybnva Sep 28, 2013 04:03 AM

                                                                It worked like a charm as usual! I salted a pretty thin sirloin 1/2 inch, maybe eeking towards 3/4, for 18 hours and it was great. I thought I'd report back in case anyone wanted to try it with thinner cuts. I probably wouldn't go longer though for something thin like that.

                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                    nystreetguru Jul 9, 2013 11:07 AM

                                                    I salt just a minute or two before I start cooking. How is the salt getting into the steak as it is defrosting? Its not! Its not a marinade people, its SALT.

                                                    1. re: nystreetguru
                                                      c oliver Jul 9, 2013 11:17 AM

                                                      Not exactly. There are MANY dry marinades that have salt as the main ingredient. Check out the Zuni chicken for example.

                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        fldhkybnva Jul 9, 2013 11:22 AM

                                                        Count me as a Zuni chicken fan, it's a favorite way to make roasted chicken in our house and it for sure produces a juicy bird with crispy delicious skin.

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                          c oliver Jul 9, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                          I know you know :) We walked you through that first one and a darn fine walk it's been, eh?

                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                            fldhkybnva Jul 9, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                            Indeed, I just thought I'd reiterate for anyone pondering the Zuni or the effect of salt on meat left uncovered in the fridge for a few days :) As the Monkees say, "I'm a believer."

                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                              c oliver Jul 9, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                              Oh, I know. Like the rest of us, you became a believe quickly :)

                                                              And to nystreetguru, salt IS a marinade.

                                                      2. re: nystreetguru
                                                        fldhkybnva Jul 9, 2013 11:17 AM

                                                        The meat is not frozen, it's thawed meat left in the fridge uncovered, thus it can penetrate the meat. I was under the impression that most marinades actually include a good bit of salt a it not only brings flavor but helps to loosen up the cell structure to allow other flavor components to penetrate, or what he said http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/ru....

                                                        If you refer to the article by Kenji there is a video which explains the salting in advance technique.

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                          nystreetguru Jul 9, 2013 11:31 AM

                                                          Ahh ok. I have always salted my steaks as they were in the fridge, but just tonight I made the best steak I ever have eaten, and salted it last minute.

                                                    2. Karl S Jun 13, 2013 07:39 AM

                                                      Well, it doesn't mention another sign used by experienced cooks (but its usefulness depends on the thickness of the steak - it doesn't work as well at the extremes) - when you start to see juice on the top of the uncooked side, it's a sign to test. (This can also work well for hamburgers, as well as pork/lamb steaks and chops.)

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                        Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 07:53 AM

                                                        Sign to test or time to flip?

                                                        1. re: Tom34
                                                          Karl S Jun 13, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                          Well, often the time to flip, but at times I do the touch test if the thickness is not "normal".

                                                        2. re: Karl S
                                                          mcf Jun 13, 2013 08:03 AM

                                                          With steak???? Nope. I sear both sides with time as a guide. Only use juices on the surface to time a burger flip.

                                                        3. monavano Jun 13, 2013 02:18 AM

                                                          The hand-touch method is a starting point. It gives you a place to start to gage your doneness. It takes practice and when you're just cooking at home, what's to lose?
                                                          I've overcooked steaks and you know what? I still eat it. Well, to be fair, probably more my dogs eat it! But, over time, I've gotten better at it and I use the touch test as well as time to get my steaks med. rare.
                                                          I use a thermapen for rib roasts in the oven, but never with steaks on the stove top or grill.

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: monavano
                                                            c oliver Jun 13, 2013 02:32 AM

                                                            Why not use a thermometer for steaks? I've started using it for burgers.

                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                              biggreenmatt Jun 13, 2013 02:53 AM

                                                              Probably a bad idea to pierce a beautiful piece of meat and let all the juices run out.

                                                              1. re: biggreenmatt
                                                                foreverhungry Jun 13, 2013 03:24 AM

                                                                I'll take losing 1 ml of juice to guarantee the steaks are cooked to the appropriate doneness.

