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Why do chefs pour with their thumb over the top of bottles?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have worked with many many chefs who have their thumb over the the top of bottles of oil,brandy,vinegar,wine etc etc. I have never understood it. If you want to control how much you are pouring, just pour a little slower.

Is there a need for this?

I think a lot of TV chefs are to blame for this.

Personally I think it's rather unhygienic, you can contaminate the contents and also you end up with a dirty thumb.

Do you do this? And why.
post #2 of 26

I hate this too! I feel like a lot of it is people trying to look like they have acquired an advanced pouring skill when in actuality they look like a pretentious culinary student. There was one line cook who would do this all night with EVOO and truffle oil on his flatbreads, it would drive me nuts because he's contaminating all the oil since he never washed his hands, not to mention he was using a fine tipped squeeze bottle!. Simply pour at a lower angle guys!

post #3 of 26

In defense of this practice, I would say that if the cook's thumb is not clean anyway while working on the line, then we have trouble right from the start.

 

Get a life people.

 

If I'm making a trifle and need to sprinkle booze on to the sponge cake, I'll place my thumb over the top of the bottle to help.

No a pour spout will not work.

No pouring the booze into a squeeze bottle is stupid and unnecessary.

post #4 of 26
Go chef Ross, I do the thumb thing too, I don't have all day to slowly pour the right amount of oil or booze on something, the thumb helps control the stream coming out. I do wash my thumbs,
Fluctuat nec mergitur
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Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #5 of 26

Same here ; oils, vinegars, alcohol etc. I don't see any health issues with this in fact so many chefs/cooks do it that its just second nature.

 

As stated already, your hands should be already clean.

 

FWIW   It's not rocket science.

 

Do I do it ? Yes

Why ? To save time

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #6 of 26
I was going respond to this question last night, but thought I was imagining this post.

I've been doing it for years, with ''clean thumbs.''

In reality it just dawned on me that I'm trying to immitate a "pretentious culinary student."
post #7 of 26

I DO SAME AS CHEF ROSS  ON CAKES

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 26

On the line it's generally a bad idea to have a glass bottle.  Use a plastic pourer with a bar spout for wine and booze.

 

Off the line?  Blah, no big deal.

post #9 of 26

Been doing it for 30 years, why? Because that was the way I was taught 30 years ago. I guess I too look like a pretentious culinary student trying to show my advanced pouring skills. And we did not learn from the Food Network, it was not even a wet dream at the time.

Chef Ed does it, and he's as old as dirt, so get over your OCD

post #10 of 26

No matter how small a hole you have in the bottle - if the liquid is thin - it will come out in a steady stream.

 

Quite often I only want a few drops or splashes and want them to be well distributed over the pans surface.

The only practical way to do this is to put a thumb over the opening and then quickly open and close the bottle while shaking it.

 

Honestly, try it?

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #11 of 26

cleanr43.jpg

the latest in no thumb chef wear

 

when saute station gets an order for shrimp scampi, fresh gloves pour oil in pan, new gloves put shrimp in pan, remove shrimp, change gloves add garlic to pan, change gloves, add wine, fresh gloves and add stock, fresh gloves and return shrimp to pan, change gloves and add parsley, new gloves and add butter, done deal; oh yeah I forgot salt (gloves) and pepper (gloves), I am not sure about plate up but give me a second while i get fresh gloves talker.gif rollsmile.gif crazy.gif

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #12 of 26

LOL.      CRACK ME UP!

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

cleanr43.jpg

the latest in no thumb chef wear

 

when saute station gets an order for shrimp scampi, fresh gloves pour oil in pan, new gloves put shrimp in pan, remove shrimp, change gloves add garlic to pan, change gloves, add wine, fresh gloves and add stock, fresh gloves and return shrimp to pan, change gloves and add parsley, new gloves and add butter, done deal; oh yeah I forgot salt (gloves) and pepper (gloves), I am not sure about plate up but give me a second while i get fresh gloves talker.gif rollsmile.gif crazy.gif

 

Fixed for some health regulations. Washing hands before replacing gloves is mandatory.

