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Faster way to cook a 14oz bone in pork chop?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've recently started as a sous chef for a popular fine dining restaurant that is in need of a lot of help. The owners know zero about cooking and their guy that's been running the kitchen the last several years is nearly as clueless.

Aside from attempting to fix the lack of food safety practice and overall filthy state of the kitchen, I'm also tasked with rewriting the methods for all of the dishes on the menu to make them easier to prepare on the line in a time efficient manner.

I'm a pretty young chef (25) and just barely got to sous level about a year ago. I haven't been through any formal culinary training either. I've simply worked my way up the ladder from washing dishes over the last 9 years and paid attention to everything my chefs previous have tried to teach me. I consider myself to be pretty handy and knowledgeable in my current position but lacking in experience

I've tried to tell the owners that they need to get an experienced executive chef as much of what they are asking of me is beyond my experience and that I need to work under a chef for a few years to gain in the type of experience that they are pushing me to. According to them, they can't afford a chef so they have me instead. Not sure if that's a compliment or not but I appreciate their faith in me.

I've got a handle on most of the problems with the place so far but one dish is just completely stumping me.

We've got a 14oz bone in pork chop on our menu that takes 25+ minutes to prepare. Currently our servers simply warn customers who inquire about the dish that they will be waiting a really long time for their food should they choose to order it.
My servers tell me that this discourages a lot of people from ordering it not to mention the fact that it's really tacky having to tell customers they're gonna have to wait ages for their food.

I'm just curious if there's a faster way to get this chop to the table without sacrificing the integrity of the dish or having to alter the chop in any way? Eg. Butterfly.

The current method is to grill the chop for 10 minutes on the broiler and then place it in the oven for 15 to finish

It's literally a huge slab of meat and I can't figure out how to cook it any faster without at least cutting it in half and serving it as two pieces which the owners aren't down with. They want it served whole. Am I just at a loss here or is there anything I can do?
post #2 of 10

25+ minutes is quite a long time to cook something like that, any complaints about them being dry? I am assuming you're placing the chop in the non-convection oven under the range, correct? Those generally don't cook things fast, they're good for fish and reheating things but big pieces of meat will take forever in there. Also, are these being cooked to temp. or are they are going out well done? I would advise having FOH ask for a temperature because most people will say "medium" when asked on pork BUT if they are not asked for a temp. before hand and pork comes to them medium it will be sent back to be cooked more, I can't figure this out but it's always held true.


As for cooking something like that fast I suggest pan searing it and heavily arrosing with the hot oil around the bone to cook quicker and then getting it in convection oven if you have one. A high power salamander will cook that quickly too.


Also, taking a par value of how many you sell each night is a good idea. If you sell 4 on a wednesday night pull 4 out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature. Room temperatures meats will shave off quite a bit of cooking time. I would do this all the time with racks of lamb. Just don't leave it them somewhere hot like behind the line, I would leave them on a prep table away from heat and they'll be fine.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah, they're going in the non-convection oven under the sauté station after they're marked off and cooked on the broiler for a bit. We're cooking them to 145 F unless the customer specifies a desired temp.
Pan searing might help a little but I think the owner likes to have the grill marks on the chop.

I wish I had a salamander but I don't. I do have a convection oven but it's not on my line or even readily accessible. It's not even in the kitchen, It's downstairs in a prep area because the kitchen doesn't have any room for another appliance.

I'm of the opinion that we just need to get rid of our current sauté station and get a range with a convection oven instead. That's easier said than done though.
post #4 of 10

Three options

1. Fire it with the appetizer or course before

2. If you have any experience with Sous Vide in a commercial setting, this would seem to be a good application for it

3. Not the ideal method, but you can mark off your par orders for the night at the start of service, and finish to order.

post #5 of 10
Fine dining and they cant wait 25 minutes? Take it off the menu then. Everyone so rushy these days.
post #6 of 10

What kind of broiler are you using?   The pull out deck kind?

post #7 of 10

If you have the means sous vide it.  If not (and if it's your call) take it off the menu.  There's no good way that I know of to make it cook any faster without resorting to dirty tricks.  And I like a pork chop but who wants to wait half an hour for one?  If people really want pork chops maybe swap in two smaller ones instead?

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
post #8 of 10

As was previously noted, the pork chop goes on the heat as soon as the kitchen gets the order. If the guest has a salad and rolls to eat while it's cooking that's fine.

Also 25+ minutes is not a long time in the world of fine dining. I would enjoy my wine and engage those around me in small talk while we wait.

I don't see this as a problem at all.

post #9 of 10
Why would you own/operate a kitchen but not be willing to put up the cash to hire a proper chef? Don't these people realize a good chef will bring in $$$ while a poor one will lose it? It's kind of like saying "I want to own a formula one team but I don't want to spend money on a top driver". Well guess what? It's the driver that wins you races. It's amazing how many clueless owners are out there...

Oh and rant aside; I'm also in the sous-vide camp. Although if your owners won't put up $$$ for a chef I doubt you have circulators or a vacuum machine.
Edited by veronporter - 2/18/15 at 5:44am
post #10 of 10

sous vide is the only way to go as far as i can see if they can't wait. You do not want to cook your beautiful chop too fast in the oven anyway, because the result will be tough peace of meat at the end of all the waiting. It needs a 5 minute rest as well. Some thing are just not for the restaurant menu....Or print on the menu under that item 30 minutes wait, After all good things are worth waiting for, otherwise f'#'@k off to Mcdonalds where you can get a shake to go with it as well in under 3 minutes.....

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