“How to tell if pork is done without a thermometer?” Hmm, quite a tough question, especially when you’ve been compulsively abusing the thermometer as a meticulous cook – who only allows the meat to reach the most perfect and delectable state possible.
We totally agree with you on that matter. A meat thermometer represents the exact evidence you rely on to serve the dish to every picky eater. Not to mention, it only takes a blink to have the answer. Thus, it’s highly recommended that you have a meat thermometer available at your place.
But in case you don’t have a thermometer already, like at a friend’s kitchen, don’t freak out yet, because we are about to unveil five interesting tips for you to improvise. Let’s kick right in!
How Can You Tell If Pork Is Done Without A Thermometer?
The Finger/palm Technique: Applied for Pan-seared, Grilled, Roasted or Baked Pork Loaf
Perhaps you have heard or seen this test somewhere on Masterchef. It may seem somewhat intuitive, yet literally a rule of thumb for many cooks, so to speak.
Let us break down the steps first.
Step 1: Determine the degree of doneness you want your meat to be (raw, medium-cooked, or well-done).
Step 2: Relax your left hand, palm ahead.
Step 3: Touch the flesh part between your wrist and the other end of the thumb.
If it is as soft as the feel under your right index finger, that is the sign it’s still raw.
Step 4: Begin pressing your thumb against other fingers, alternately, from the index to pinky finger on your left hand, one by one. At the same time, touch the corresponding flesh.
The level of well-cookedness should increase as you proceed to the last finger. They’ll look like these pictures.
And then you have it. Simple as that. Though quite simple to apply, this technique, as we said, is quite intuitive.
Let’s see what else we can do without a meat thermometer.
Set the Timer for Each Cooking Session
This technique mainly boils down to experience. We mean, by noticing the time, weight, and internal temperature of the meat cut, you can tell when it is ready to be served.
Remember, the bigger the meat, the lower the heat, and the longer the time.
Typically, it takes 20 minutes for each pound of roast at 375 degrees Fahrenheit to be over with.
For instance, with pork tenderloin, which often weighs around 1 – 1.5 pounds, this formula also applies. By having it quickly seared on stovetops first, and then set the oven to 375 degrees for 20 minutes, your dish is all good to go.
Here are some of our other recommended timers:
- Pork sausages: 20 minutes with each side flipped every 10 minutes, and one-inch oil height should be good
- Pork chops/steaks:
Use a Fork or a Spoon to Determine the Doneness of Your Pork
Step 1: Cut out a small pork cube from the loaf and place it on your cutting board.
Step 2: Check to see if the juices are clear.
Using a fork and squeezing it against the meat surface, or poking a hole into the meat fibers, you should see some liquids coming out.
If the juices run clear or have a slightly pinkish color, that means your pork is done cooking.
If otherwise, which means the juices are not really clear, continue cooking and repeat that process later.
Use a Knife/Skewer
Step 1: Grab a long knife/ skewer and use its tip to pierce a small cut into the meat.
Step 2: Assess the resistance required for that sear.
If your knife/ skewer slides back and forth easily, the inner flesh part has become tender, thus ready to be served.
But if otherwise, you still find it somewhat difficult to make the puncture because something is stuck inside. This indicates that the meat is not entirely cooked through. Thus, try again after a few minutes.
Also, keep in mind the fact that overcooked pork is still better than undercooked one, since the latter may contain harmful bacteria or parasites, the consumption of which would disrupt your digestive system.
We believe you have wrapped your mind well around the question of “How to tell if pork is done without a thermometer?”, haven’t you? Though seemingly easy, after all, these tips are quite empirical and require an amount of time to master.
Thus, if possible, we still suggest you invest in an instant meat thermometer. It’ll certainly save you from any worries and hassles. Not to mention, it’s inexpensive and can be used for a long time. Definitely worth it!
But for now, good luck with your cooking experience!