                                                                1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                  c oliver Jun 13, 2013 03:39 AM

                                                                  If even a ml. "...all the juices run out." ??? And it's not like cutting into it with a knife. The probe pretty much 'self-seals.' monavano admits to overcooking steaks using that method. We've never overcooked any meat when using the internal temp as our guide/god. And the only way time comes into the equation is when we've done one particular cut/size of meat enough times that we have a range. Check on the low end of the range. Easy peasy.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                    monavano Jun 13, 2013 04:21 AM

                                                                    Been a while since I overcooked, and DH and I just go with the flow. Eh, not great, but it's a flank steak from Costo. A piece of prime? Oh no! The thermometer is coming out!

                                                                2. re: biggreenmatt
                                                                  VitalForce Jun 13, 2013 05:14 AM

                                                                  But according the Kenji, piercing the meat doesn't let all the juices out. That's one of the myths. I agree with his thermometer suggestion. Unless a person is standing at the grill 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, and testing a dozen different cuts of meat on a regular basis, it's likely that mistakes will be made using the touch method.

                                                                  1. re: biggreenmatt
                                                                    mcf Jun 13, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                    They don't run out. It's not a water balloon.

                                                                  2. re: c oliver
                                                                    monavano Jun 13, 2013 04:19 AM

                                                                    Don't need to. Most of the time, I'm spot on. Not to brag!! I don't have anything against my thermapen. Love the thing!

                                                                3. Atomic76 Jun 13, 2013 01:18 AM

                                                                  The hand test works if you are showing someone in person and you know how firm to make your fist. It's not very useful when someone is explaining it on TV, or online or in a book though obviously.

                                                                  With regards to the flip only once thing, it's definitely more of an aesthetic thing for me. I don't want to see grill marks zig zagging all over the place, and I prefer there to be some variance in the doneness of the meat.

                                                                  1. Googs Jun 13, 2013 01:05 AM

                                                                    I think the writer said it best. "There are so many uncontrolled variables in this assay that it boggles the mind."

                                                                    1. a
                                                                      akachochin Jun 12, 2013 11:55 PM

                                                                      Touch the steak "myth".

                                                                      Kenji barely alludes to what I suspect is the most significant issue; how often do you do this and how consistent are the steaks that you are cooking? Someone who spends several nights a week wrangling dozens and dozens of carefully procured steaks over the same grill is not the same as Sam Suburban who fires up the Weber once a week to cook whatever looked good at the grocery store on the way home.

                                                                      FWIW, in making a sort of hobby of watching competent people working large grills for a crowd, I've never seen a Thermopen or any of its relatives used. I suppose roasts and the like are monitored with thermocouples, but so far, I've yet to see one used in a restaurant for steaks. 'Anyone seen one used?

                                                                      62 Replies
                                                                      1. re: akachochin
                                                                        chileheadmike Jun 13, 2013 12:04 AM

                                                                        I spent years in front of restaurant broilers. Always used the touch method to determine temps. I had no idea it didn't work until now. There were no thermo pens back then and while we had meat thermometers, we never pierced steaks with them. Plus that would have taken too long.

                                                                        1. re: chileheadmike
                                                                          calumin Jun 13, 2013 12:12 AM

                                                                          That is the one "myth" in the article that has no "Food Lab" discussion in it, and is more just about the author saying whatever he thinks makes sense. His points aren't actually that convincing -- more along the lines of "it seems random to me, so it must also be random to an experienced chef."

                                                                          1. re: calumin
                                                                            joonjoon Jun 27, 2013 03:02 AM

                                                                            I think the point is that the "touch method" requires a LOT of experience and can't be used reliably as a doneness measure for inexperienced cooks. The cut of the steak and thickness makes a big difference in how it feels.

                                                                            I can get steaks right by touch ~90 percent of the time but it's easy to screw up if the steak is extra thick or thin.

                                                                          2. re: chileheadmike
                                                                            mcf Jun 13, 2013 12:12 AM

                                                                            I think it makes clear that it works for someone like you, but not the rest of us without such high volume experience.

