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Meat Doneness Terms for the Serious Griller


Meat Doneness Terms For The Serious Griller

Let’s set the scene:

You’re standing on a freshly power-blown corner of the deck in your backyard. Shielding your favorite t-shirt and pair of shorts is a personalized apron sporting the words “I LIKE PIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE.” Before you is your favorite outdoor grill, which you just finished scraping with a flattened wire brush your father passed down to you.

To your right is an insulated cooler filled with ice and your favorite bottled beverages; the outside of the cooler is emblazoned with “IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE.” To your left sits a large platter of raw meat that someone just delivered to you in a ceremonial fashion because, after all, today is the first day of grilling season, and you are clearly someone who is fond of seasonal fanfare.

The grill is radiating heat, the apron still shows its creases from months of storage, a bottle shifts in the cooler as the ice shows first signs of melting, and only a few yards away your guests’ stomachs growl as they wait to hear you ask the imminent question, “how would you like your meat?”

Because it’s you, you want to give them your special brand of doneness options, but not the options they expect. You’re bigger than that. Flashier. Sassier. This isn’t just any ordinary meal and you’re not just any ordinary grill master.

Instead, you look each one of them dead in the eye and you offer any combination of the following:

“On a scale of…”


  • bloody as hell
  • mooing/clucking/oinking/bahhing
  • served under cellophane
  • still healing
  • waiting for gauze
  • ready for a black eye
  • prepared by a ninja
  • served by the butcher
  • manly as salmonella
  • plate stainer

  • burnt to a crisp
  • shoe leather
  • hockey puck
  • seasoned briquette
  • door stopper
  • plate breaker
  • dog toy
  • able to bounce off cement
  • knife shapener
  • an hour in the microwave with ketchup

And then the grilling magic begins.

Surely you use other terms for preparing meat. Fire away in the comment section below!

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