Does cooking steak with a fork really ruin its juiciness?

There's nothing quite like a perfectly cooked steak – a beautiful sear crusted piece of meat that is tender, juicy, and melts in your mouth like butter when you sink your choppers into it. And frankly, when you have a quality piece of meat, there isn't much that needs to be done to achieve this precision either. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to season it, and you are ready to throw your steak on a hot grill or into your favorite cast iron pan to cook up.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of pitfalls your steak can fall victim to between the time you season your steak and start cooking it. One of these snags you might run into has to do with which kitchen tool you use to turn your steak over as it cooks. There is quite the online debate over whether or not using a fork to flip your steak will cause it to lose all those lovely juices that give it that moist, melt-worthy flavor. If you skim through this Chowhound threadthe divisiveness is palpable. One user writes: "Thongs keep the meat juicy. Get the fork out of here!" While another counters, "I use a fork because I can control the steak much better than tongs." And clearly, the peacemaker of the debate says, "I use whichever is handy." So, we decided to scour the internet and get to the bottom of this divisive fork debate, and here's what we found.

You can flip your steak with a fork

Who is correct? Both camps are kind of right, but one is a little more right in this debate of whether or not using your fork to flip your steak will ruin it. Per Home Hacks, the idea that you cannot pierce your steak with a fork to flip it without losing liquid is partially true. Yet while they say you can lose juices when you poke your steak with a fork, they also contend that a steak is full of "tightly packed sections" filled with water, and poking it once or twice will only result in minimal and undetectable loss of juices. 

Furthermore, Life Hacker notes that The Food Lab's J Kenji Lopez-Alt also debunked this urban legend, concluding that as long as you are not repeatedly stabbing your steak like a refrain from Nelly and Tim McGraw's "Over and Over Again," you can, indeed, use your fork to do the flipping. Lopez-Alt's final verdict is using your fork to flip your steak will not ruin it, and if it is the kitchen tool that is more convenient and readily accessible when cooking your steak, then use it. However, it is also important to note that he doesn't say the fork is better to use than tongs, adding his voice to that of the peacemaker's in this great debate.