                                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                                              c oliver Jun 13, 2013 01:06 AM

                                                                              Yes. I thought he made it perfectly clear that if you're cooking multiple steaks every night then you can do that.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                chileheadmike Jun 13, 2013 02:21 AM

                                                                                So I misread. Oops, not the first time.

                                                                              2. re: mcf
                                                                                Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 03:41 AM

                                                                                Have to disagree with you on the press test. I know how it is explained using the hand and I guess that is a good way to get the basic point across but there is far more to it than that.

                                                                                There is a KNOWLEDGE factor of which a few key elements are cut of meat & thickness which the author alluded to. Most avid steak lovers can easily distinguish the most common steak cuts by chew alone. With practice, the same is true for the resistance to pressure with the press test.

                                                                                There is the EXPERIENCE factor of the more you do something generally the better you get at it. I am not & have never been a professional chef but every time I grill meat I constantly press on the product throughout the cooking process.

                                                                                I have gotten to the point where I am very accurate using the press test for beef steaks, pork chops & even hamburgers.

                                                                                1. re: Tom34
                                                                                  c oliver Jun 13, 2013 04:25 AM

                                                                                  I'm guessing you cooks steak a lot more than many/most of us. For me, it's probably once a month. And the cut/thickness could be anything. So muscle memory isn't going to work. I'm not going to be able to remember how that the 2" thick, bone-in ribeye felt six months ago. Unless one can, why run even a small chance of botching it up when it's not necessary. I've mentioned on other threads that we do house exchanges and what kitchen tools I take. My thermometer is always at the top of the list.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                    Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 05:47 AM

                                                                                    I only have 2 meat thermometers. One is a 1970's w/a big dial & thick probe for roasts. The other one is from the 1990's, has a small 1 inch dial and a much thinner probe and it is faster than the ancient one but still not fast.

                                                                                    If Thermalpen's claims are true about being extremely rugged & giving an accurate temp within 3 seconds the $100.00 or so sounds like a very good investment. I know my wife could use one and I would use it for chicken where a couple degrees either way is a big safety concern.

                                                                                    1. re: Tom34
                                                                                      c oliver Jun 13, 2013 07:52 AM

                                                                                      I don't have a thermapen. Mine cost about $15 and does the trick for me.

                                                                                  2. re: Tom34
                                                                                    monavano Jun 13, 2013 04:53 AM

                                                                                    Knowledge and experience. "Nuff said.

                                                                                    1. re: monavano
                                                                                      Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 05:52 AM

                                                                                      Kind of like free hand knife sharpening on a stone. There is a "Feel" that changes with different grit stones and different metal hardness. Practice, practice & more practice. BTW, I never got that feel and got an Edgepro sharpener so I fully understand folks getting the Thermalpens :-)

                                                                                      1. re: monavano
                                                                                        c oliver Jun 13, 2013 07:57 AM

                                                                                        And, as I posted above, if I cook a particular cut and thickness of steak a couple of times a year, then no amount of knowledge, IMO, is going to offset the lack of experience...with that particular cut and thickness.

                                                                                        And we're VERY picky about the degree of doneness we're willing to accept. If it's overcooked a little we complain. If it's overcooked a lot we save it for the dogs and have the vegetarian plate that night. So, yeah, if you're willing to accept subpar even occasionally, then go for it. We're really not.

                                                                                      2. re: Tom34
                                                                                        mcf Jun 13, 2013 06:16 AM

                                                                                        So, what are you disagreeing with? I said the same thing; do it a lot and you develop the skill.

                                                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                                                          Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 06:34 AM

                                                                                          Some people develop certain skills faster than others. I am not a chef nor a high volume griller. I just started doing it from raw to finished product every time I handle a piece of meat and got good at it.

                                                                                          1. re: Tom34
                                                                                            mcf Jun 13, 2013 06:38 AM

                                                                                            Not typical, though, wouldn't you agree?

