25 Jan

How do you like your steak done?

Tomorrow is Australia Day and there’s no better way to celebrate than to throw a steak on the barbie. But everyone has a different preference as to how to cook a steak, in this post we share some tips on how to cook the perfect steak, cooked to your liking. How do you like your steak done?  

With only a few minutes making the difference between rare and well-done, timing is everything. (Note: example guidelines using a 2cm thick sirloin steak)


  • Should still be a dark colour, almost purple, and just warm. It will feel spongy with no resistance.
  • About 1 minute on each side


  • Dark red in colour with some juice flowing. It will feel soft and spongy with slight resistance.
  • About 1 ½ minutes on each side
  • A rare piece of meat will have a bright red center, and its outside will be brownish-gray.  The center will be warm, but not hot.


  • A more pink colour with a little pink juice flowing. It will be a bit soft and spongy and slightly springy.
  • About 2 minutes on each side
  • The center of a medium-rare piece of meat will be slightly warmer and reddish-pink instead of red.  


  • Pale pink in the middle with hardly any juice flowing. It will feel firm and springy.
  • About 2 ¼ minutes on each side
  • A medium piece of meat will have a large band of pink through the middle, but will be primarily grayish-brown throughout.  


  • Only a trace of pink colour but not dry. It will feel spongy and soft and slightly springy.
  • About 4-5 minutes on each side
  • A well-done steak should show no hint of pink whatsoever.  Its center will be grayish-brown throughout and the outside will be nicely charred.

How to check if your steak is cooked correctly

To tell if it’s cooked the way you want without cutting it open, feel the heel of your hand (that’s the fleshy part between your thumb and your wrist).  When your hand is open and relaxed, a rare steak will feel as soft and tender as the heel of your hand.  Now pinch together your thumb and forefinger and feel the heel of your hand again.  It’s a bit firmer now.  This is what a medium-rare steak feels like.  You can then move down the line, pinching each finger, and feel the heel of your hand get firmer and firmer.  When you pinch with your middle finger, the heel of your hand is the firmness of a medium steak, your ring finger a medium-well steak, and your pinky a well-done steak.  Now all you’ll have to do is poke your steak a little bit and you’ll be able to tell its level of doneness.

Once cooked, leave it to rest. A cooked steak should rest at room temperature for at least five minutes – it will stay warm for anything up to 10 minutes. The fibres of the meat will reabsorb the free-running juices resulting in a moist and tender finish to your steak.

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