Pressure sensor for linear actuator

Hypothetical scenario, to illustrate design parameters:

Say I wanted to make a steak cooking appliance. At some point in the cooking process, I will want to measure how well the steak is cooked. The way I want to implement this steak cooking state check is by prodding the steak (probably with some form of linear actuator), and measuring the “hardness” or “squishiness” of the steak. The “harder” or “firmer” the steak, the more “well done” or cooked it is. The “squishier” it is, the more rare or raw it is.

Now the linear actuator can tell me how far the actuator has moved via normal feedback mechanisms.
I do not want a sensor at the end of the linear actuator between the steak and the actuator, as fat, heat, food scraps, etc, can all impact the sensor and render it unhygenic, etc.
So the “squishiness” sensor needs to be implemented some other way / location.

As I said, it is a hypothetical scenario, purely for setting up the parameters of the design.

Assuming the linear actuator does not stall, and has limit switch or similar to prevent it prodding too far into the steak, and assuming it knows where the surface of the steak is.

I am guessing you could calibrate the actuator current by prodding the pre-cooked steak the instant it hits the pan, and have some sort of limit defined based on the typical hardness of well done steak. In between those two limits of raw and well done, for a certain repeated prod depth from steak surface down, it’s going to get “harder” the longer it cooks.

Is it likely that as the actuator is extended, and encounters resistance in the steak, that current draw would increase in some predictable fashion as the hardness of the steak increased?

Any suggestions on sensors that could do this or thoughts on how you would do it?