                                                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                                                              Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                                                              It is my experience that I can show someone how to a million times over and they just don't get it. (or don't want to get it)

                                                                                              Some, though, claim they can "teach a rhesus monkey" to broil a steak. I take that as "to the requested temperature". I guess it is up to the instructor/teacher and the student.
                                                                                              And a broilerman in a restaurant should NEVER cut a steak or chop that is served whole (not sliced a la Peter Luger).

                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 07:08 AM

                                                                                                Degree of interest in the subject to be learned, paying attention to instruction, concentration while practicing & confidence play huge roles in just about all learning.

                                                                                                My favorite meal is steak. I took great interest in learning about cut, quality, aging & cooking it. Most friends say my end product is as good or better than most steakhouses. There are many other meals I cook often but my heart is not in it to the same degree and the end product reflects that.

                                                                                                1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                  mcf Jun 13, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                                                                  I cook mighty fine steak, too. Using a $20 instant read thermometer, timing and a good rest at the end.

                                                                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                                                                    Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                                                                    I don't dismiss what seriouseats says but really don't much care about everything they put in print either. I cook thick steaks and take them out of the frig about 90 minutes before cooking and cover them loosely with plastic wrap & rest 10 minutes after cooking. It works for me & looks like it works for you too.

                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                      mcf Jun 13, 2013 09:50 AM

                                                                                                      Yep, except for the part about plastic wrap. I don't even have it in my house any more. :-)

                                                                                                      1. re: mcf
                                                                                                        Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                                        what do you use in place of plastic wrap? why do you no longer use plastic wrap?

                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                          mcf Jun 13, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                                          I use either foil, or an upside down plate. I am avoiding plastic food storage and contact wherever I can, and scrupulously avoiding warm plastic contact with our food. Chemicals leaching, don't want it.

                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                                            Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                                            thanks. I get the avoiding of food touching and the warm food-plastic combo. I've seen restaurants on TV that cover the roasts in plastic and then foil and then bake. When they open up the foil after baking, the plastic is gone. I always wondered why we ate melted plastic wrap in restaurants :-/

                                                                                                            Al foil has it's down side as well according to some studies.

                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                              mcf Jun 13, 2013 10:41 AM

                                                                                                              If you're talking about Alzheimer's, no. That connection was debunked long ago.

                                                                                                        2. re: mcf
                                                                                                          EWSflash Jun 14, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                                                          Agreed. I use aluminum foil. Don't want that plasticky flavor on my steak, plus you can tent aluminum foil where the plastic wrap would glom onto the meat and be not what I wanted.

                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                            Gastronomos Jun 14, 2013 12:35 PM


                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                              EWSflash Jun 25, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                                                              No! No glomming!

                                                                                                    2. re: Tom34
                                                                                                      Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 10:00 AM

                                                                                                      "Degree of interest in the subject to be learned..."

                                                                                                      I agree. Maybe that's why I show some people who *say* they want to learn and when I do... no can do.

                                                                                                      I love sauces. Just as you love steak. I have perfected sauce making. All kinds. Every kind. pasta sauces, gravy, you name it. My heart is into making sauces. I make sure my steak, chops, burgers, chicken, etc. is grilled/BBQ'd to my liking so I can more fully enjoy the sauce I put so much love into making. Grilling a steak, for me, is great, so I can enjoy the sauce. I am not a steak lover, so it HAS to be perfect or I'm ordering a pizza, with extra sauce.

                                                                                                  2. re: mcf
                                                                                                    Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 06:55 AM

                                                                                                    I can only say what works for me. If this thread were a poll it would appear more find it difficult than not. I don't think that makes it "dumb" or useless though.

                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                      mcf Jun 13, 2013 08:01 AM

                                                                                                      I don't think it's dumb or useless, either, any more than I think it's dumb not to bother learning it. As long as we're getting good steak from whatever method we employ.

                                                                                                      1. re: mcf
                                                                                                        Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 08:08 AM

                                                                                                        I agree 100%, what ever works for the individual. I never gave the thermometers much thought for anything but roasts but this thread has thinking about them.

