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Working the grill, any advice? - Page 3

post #61 of 118

Perhaps the idea that "hot in the middle" is insufficient for poultry? IMHO, rethermalizing poultry must reach 165°F, not just hot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillbeast View Post


Your statement makes no sense. I needed to know if it was hot in the middle.
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post #62 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillbeast View Post


Your statement makes no sense. I needed to know if it was hot in the middle.

If you can't see the sense my question made, you might want to reassess your career.

 

I didn't realize "oh, my cake tester is hot, this poultry has to be 160*+."

 

If it's being reheated, which is clearly asked in my question, I see no problem, but not temping the chicken to see if it's actually cooked to temp, is foolish.

post #63 of 118

I get the pleasure to fill in on grill if we are running short on staff or if I don't fully trust the designated grill person on a busy night and I try to be pretty militant about my mise before service starts, clean tongs, sanitzer, sharp knife, clean towels etc. etc. I think my one piece of mise that makes or breaks the station is a resting pan (Full sheet pan with a bakers rack on it) I pull all my proteins about off the grill when they're about 85% Done and allow them to carry over while they rest so I kill two birds with one stone. ALso the one thing I stress to our line cooks is to read tickets from the printer and get proteins on as soon as they're fired from the servers, if your'e working from the first ticket instead of the twentieth you're probably in trouble at that point. I agree that there is no room for "Sandbagging" any food in a restaurant and there are better ways to quickly produce med well and well done steaks.

post #64 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelRJ View Post

The 1000's of tenderloins i've broken down, i've never been able to use a finger, or even attemped for that matter, to get silverskin off, i'd be far too afraid of ripping the meat itself.

 

I'd like to see a demo of someone breaking down a whole, uncleaned tenderloin with basically just their hands.. it just seems like extra work when you can just use a knife.


Chain side facing you, at the middle of the loin where the silverskin starts exposing itself, pinch it a little bit and work your thumb under your index finger and it should open up and let your thumb under it, then clear as much as you can. I don't think there's many people that do it

 

Every time I'm breaking down a loin and someone's watching or talking to me they do a double take when they realize how I did it

post #65 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Braising Cows View Post

 better way to produce med well and well done steaks.

Besides being butterflied, how are you going to accomplish a better way, or quicker way to produce a 8-10oz center cut filet to this doneness without sandbagging? god forbid American diners have to wait 20-22 minutes to get their meals.

post #66 of 118

Yeah, the procedure for the grill for me was to put the protein on right when the ticket came in, cook it, then set it aside to a resting rack to finish carrying over and, obviously, rest. On pickup, i.e. the ticket is fired, you quickly flash the meat back on the grill to get the outside hot but the inside remains rested. I had a spot to rest my MR, M, MW, and W steaks. 

 

IMO, if you send out a piece of protein (except fish, with the possible exception of 1 or 2 fish) without resting it first, you're doing it wrong. Well, wrong might not be the best word, but you probably aren't serving it at it's best. Meat needs to rest. 

 

But pretty much every protein gets fired on the order, cooked, then allowed to rest. Flashed on the pickup. 

 

I actually thought this was standard practice....???

post #67 of 118

Lots of talk of resting beef which I definitely agree with and understand the mechanics behind but curious  do most grill people figure time to plate, time to walk plate out to guest into the resting time.

 

Another question would be how many times do you turn a steak over when cooking it; once, twice, or three times and why. I am not talking grill marks, diamonds, cross hatching, etc; but actually turning the steak from one side to the other?

 

Also curious, when turning a steak, do you simply rotate the steak over or do you reorient the steak end to end, and why?

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post #68 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

Lots of talk of resting beef which I definitely agree with and understand the mechanics behind but curious  do most grill people figure time to plate, time to walk plate out to guest into the resting time.

 

Another question would be how many times do you turn a steak over when cooking it; once, twice, or three times and why. I am not talking grill marks, diamonds, cross hatching, etc; but actually turning the steak from one side to the other?

 

Also curious, when turning a steak, do you simply rotate the steak over or do you reorient the steak end to end, and why?


I do down, flip over, then flip to side that originally went down to make cross hatches, then flip for hatches on other side

 

Everyone has their own way of doing this. I do it my way because of two things- I don't feel comfortable cooking one side with both hatches with the other side being raw and second for even cooking

 

Some places still use seasoned flat tops, I don't know how they do it, but I would imagine there would be more flipping

post #69 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post

Yeah, the procedure for the grill for me was to put the protein on right when the ticket came in, cook it, then set it aside to a resting rack to finish carrying over and, obviously, rest. On pickup, i.e. the ticket is fired, you quickly flash the meat back on the grill to get the outside hot but the inside remains rested. I had a spot to rest my MR, M, MW, and W steaks. 

