Article: A Sensory Affair - Cooking to Temperature
The Power of Touch
One of the wonderful things about cooking on an Arteflame is that meat can be cooked to individual temperatures without losing the conversation and connection to family, friends, and guests. Cooking in the round is fun and easy when multiple people can gather around the Arteflame, enjoy the fire, and join in cooking - after all, isn't the kitchen inside where most people gather?
Another benefit of cooking on the flat or plancha part of the Arteflame is that meat can be cooked medium-well to well-done and not end up dry and tasteless, due in large part to protiens cooking in their own juices without the flavor sapping, drying effect of grease fires. Keeping juices contained within the meat allows for a more flavorful cook, but how then do you tell when your steak is cooked to your liking? Answer – the touch test! Because meat gets firmer as it cooks you can test meat by touch.
Three basic touch tests exist — touching the palm of your hand, your fist, and your face – but we and the chefs we know like the palm test best. You could use a meat thermometer but we prefer touch because testing this way won’t mean losing any juice from the meat. The touch test is subjective, but with regular use you’ll get the hang of it and cook the perfect steak every time.
The Palm Method Hold your left hand out, palm up, and fingers relaxed. Poke the fleshy part of your thumb just above your wrist with the tip of the index finger of your right hand. What does it feel like? If you guessed raw meat, you’re right.
Now, make an OK sign with your left hand by touching your forefinger and thumb together. Feel the same part of your hand once again. It should feel a bit firmer – how meat feels when it’s rare.
As you touch your middle-finger, ring-finger, and pinkie-finger to your thumb you’ll notice the pad of your thumb will get progressively firmer. Touching your middle finger to the tip of your thumb will show what medium rare steak should feel like. When you touch your ring finger to your thumb you’ll “feel” medium-well while touching your pinkie to your thumb is equates to feeling a well-done steak.
Food is often best when shared with family and friends. Gathering around your Arteflame is the perfect way to bring all together. As the holidays approach and temperatures cool, we wish you the best of times – Arteflame Style.