                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                          c oliver Jun 13, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                                                                          I only just started using them for burgers, beef and pork. We weren't ever getting them particularly overdone but sometimes they could have a used just a touch more. And I've been seeing cassarole-type recipes giving an internal temp reading.

                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                            Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 09:23 AM

                                                                                                            I am lucky because if I error a tad bit on the rare side everyone in my house is ok.....I wonder why there is such a price spread between the Thermapen / Thermometer and the $20.00 ones. I have always been willing to spend $$ on good well made high performance products that last so I will have to research it a little.

                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                              c oliver Jun 13, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                              You mean with steaks AND burgers? Bob and I are fine with super rare burgers, guests maybe not so much so. I know, get new friends. That's cool. But if I get rid of the daughters then they'll likely take the grandbabies with 'em. NOT GOOD :)

                                                                                                              I've had my $20 one for some years now and occasionally have to replace the battery.

                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                mcf Jun 13, 2013 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                I researched it a bunch, and found that mine gives me enough info in 8 seconds and I don't need to spend a lot more to cut that down to 3. I'd still have the $15 one if I hadn't accidentally dropped it and had trouble fishing it out of a very hot oven. Replaced the battery once, maybe twice, over the years.

                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                  JoanN Jun 13, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                  The price point difference is because the Thermapen is more accurate, registers the temperature more quickly, and has a smaller probe so the piercing hole is virtually unnoticeable. I love mine. Use it all the time. Turkey, steaks, pork chops, the temperature of the oil when I need to know. Have bought it for friends as gifts. Love it. Can you tell?

                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                    c oliver Jun 13, 2013 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                    Joan, how high will it go when checking oil please? I got one of the infrared ones for that and it failed early on.

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                      JoanN Jun 13, 2013 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                      No idea. Never tested it past 375F-380F. Never had an infrared, but my understanding is that it detects surface rather than internal temperature. No idea whether that is correct or not.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                        c oliver Jun 13, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                        Thanks. I had no idea it went that high. And, yes, I also had a problem with a surface reading.

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                          JoanN Jun 14, 2013 12:12 AM

                                                                                                                          Was curious, so I just looked it up. Web site says range for the Thermapen is -58.0 to 572.0°F.

                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                            MGZ Jun 14, 2013 12:17 AM

                                                                                                                            "Web site says range for the Thermapen is -58.0 to 572.0°F."

                                                                                                                            Have you ever cooked a steak to 572.0 degrees? I assume it involved a fire extinguisher?

                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                              JoanN Jun 14, 2013 12:34 AM

                                                                                                                              I assume you're just being funny here, but as noted above I use the Thermapen not just for checking the temperature of food, but for checking the temperature of oil and have therefore never personally tested it beyond 375 or 380F.

                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                MGZ Jun 14, 2013 12:39 AM

                                                                                                                                Takin' oil to 572 is gonna require a fire truck, not just an extinguisher. But, I'm with mcf, I don't see the expense as worth it. Especially, since sooner or later somebody's gonna break it.

                                                                                                                                I use experience or a chopstick to tell when oil's hot enough. I'm good at the finger test. I prefer jazz to classical.

                                                                                                                                Then again, I also drive an eleven year old GMC truck, with manual windows and locks, so . . . .

                                                                                                                    2. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                      Tom34 Jun 17, 2013 09:17 AM


                                                                                                                      Strangely enough I just asked a friend this morning who I turned on to the Big Green Egg last year if he heard of the Thermapen. He said, " yup, bought one a month ago after reading sterling reviews on the Green Egg Forum and love it."

                                                                                                                      Mine should arrive in the mail by Friday :-)

                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                        JoanN Jun 17, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                        I'll be surprised if you don't become a convert as quickly as I.

                                                                                                                        Now, in my next life, I want a NYC apartment somehow compatible with a Big Green Egg. I think it might be illegal, but I can still dream.

                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                          Tom34 Jun 17, 2013 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                          I know for anything my wife cooks it will come in handy & I will use it for things like chicken where I am extremely cautious.