 

IMO, if you send out a piece of protein (except fish, with the possible exception of 1 or 2 fish) without resting it first, you're doing it wrong. Well, wrong might not be the best word, but you probably aren't serving it at it's best. Meat needs to rest. 

 

But pretty much every protein gets fired on the order, cooked, then allowed to rest. Flashed on the pickup. 

 

I actually thought this was standard practice....???

Resting should definitely be standard practice, I very rarely flash anything on pickup, though.

 

Say you had 5 steaks all with different temps, you're saying you still fire them all at the same time?

post #70 of 118

cheflayne,

for me, or what works for me...i wouldn't call what i do really resting the steaks other than on the plate...i simply do not have the grill space or pass space. i'm very focused on the timing and of course the touching...no cake tester here hoss, who has time for that? and god gave us 10 cake testers right on the end of our hands.... no heat lamp, no putting steaks on and pulling them off, and putting them back on again...that would make me crazy and i'm not sure i could even keep track of them all. when a ticket comes in, i put the steak/filet on, rotate to mark, season with steak seasoning(montreal),turn over in the same place on the grill. sometimes if a new york has a bigger or fattier end i put that end to the hotter spot...i don't move the steaks once they are turned. it may not be the 'correct' way, but i rarely get a refire...usually i get..."my steak temp was spot on"

@bdl.....line ape?   no, me jane!

joey

i do sometimes have to move a steak to give the grill a quick brushing underneath if it's sticking because of the seasoning


Edited by durangojo - 8/13/12 at 11:51am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #71 of 118

Sounds very familiar to me. The only difference being that I flip steaks 3 times end to end, other than that simpatico.

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post #72 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

 season with steak seasoning(montreal)

lol.gif

post #73 of 118

color me stupid, but did i make a funny?

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #74 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelRJ View Post

Resting should definitely be standard practice, I very rarely flash anything on pickup, though.

 

Say you had 5 steaks all with different temps, you're saying you still fire them all at the same time?

 

 If you mean put them on the grill at the same time when the ticket comes in, then yes, I do. If I had, say, 2 MR, 2 M, and 1 WD, I would put them all on the grill at the same time and pull them off the grill/out of the oven accordingly. 

 

Resting a while on a rack beside the grill isn't going to damage the steak at all...in fact, as we've established, resting is beneficial. If my MR and M are resting while the WD is still in oven, no problem. I probably wouldn't worry too much about resting a WD steak, since by definition most of the moisture has left the protein, but I would still set it aside until the ticket was on P/U, assuming it wasn't fired since the WD probably take 20-25 minutes. 

 

Just to clarify, by flashing I mean quickly putting the meat back on the grill for like 10-15 seconds a side, to give the appearance/feel of the meat being "hot" when in fact it is properly rested and not hot. As we know, hot meat is overcooked. But a lot of diners don't want tepid feeling meat, so a quick flash for appearances' sake is what I'm talking about. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

cheflayne,

for me, or what works for me...i wouldn't call what i do really resting the steaks other than on the plate...i simply do not have the grill space or pass space. i'm very focused on the timing and of course the touching...no cake tester here hoss, who has time for that? and god gave us 10 cake testers right on the end of our hands.... no heat lamp, no putting steaks on and pulling them off, and putting them back on again...that would make me crazy and i'm not sure i could even keep track of them all. when a ticket comes in, i put the steak/filet on, rotate to mark, season with steak seasoning(montreal),turn over in the same place on the grill. sometimes if a new york has a bigger or fattier end i put that end to the hotter spot...i don't move the steaks once they are turned. it may not be the 'correct' way, but i rarely get a refire...usually i get..."my steak temp was spot on"

@bdl.....line ape?   no, me jane!

joey

i do sometimes have to move a steak to give the grill a quick brushing underneath if it's sticking because of the seasoning

 

Cake testing takes little to no time. Seconds. I've worked the grill in a high end, fine dining psuedo-steakhouse restaurant and never had any issues with my timing or speed using a cake tester. I use touch as well, the cake tester is just another tool to use. It can be useful for a lot of things, but if you are serving a 26oz bone in ribeye, or a porterhouse for 2, it is a valuable tool. It's a valuable tool for a filet or sirloin as well. 

 

Its a good way to double check too...anyone that cooks a lot of filets will know that there are some that the meat is "mushier," and/or the grain is looser. Sometimes the mushy ones feel under temp, like it might feel MR but really be MED. If you are conscientious about what steaks you are pulling out of the lowboy or fridge (like if you know ahead of time that the steak might be mushy) then you can use feel to check, then a tester to double check.

