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Broil or Roast at restaurants?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

In restaurants, do they broil or roast meats such as steak and lamb?

 

Just wondering if I pan sear meat and then move to the oven whether I should be roasting or broiling.

 

 

Thanks

post #2 of 4

Roasting.

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post #3 of 4

We would broil (or grill) steaks and chops but wouldn't roast them. At home, you can chose either way but if you roast, you don't need to turn the meat but if you broil, you will. Also if you broil, there is no need to pre-sear the meat. That's the intended purpose of broiling. To explain further, I guess it's important to first clarify the definition and distinction between broiling, the aforementioned grill and roasting.

 

The broiler uses heat above and grill the heat source is below. Secondly, what you call it also depends a little on when you entered the industry. The broiler also utilizes an outside fat source, like butter and seasoning, like Lawry's to help crust and flavor the meat. You can attain a great crust but typically will not get grill marks from a broiler since this is not the intended purpose of the grates. The grates are spaced much closer and the manner in which the meat is cooked, does not allow for this. The meat is turned with a greater frequency.

 

The char grill utilizes the juices that drip off the meat onto heat baffles, coals or wood for flavor and because of the grate spacing and manner of cooking, this method does create the nice pattern of grill marks. Today, most places utilize a char-grill (first image) to cook their steaks and chops but the name broiler is more just a generic term.

 

Way back when, before I ever attended culinary school, many in the industry used what is represented in the second two images. When I was coming up in the industry, these were the Char Broilers (aka convection broilers, drawer broilers, snorkel broilers, etc) of choice and were used to cook steaks and chops at most all the best steak houses. Some of the better ones; Ruth's Chris, Chop's, Morton's, Bone's and McKendrick's continue to use them today....or at least they did when I worked for a couple of them back in the '90's. I remember having an old side by side in two of my kitchen. Those were monsters and frankly, I preferred them above the over/under or single model. This is not to say that a char-grill was not used because they were and in some cases simultaneously but just not as frequently.

 

Roasting utilizes longer periods of time or higher heat for short periods and a secondary cooking method like a sear and a high heat surrounding the food. That said, as far as roasting is concerned, most often in my kitchen it was performed at a higher heat with portioned items that were cooked to order or vegetables. A good example would be Roasted sea bass, mini rack of lamb with a quick sear or potatoes and vegetables on a pan and into the oven. Otherwise, it was a form of cooking for prep of large portions of meat like a Steamship round or leg of lamb with either the convection oven or the Alto-sham.

 

Probably more info than you were looking for and there is a little more to all of it but this is my best attempt at the abbreviated explanation.

 

 

 


Edited by oldschool1982 - 9/11/14 at 10:07am
post #4 of 4

When I said "roasting" I was referring to searing off a steak, then finishing to final temp in an oven.  Hmm, I can't remember how long it has been since I asked "How thick is the thickest steak? How thin is the thinnest roast?"

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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