                                                                                                                          I know there are some strict regulations in NYC but on the other hand NYC is one of the culinary / entertainment capitals of the world. Old friends who lived in Manhattan for years eventually moved to long Island. Best of both worlds, space to breathe but a short trains ride from culinary / entertainment utopia.

                                                                                                                    3. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                      DWB Jun 14, 2013 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                      Get a thermapen if you appreciate high quality tools, kitchen or garage or garden. I like knowing my thermometer is "Correct". I use my Thermapen to calibrate my other thermometers and to verify thermostats on deep fryers or whatever.

                                                                                                                      1. re: DWB
                                                                                                                        Tom34 Jun 15, 2013 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                        I would tend to lean that way. All my tools have been high quality and given me years of good service.

                                                                                                                        A Thermapen would be great for my wife and I could use it for my fresh ground chicken burgers as there is such a fine line between just cooked enough & overcooked with them.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                          scubadoo97 Jun 15, 2013 06:44 AM

                                                                                                                          They're great

                                                                                                            2. re: mcf
                                                                                                              monavano Jun 13, 2013 11:55 PM

                                                                                                              Would not agree.
                                                                                                              This isn't rocket science.

                                                                                                              1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                mcf Jun 14, 2013 12:15 AM

                                                                                                                Sorry, but I have no idea what point you're disagreeing with.

                                                                                                                1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                  c oliver Jun 14, 2013 01:28 AM

                                                                                                                  I'm having a hard time tracking on that one also.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                    cowboyardee Jun 25, 2013 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                    If you click on the "RE:mcf" button on the top right corner of the post, it'll take you to the post monavano is responding to.

                                                                                                                    In this case, the post was about whether a layperson could quickly and easily learn to tell the doneness of steak by feel. This one:

                                                                                                            3. re: Tom34
                                                                                                              monavano Jun 13, 2013 11:55 PM

                                                                                                              How is this hard to get?
                                                                                                              We've got skills.

                                                                                                      2. re: chileheadmike
                                                                                                        flavrmeistr Jun 14, 2013 02:05 AM

                                                                                                        "How can you tell if a steak is done" is a question like "how do you tell if it's raining". Observation, mostly. Tell me how you want it; that's how you'll get it.

                                                                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                                                          Gastronomos Jun 14, 2013 02:07 AM

                                                                                                          apparently we are in the minority

                                                                                                        2. re: chileheadmike
                                                                                                          scubadoo97 Jun 15, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                                                          There are fingers and then there are experienced fingers. If you are doing it all day long you get good at it

                                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                            c oliver Jun 15, 2013 09:47 AM


                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                              EWSflash Jun 25, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                                                                              Need I add ...and most of us don't have them.

                                                                                                            2. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                              Will Owen Jun 27, 2013 07:12 AM

                                                                                                              Whoever it was that told me about the finger thing gave me three points of touch reference: middle of cheek = rare; jaw end of cheek = medium; tip of nose = well done. That takes care of it for those who grill a maximum of one steak per month. The only problem is that it does NOT work on every sort of steak, much less other meats. However, taking note of another myth Kenji busts, you can poke a thermometer right on in there and all the juices will NOT run out.

                                                                                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                c oliver Jun 27, 2013 11:53 PM

                                                                                                                Thanks, WO. Agree and agree.

                                                                                                        3. Gastronomos Jun 12, 2013 11:22 PM


                                                                                                          1. pinehurst Jun 12, 2013 11:19 PM

                                                                                                            Okay, this is cool...I need to weigh in on a couple of zee myths.

                                                                                                            First, I was brought up in the "steaks with bones have more flavor" camp, I confess.

                                                                                                            Secondly, I've seen the "poke your hand" test myth perpetuated by more than one chef on the Food Network/Cooking Channel. Before Roger Mooking did his hot foods thing with Aaron Sanchez and the latest cooking w/ fire thing, he had his own cooking show and would constantly refer to the poke test.

