Why anyone would ever like a well-done steak is an unfathomable mystery. Despite the fact that it’s dry, tough, and void of flavour, you still hear of orders for that level of doneness.
Worse still, you can’t argue with your customer about how they should order their steak, especially if you’re a high-end steakhouse. You could take that exquisite strip loin or porterhouse steak and toss it in the fire, but why ruin such an expensive piece of steak? Because you’ll just have to accept the fact that some people have eccentric tastes.
Knowing when a steak is well-done
A well-done steak is a bad steak. It’s all about a play of temperature. Cooking a steak at 160F and above will render it inedible. The longer you cook the meat, the hotter it gets, and once you go past that threshold, the muscle fibers firm up and there’s no turning back.
Maybe you’re a chef, or maybe you’re at home cooking for yourself, but what could possibly possess you to massacre a magnificent slab of meat after extensively preparing it for the grill? The end result is a decimated steak: dry, extremely tough, and overall gray in colour. A perfect waste of expensive meat.
Dealing with customers who want a well-done steak
It’s difficult, but you don’t always have to give them what they want at the first go. Try to compromise, like cooking the steak to medium well, which is a level down from well-done. If they don’t make a fuss, great. If they do, take the steak to the back and kill it twice over. They are paying for it after all.
There was a story about a group of sailors who were on the brink of starvation and were compelled, out of circumstance, to boil their shoes and belts when they ran out of supplies at sea.
And that can be the only exception for ordering a well-done steak.