I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.
Poke test for me too - why put a hole in a good piece of meat? I think resting is key as well.
An instant reading thermometer - testing internal temperature.
I generally use a probe though I don't cook many. Some of the customers where I work are ********. Medium-well Done but not pink; they want it rare but not bloody; they don't want it blue, they don't want it rare, but somewhere in between; they want it very medium; they want it well done but not burnt
For a while I would let well done go out just at well done. I would just get them coming back wanting "more done". Later on I finally say screw it they will get it how ever it goes. I just poke any more. Funny thing I work with a guy who has worked with a grill for about 10 yrs. and he still uses a thermo..
Chewie's the man.
A good tip from Marco Pierre white which I have tested and it's true when you first see the blood on the steak while cooking its medium rare.
Honestly though its all about practice and experience. Plus each cut feels different as an example filet n strip, strip is much firmer even when rare.
cake tester for sure. using touch works for me 90% of the time but some steaks just cook differently! cake testers are perfect because you are actually feeling what the heat level is like inside.
I used to show new guys with my fist. Gently closed my hand just into a fist and touched the fleshy point between my thumb and forefinger. Feels like rare. Gave my fist a gentle squeeze and touched the same spot for medium rare. Squeezed progressively harder for medium and medium well. Had'm touch the back of my hand or I tapped them on the forehead for well done. They seemed to get the idea.