How do you know if your grilled meat is done?

grilled meat on a hot grill

Although our diners are family, old friends, and fellow students or work with whom we want to socialize when we have a barbecue, we want everyone to be “licking their fingers.”

But among them, there are usually some who like grilled meat undercooked, well-cooked, in intermediate terms, or, even, very cooked on the outside and very raw on the inside.

All these things can be approved by using the latest grill methods.

But: What can we do to please each of them? The cooking term is measured by the temperature, and with practice, our hands are enough to calculate the cooking time and temperature. For example, an important trick is:

  • Place your hand about 10 inches from the grill and count in seconds how long you can hold at that point. Very hot (2 s), hot (3 s), medium (4 s), low (5 s), very low (6 or 7 s), so you know how hot the grill is.
  • Another valid option is to use a thermometer.

Cooking Terms for the Grill

For a 4 or 5 cm thick cut of meat, these times are recommended depending on the desired term, for example:

  • Quarter term (red): for many, it is the term that gives the meat a soft consistency and a better flavor. The cut should be sealed on both sides over high heat. The interior temperature must be at 40º. Usually, it is left 5 to 6 minutes on each side at low temperatures.
  • Medium Term: it is the ideal term because the meat does not lose juiciness and maintains a small red center. Drops of the juice appear in the meat, and its internal temperature should be between 60ºC and 65ºC. It is usually left 6 to 7 minutes on each side at a low temperature.
  • Three-Quarter Term: the meat loses juiciness and flavor. The edges are perfectly cooked, but its center turns light brown. The term three quarters is obtained at 71º C. Generally; it is left 7 to 8 minutes on each side at low temperature.
  • Well Cooked Term or Well Done: it is achieved with very slow cooking. It is one of the least recommended terms because the meat loses 70% of its juiciness. The entire cut acquires a gray-brown color, between 65ºC and 75ºC. Usually, it is left 7 to 10 minutes on each side at a low temperature.
  • Blue Term: it is a cut sealed on both sides over high heat; the outer layer is well cooked, and it’s center raw and even cold. The internal temperature should be around 45ºC. Usually, it is left ½ minute per side at a high temperature.

As an additional tip, we recommend the host use tongs to move and turn the meat because the use of a fork or a punch will make holes where the juices escape.

For the same reason, and because the product reaches a hard and dry consistency, you should not use a spatula or any utensil to crush the meat.

Joshua Davis

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