Q: How can I tell if the steak that I am grilling is cooked the way I like?
The best way to tell if a steak is cooked properly is with a quick-read thermometer. Following the manufacturer’s directions, insert the tip of the thermometer into the centre of the steak, at least an inch (2.5cm) away from any bone. The temperatures you want are 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, 160°F (70°C) for medium and 170°F (77°C) for well-done. The USDA recommends that steaks be cooked to at least medium-rare for food safety.
For a less scientific method, cook the steak by time or by feel. A one-inch steak placed over a very hot grill will take roughly three minutes per side to reach medium-rare, and will feel quite soft if you press in the center with your finger, being careful of the heat. It will take about four minutes per side for medium and feel springy to the touch. To avoid burning the outside while cooking a steak to well-done, cook each side for about three minutes, lower the heat and cook about eight minutes longer, turning once. A well-done steak will feel quite firm. Practice until your results are consistently good.