I don't have an instant read thermometer. Is it done yet? That's what I am trying to find out. How can I tell when a piece of steak is done without cutting into it?
Is it done yet? That is the question. Although an instant read thermometer is the safest, most accurate way to check the internal temperature of steak... there is another way.
Even when I have a thermometer, sometimes I'll use touch because it's so quick and easy. If you are wrong, you can always put it back on the grill. Of course, that's only if you err on the side of being underdone. Besides, the more you do it, the better you get at it.
Here is the way I look at it. You need something to go by, so you will know what to expect. In other words, before you touch a steak, and know that it's cooked medium and ready to come off the grill, you need to know what a medium steak should feel like.
Here's what I have come up with that seems to works for me.
What should a rare steak feel like?
Touch the center of your cheek with your index finger.
What should a medium steak feel like?
Touch the fleshy part of the back of your hand between your thumb and forefinger.
What should a well done steak feel like?
Touch your forehead with your forefinger.
Don't take this to be the law. Just use it as a guide. You may even have your own way of comparing. The main thing is to feel a steak at a time when it is perfectly cooked (such as medium), and compare that to something else so you can remember how it feels for the next time.
You know how I said that you get better with practice? I think you actually build a sense of pride in yourself, by being able to cook a steak perfectly, without using a thermometer. Not everybody can do that.