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Teaching Someone to Cook Filets

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So I've got a motivated garde manger cook who has experience working grill at a high volume turn and burn. Actually came in on his own time to learn grill (why oh why aren't there more people like this???) so he can do it on my day off. I am incredibly good at this station and picked it up like it was second nature, my temps are dead on. HOWEVER, I do have trouble teaching others this station though, I think it's a combination of me over explaining things because I want every dish going out as good as I do it (not being cocky here but I beast that station) and wanting every temp being perfect.

 

I'm having trouble explaining how to cook filets to this cook. I know how to do it my way but my way isn't always the easiest to learn. To me filets feel different than other steaks with the finger test. I know now just by picking up a filet and by timing where it's at exactly. Occasionally I'll do the cake tester on a bigger filet but otherwise not.

 

Any tips on teaching this cook to temp filets? He's getting send backs on this cut only (it's all portioned to 8 oz and all wet aged) otherwise his temps are pretty good. The cake tester thing works for me but it confuses this cook so I don't even try that anymore. He's telling me the finger test to him feels the same on a filet as it does all other steaks (in my opinion not but that's just me) but for some reason filets are getting send backs, both over and under cooked.

 

Anyone have advice specific to cooking filets? I don't know what else to tell him maybe someone will have a different perspective. I'm very patient because I want to be able to work this station permanently but I can't do that til he can confidently cook a filet!

post #2 of 5

The best training tool in a kitchen i have found, cook to cook is active observation. Have the cook shadow you during a service, every time you pull a steak off the girll/out of the oven what have you touch it and Say this is medium, have him touch it every time. The questions will come naturally and so will the answers because your actually doing it. You can even shadow him and guide him through the service, telling him when to drop steaks, and if he ask why your dropping it now yada yada. 

This is how i have always learned. Hope that helps. 

post #3 of 5
I don't understand how a cake tester could possibly ever be "confusing". This should be his best friend right now. I'd try and get him to wrap his head around that one.
post #4 of 5

Cake testers are a wonderful tool without a doubt but I also think one should learn by touch as well. When the grill is overflowing with items, I can temp by touch probably 5x (being very conservative) as fast as I can with a cake tester.

 

One thing I always found helpful when cooking and when teaching the cooking of filet mignon is to check the sides when checking resistance as opposed to checking the top. Due to the nature of the cut, the top check on filet mignon can be very misleading.

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 #5 of 5
I look at the cake tester as a second opinion. He should still be touching them and when he feels they're ready, give 'em a poke. Then, eventually when he realizes he's dead on every time anyway, he can drop the tester. When learning it's better safe than sorry, especially with expensive cuts.
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