                                                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: pinehurst
                                                                                                              mcf Jun 12, 2013 11:29 PM

                                                                                                              It doesn't mention the resting after cooking advice. I still prefer to bring meats to room temp and I always want a bone in, especially for the reason mentioned.

                                                                                                              I've never bought into the hand poke thing as determinant, either. Just dumb.

                                                                                                              1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 12:39 AM

                                                                                                                "I've never bought into the hand poke thing as determinant, either. Just dumb."

                                                                                                                what method do you use?

                                                                                                                My FIL likes "dry as a bone" as a starting point for doneness. after it looks like it's so dry it could choke someone, he cuts into it and then leaves it in the grill a little longer "just to be sure". Resting is done uncovered in a pile and is called "letting it cool down" or as I call it "cold steak". to each their own.

                                                                                                                1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                  MGZ Jun 13, 2013 12:42 AM

                                                                                                                  "I'm sorry?"

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                    Sdenred Jun 13, 2013 02:25 AM

                                                                                                                    Sound like we have the same FIL.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Sdenred
                                                                                                                      Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 02:46 AM

                                                                                                                      kill me now

                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                        linguafood Jun 13, 2013 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                        Does he make you eat *his* overdone steak, or are you free to have your steak the way you like it?

                                                                                                                        Because if so.... why do you care how your FIL likes his steak?

                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                          Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 04:30 AM

                                                                                                                          if we are invited over for a BBQ, he's grilling and all the meat comes out his way. it would be rude to refuse, no?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                            linguafood Jun 13, 2013 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                            Would it be rude to ask if he could take your steak off sooner? I mean, that's just communication 101.

                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                              Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 04:48 AM

                                                                                                                              been there, done that.
                                                                                                                              *tzurriz* posts here"
                                                                                                                              "This is why my husband always insists on grilling our steaks when we visit his folks. My FIL thinks "rare" takes 30 minutes over direct flame. :( "

                                                                                                                              I tried that too. no dice.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                                linguafood Jun 13, 2013 04:49 AM


                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                  Gastronomos Jun 13, 2013 04:50 AM


                                                                                                                    2. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                      tzurriz Jun 13, 2013 04:32 AM

                                                                                                                      This is why my husband always insists on grilling our steaks when we visit his folks. My FIL thinks "rare" takes 30 minutes over direct flame. :(

                                                                                                                    3. re: mcf
                                                                                                                      flavrmeistr Jun 13, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                      Depends whose hand you're poking, I guess. Grandma's bony claw, or Uncle Ralph's meaty mit. Either way, what does it have to do with grilling a steak? I never got it.

                                                                                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                                                                        EWSflash Jun 14, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                        That's hilarious, flavrmeister, it's always been in the back of my mind.

                                                                                                                      2. re: mcf
                                                                                                                        EM23 Jun 17, 2013 02:32 AM

                                                                                                                        I always let meat sit out for an hour before cooking too. Kenji’s previous advice was to take a steak out of the refrigerator 40 minutes in advance of cooking, and someone posted a comment asking him whether he no longer recommends this step. His reply, “Yep, new shit has come to light. No longer a necessity!”

                                                                                                                        He does acknowledge a 10 minute rest after cooking in response to a poster’s comment, so that remains the same.

                                                                                                                      3. re: pinehurst
                                                                                                                        Hobbert Jun 13, 2013 12:55 AM

                                                                                                                        The hand poke has always puzzled me. Maybe I have a mutant hand, but it just feels the same however I hold my hand. Anyway, I just touch the meat with my tongs. Couple of years of cooking has taught me what various temperatures feel like.

                                                                                                                        1. re: pinehurst
                                                                                                                          Tom34 Jun 13, 2013 02:36 AM

                                                                                                                          I don't know that bones add flavor but they definitely protect what is typically the lean side of a steak from drying out during the cooking process.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                            c oliver Jun 13, 2013 02:42 AM

                                                                                                                            But that's not the "myth." I never thought about it before but it makes total sense to me..

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