Cooking a Steak
When demonstrating the technique for cooking a steak, the chefs at Le Cordon Bleu hesitate to give students an exact cooking time because there are so many variables to consider. Obviously the thickness of the steak and the degree to which it is to be cooked (very rare, rare, medium, or well done) will have a considerable effect on the timing. The temperature of the meat before cooking (if you like your steak rare or medium rare it must be at room temperature before cooking), the presence of a bone, the method of cooking (sautéing, grilling or barbecuing), and the heat of the stove, grill, or coals will also affect the cooking time. The best way to test whether the meat is cooked is by touch and sight as well as by the clock: as a steak cooks, the meat becomes firmer and the interior colour lightens from a dark purple-red to pink. With experience you will be able to determine when all meats, poultry, and even fish are done, merely by touch.
Here are guidelines for cooking steaks to the desired degree: approximate times are given for 2-2.5 cm (3/4-1 inch) thick steaks.