Check Your Steaks With The Face Test

Using a thermometer is the best way to tell how done your steak is, but sans thermometer, you can use this touch trick, comparing how the steak feels when you press it to different parts of your face.

Photo by Meng He.

In The Connoisseur's Guide to Meat, Jennie Milsom describes the cheek, chin and forehead test:

An accurate way to test for doneness is to press the steak lightly with your fingertip and compare the way it feels to your cheek, chin and forehead. A rare steak is soft and fleshy like your cheek; fleshy with some resistance, like your chin, is medium; firmer to the touch with more resistance, like your forehead, means it is well done.

This method is similar to the finger test, in which you compare the steak's elasticity with your thumb pad as you touch different fingers. I find it's easier to tell greater degrees of variation when poking my face rather than my palm, but pick the method that works best for you.

The Connoisseur's Guide to Meat [Google Books]


    From a purely scientific perspective, slapping your meat would also work. Medium meat would have a duller sound than well done meat which would have a slightly higher pitch. This method would also be a bit quicker than pressing meat into your face. An exciting concept I must try at my next BBQ.

    "how the steak feels when you press it to different parts of your face"

    Okay, even if Nigella Lawson was doing that, it's taking cooking a little too far.

      All this needs is a comma!

      "how the steak feels when you press it, to different parts of your face"


        Why does that need a comma?

    bad copy. You don't actually put meat on your face... just compare the meat to your face using two different hands.

    This has so much amusing potential, I just don't know where to start.
    The thought of slamming someones face into the steak on the BBQ to see if it is cooked makes me chuckle to myself.
    I suspect the responding police officers will take a dimmer view of events..

    You could always just cook your face

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