 

Testers work great of fish as well, where poking and prodding a delicate piece of fish can be detrimental. Fish is kind of cool actually with a tester--take a nice, thick piece of halibut. One way to check for doneness is to stick a cake tester in the center of the fish. If the fish is still raw in the middle, you will feel the skewer "stick" and you won't be able to push it all the way through without a bit of force. If it is cooked all the way, the skewer will pass through with little to no resistance. The trick is to get it to the point at which you feel it stick the SLIGHTEST in the middle and allow for carryover to push it to perfect. Sublime. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

color me stupid, but did i make a funny?

joey

 

I think he was just laughing at you for using Montreal's steak seasoning. 

 

I personally don't find using rubs/seasonings passe or otherwise inappropriate, but I would almost certainly prefer house made stuff over bought in seasonings. Personally, I'm a dedicated Salt and Pepper Steak person, but I see value in seasoning salts when used sparingly and appropriately. 

post #75 of 118

Someday- it's nice to see other people out there with their junk together in the kitchen, I wish there were more cooks like you out there.

post #76 of 118
Thread Starter 

So far temping the meats has been the easiest part of my job.  I guess I'm pretty good at it.  It's not too hard after you've done forty steaks in a night.. you kind of get the hang of it.  I must say, because of my nerves, I went out and bought a few cake testers for a couple bucks.  We do 30oz in house cut specialty tbones, porters and ribeyes and the cake testers have proven very helpful.  When you cook these babies for thirty to forty minutes and blacken the outside... touch isn't going to help you.  So until I can feel it in my bones exactly how long they take I'll be using the tester.  I've gotten a lot better at fabricating my meats, but still I'm not like the other chefs that can do it in two seconds.  Me having to breakdown two large salmons, a halibut, two short loins, a tenderloin and a ribeye is only half of the prep that I have to complete in an hour.  The other stuff includes demi, chimmichuri, remoulade, bbq, and other sauces.

post #77 of 118

Rushed prep is never fun, i'm sure you can get ahead on protein prep so you're not doing all that same prep every single day.

 

Glad it's going good so far.

post #78 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelRJ View Post

Someday- it's nice to see other people out there with their junk together in the kitchen, I wish there were more cooks like you out there.

 

I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not.... :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarrettJames View Post

So far temping the meats has been the easiest part of my job.  I guess I'm pretty good at it.  It's not too hard after you've done forty steaks in a night.. you kind of get the hang of it.  I must say, because of my nerves, I went out and bought a few cake testers for a couple bucks.  We do 30oz in house cut specialty tbones, porters and ribeyes and the cake testers have proven very helpful.  When you cook these babies for thirty to forty minutes and blacken the outside... touch isn't going to help you.  So until I can feel it in my bones exactly how long they take I'll be using the tester.  I've gotten a lot better at fabricating my meats, but still I'm not like the other chefs that can do it in two seconds.  Me having to breakdown two large salmons, a halibut, two short loins, a tenderloin and a ribeye is only half of the prep that I have to complete in an hour.  The other stuff includes demi, chimmichuri, remoulade, bbq, and other sauces.

 

Glad you've seen the light brother!

post #79 of 118

I still don't agree with the cake tester part, but I guess whatever works the best for you to get the food out at the highest quality is best

post #80 of 118

mostly i'm just curious, if you've literally cooked thousands of steaks and fish on the grill, why would you even need a cake tester? 

i can see however it's usefullness for large cut steaks(porterhouse, t bone etc.), i just can't imagine who eats them!

joey

oops...thought i could attach another quote in an edit...guess not


Edited by durangojo - 8/15/12 at 9:09am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #81 of 118

I have never used a cake tester, but I can't imagine it not slowing me down. Time to pull the tester out of pocket or wherever it is kept. Time to sterilize between uses. Time to put it back after use. Not to mention the logistics of of sticking proteins on a grill full of say 60 items during a full onslaught of ticket firing. Seconds add up quickly into minutes which to guests feel like hours

 

I can't back it up with personal practical experience, but to me it seems like there are lots of wasted motions with a cake tester as opposed to a touch and go. Without a doubt, a lot of my success in this business can be attributed to the ability to identify and eliminate wasted motion. That is lifeblood to a chef and or restaurateur.

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post #82 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post

 

Testers work great of fish as well, where poking and prodding a delicate piece of fish can be detrimental. Fish is kind of cool actually with a tester--take a nice, thick piece of halibut. One way to check for doneness is to stick a cake tester in the center of the fish. If the fish is still raw in the middle, you will feel the skewer "stick" and you won't be able to push it all the way through without a bit of force. If it is cooked all the way, the skewer will pass through with little to no resistance. The trick is to get it to the point at which you feel it stick the SLIGHTEST in the middle and allow for carryover to push it to perfect. Sublime. 

 

 

i can tell when a piece of fish is done  by looking at it and  gently squeezing or touching its sides even if there are 10 on at the same time...no prodding or poking going on here mon...just happy fish!

