The Baking Tool To Test Steak Doneness Without A Thermometer

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We have so many tools to make perfect steaks: the sharpest knives, high-quality grills for outdoor and even kitchen-counter use, hot stones, cast iron presses, and digital meat thermometers to test when the meat reaches the just-right level of doneness. Steak connoisseurs all have their own tricks and tips for using their tools to create tender and juicy culinary treats from their favorite cuts of steak.

A meat thermometer gives home and restaurant chefs the most precise way to test whether meat is rare, well done, or anything in between. Top-of-the-line models can accurately temp a steak in just one second, according to Food Network. But not everyone wants to get that precise with their food. Sometimes steak is a once-a-month meal rather than a weekly dinner. If you don't want or need a meat thermometer to test the doneness of your steak, there is an alternative — thanks to an inexpensive baking tool that doesn't need a fancy digital readout to tell you if something is done.

A simple cake tester suffices for gauging a steak's temp

Ever thought of using a cake tester? A cake tester is a simple tool you may already have in your kitchen drawer. It's a thin piece of metal with a plastic handle. You just poke it into the center of your cake to see if anything sticks. Then you can decide if your cake is ready to come out of the oven.

"A good way to test the temperature of a thick cut of steak if you don't have a thermometer is to use a cake tester," says Denis Crutchfield, the chef de cuisine of Craft in LA. Just like with cakes, you just put the tester in the center of your thick steaks. Unlike your cakes, you can't go by the look of what comes out with the cake tester. You need to touch the warm part of the cake tester to determine the doneness level of your steak. Eater recommends touching the gadget to your wrist to gauge the heat of the tester.

How do you determine the doneness level without an exact temperature? Stick the cake tester in the center of the meat and leave it for a five-count. Then touch it to your wrist. If you can't tell a temperature difference, that's medium-rare (135 degrees Fahrenheit). A slight bit of warmth on the tester means your steak is medium (145 degrees Fahrenheit), and then hot indicates medium-well to well done (150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit).