You're comfortable in front of the grill. Guests marvel at the way you flip and turn -- tongs in one hand, Malbec in the other -- not even breaking a sweat from the heat. But you have to finish strong. That means knowing how to tell when your burger or steak is perfectly cooked. You don't want to be scrambling around digging through kitchen drawers looking for your meat thermometer. Or worse, hacking into a burger to check if it's to the correct doneness. There's got to a better way, right?


Yep. It's called the finger test. Here's how it works. Just press the meat on the grill and match it with the description below and you’re well on your way.



Open your hand and relax it. Then press the index finger from your opposite hand into the fleshy part of the open hand (the area between the thumb and the base of your palm). It will be very soft.



Using the open hand, touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of the thumb. Now use the opposite index finger to press on that same fleshy area. It won't feel as soft.


Medium Rare

Now touch the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb. The fleshy area will feel have even less give.



Press the tip of your ring finger to the tip of your thumb. Again, the firmness will have increased.


Well Done

Touch the tip of your pinky finger to the tip of your thumb. The fleshy area will now feel quite firm, with just a bit of springiness.


That's all there is to it. With a little practice, you'll be impressing your friends in no time. No more searching for the right tools. No thermometer. No straining to see by the glow of your phone at night. You've always got the only tools you need -- they're your hands. Now master this technique, and give yourself a hand. And keep those burgers in one piece. 

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