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #83 of 118
Sizzle pans squirrel, with a little finess and pulling steaks to the very front of the grill you can cover them with an upside down sizzle pan to cook through but not torch the outside of the steak.
post #84 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

My Trick to working grill. The minute you get the order put it on when its 60% done pull it off. when they tell you fire it put it back on. This way no matter what you can never be caught  without the order  at least almost ready no matter what. Also a hot side and a cooler one


I completely agree with this method. The other method I would suggest as well if you Have any big steaks such as 16oz Bone in Ribeyes, 10oz Filets, 32oz porterhouses.. 10oz pork chops... etc. etc... Any Big Steak set out for about 30 minutes... before the rush I have always set them out or put them in a warmer spot of the make station to bring them up to room temp if I know I am going to sell them within the next hour. It allow for a much faster cooking time.. Just a tip. especially trying to get it out quicker.. if they were to order a well done 32oz porterhouse that you pulled straight from the cooler it would take at least 40 minutes to cook being bone-in and all... Which you shouldnt order it well done in the first place but you understand that it happens.. especially when you serve it ala carte for 56 bucks and they get it well done with ketchup.. Center Cut Prime USDA.... who wants to hit someone? I know I do when I see this guy come in. But hell he pays.

post #85 of 118

 I've been grilling small time for over 40 years. From the picture you give us, it's charcoal grilling that you're doing. Needless to say, everyone has to know how to start a good long-lasting charcoal flame for a thorough charcoal burn. You also need to know when to place the meat unto the grill. If you already know these things, then just skip this post altogether.

 

First, you wanna stack you charcoal cubits into a pyramidal shaped pile. Then next, you wanna apply or squirt your lighter fluid. Allow your fluid to soak into your cubits for 5-10 minutes. Next, light her up! Allow the cubits to burn until they'er all white everywhere. No black spots are observeable...

 

Now spread the hot white cubits out evenly. Cover your pit and allow the grill to become evenly heated for just about ten minutes or more. No longer than 20 minutes, depending upon how much you have to grill and how much charcoal was used in the first place. Also the amount of time in which you have to complete your grilling task must also be considered.

 

Remember:

 

Placing meat over black charcoal cubits after using lighter fluid, can result in a very distasteful hydrocarbon distillate flavor. Yuck!!!

post #86 of 118

Personally, I do not use a liquid fire starter, crumpled newsprint in a chimney does a more than adequate job.
 

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post #87 of 118

Weed Burner, the only way to go.

post #88 of 118

I'm far from a seasoned grill veteran but I will say in my grill experience (75 seat casual place) that cake testers do help me a lot. On rack of lambs they save your live, perfectly cooked each time even when busy. Filets, also, as I think the finger test can be a bit deceptive on these. For burgers and and chicken breasts I think there is no need, sirloins also react very well IMO to the touch test so I usually don't bother. No they don't slow me down (count to 5 when it's in the center) and they are your biggest lifeline on things you may second guess. I've had one send back on a temp'ed item in 3 months of grill work.

post #89 of 118

Just my opinion. I used to work broiler in a fine dining steakhouse here doing 300-400 covers a night sometimes more on the weekends. The one thing you realize when you're working grill is that YOU control the pace of the kitchen. That being said, don't take you sweet ass time, but just realize that you can run the kitchen essentially by taking command of the grill. Just don't freak out. And another thing, this whole cooking things 50% is something new to me. I guess that's one way to do it, but from my eyes it seems like the quality of the steak would break down being reheated and everything. Aside from that, back to my "pace" thing. One of my favorite things to do to servers was to speed up the pace by rocking it out. It's hilarious to watch them run around and panic. Master it. And you can be a GOD. lol
 

post #90 of 118

To add fuel to the fire ;) set out your proteins so they can come to room temperature and cook faster. Food safety rules say perishables can be left out up to 4 hours, but I like to bring food outside refrigeration for up to 2 hours max. When the first hour passes, I bring out another round of food I may need, and by the time I put the first round away, I have the next round ready to go. I generally only do this with meat, poultry and veg, and I'll set out seafood for a max of 10 minutes if I am certain there will be no sacrifice in quality and freshness.

 

Learn to determine temps with touch. To each his own, but for me this is the fastest, most efficient way. Too many awesome juices can be lost poking your proteins, but that's just my philosophy. Learning your grill is key. The only exception for me is chicken, when there is any doubt I just bust out the pocket thermometer.

 

Be sure to keep the grill clean and hot. Save yourself the trouble of fighting with the food. And having bitter pieces stuck to your food.

 

Avoid flare ups as much as possible. If you're dealing with marinated stuff (especially with oil), drain/dry as much as possible before firing it.

 

If you get orders for well done steaks, yell 'kill the steak!', fire that sob immediately, stand back and exchange 'wtf is up with these customers?' remarks with fellow co-workers.

'A fool can't act the wise, but the wise can act a fool...' - Kweli

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'A fool can't act the wise, but the wise can act a fool...' - Kweli

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