 

when saute station gets an order for shrimp scampi, wash hands fresh gloves pour oil in pan, wash hands new gloves put shrimp in pan, remove shrimp, wash hands change gloves add garlic to pan, wash hands change gloves, add wine, fresh gloves and add stock, wash hands fresh gloves and return shrimp to pan, wash hands change gloves and add parsley, wash hands new gloves and add butter, done deal; oh yeah I forgot salt (wash hands, gloves) and pepper (wash hands, gloves), I am not sure about plate up but give me a second while i wash hands,get fresh gloves

post #14 of 26

CAN YOU SAY..."OVER THE TOP?"

post #15 of 26

Chef Bubba when You started it was probably Julia Child , and Graham Kerr when I started it was Dionne Lucas.

and they learned same way we did. and Chef Layne re the guys in uniform your close, only I say within 5 years we will have to wear surgical mask.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #16 of 26

Was going to make ribs tonight for wife and I . Went to Walmart they had a whole cooler with whole racks of Lloyds BBQ for only $9.99 whole rack.t (Have never seen less then them for under $!6.00, baby backs at that .

     I can't do it for less so I bought them but did make my own baked beans with bourbon ,onion  and bacon, and my own cole slaw., and poppy seed cheese biscuits.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #17 of 26

The reason why I choose to put my thumb over a bottle is out of habit for when I'm pouring any sort of alcohol on a hot pan, so just in case the flame starts to run up the stream, you can cap it off before it gets to the bottle and explodes in your hand..
 

post #18 of 26
Had that happen before, a Heineken bottle full of brandy with a pour spout...
post #19 of 26

Ooo, a live man's switch as contrasted with the old railroad's dead man's switch lol.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Sean View Post

The reason why I choose to put my thumb over a bottle is out of habit for when I'm pouring any sort of alcohol on a hot pan, so just in case the flame starts to run up the stream, you can cap it off before it gets to the bottle and explodes in your hand..
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #20 of 26

Been there done that , but it was a plasic bottle , so instead of exploding the flames shot out like a flame thrower. 

Guess i found a new weapon just incase of a zombie apocolypse XD. 

 

Note: I was not cooking nor in the kitchen this happened when i was a child....

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #21 of 26

Because there big toe wont reach

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #22 of 26

I figured that anyone who cooks with alcohol knows what they are doing...maybe...Always take away from the flame on stove...however this can be done on electric stove as I have ignited several with brandy...keep a lid nearby, and don't do it when your alone as someone may need to call 911 while you melt into the linoleum floor.....

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelGA View Post

No matter how small a hole you have in the bottle - if the liquid is thin - it will come out in a steady stream.

 

Quite often I only want a few drops or splashes and want them to be well distributed over the pans surface.

The only practical way to do this is to put a thumb over the opening and then quickly open and close the bottle while shaking it.

 

Honestly, try it?

what are you shaking?  My alcohol doesn't need a shake unless it's my martini;)

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelGA View Post

No matter how small a hole you have in the bottle - if the liquid is thin - it will come out in a steady stream.

 

Quite often I only want a few drops or splashes and want them to be well distributed over the pans surface.

The only practical way to do this is to put a thumb over the opening and then quickly open and close the bottle while shaking it.

 

Honestly, try it?

ok that made no sense at all..open and close and pour and shake???? I hope no one tries that ...

post #25 of 26

I have XVOO with a fine tip, and i got to tell you, no i wont go slower, no i wont pour in a specific angle.

 

2 reasons i do (it's going to be more than 2...)

 

1. Speed

2. Accuracy

and 3rd. Have you EVER lost a plate due to a loose cap? i have... not only do you loose the product on the plate, the product in the bottle, but potentially set back the kitchen, (if it was alcohol potentially have a hazard leading to the ansul system going off and thus loosing everything on the line, closing the restaurant, getting fired, that leading to not being able to pay rent, you loose the car... ) So that might be over the top. BUT i did loose a squeeze bottle cap when i didn't put my thumb over it and for the next 10 minutes it was just playing catch up and i felt like a fool.

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipstrr View Post

ok that made no sense at all..open and close and pour and shake???? I hope no one tries that ...

you said that - I didn't...  re-read my post and it will make sense.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
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