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Acual tips for running a grill station?(organizing a steak in oven and in a resting rack, doness, cooking timing etc)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I had a first horrible night at grill station yesterday. Most of cooked steaks was overcooked. my oven and station is totally unorganized.

Can you guys give me any Professional, Acual tips for running a grill station from your expierience (organizing a steak in oven and in a resting rack, doness, and cooking timing)? I really appriciate it.


Edited by Flying Pig - 4/22/15 at 2:54pm
post #2 of 3

1. Mise en place. Stock your station.

 

2. Use a meat thermometer. Most reliable way. Eventually you'll get it through experience, but a thermometer always tells the truth. Some steaks cook differently, blah blah blah

 

3. Pull your steaks early due to carry over cooking while holding. Plus, you can always fix undercooked.

post #3 of 3

Here is an older but fact filled thread on working grill station: http://www.cheftalk.com/t/71402/working-the-grill-any-advice
 

 

 

I've spent most of my time on grill/meat station and admittedly was beastly on it. I will say it's probably the hardest station to learn initially and master temperatures but once you get good on it you can pump out dishes faster than any other station on hot line.

 

My advice:
 

1.) For organizing proteins on a resting rack (sheet pan lined with parchment and a cooling rack on top) I organized them in rows starting from front to back. Rare was the first row closest to me, medium rare directly behind that, medium after that etc. Well done and cooked through items like statlers were always the last row. This way even with different proteins resting they're all organized by temperature making it easy to grab the right one to flash on the pickup.

 

2.) As far as organizing proteins in an oven with experience I could just remember which was which even with a lot of different things working at once. When I first started however I organized individual proteins on sizzlers and put the well done items on the back of the top rack, medium well on the front of the top rack, medium back bottom rack, medium rare front bottom rack etc. Again with experience and timing this becomes obsolete but it helped me when I first started.

 

3.) Forget thermometers, learn the finger test and cake tester method. This is how it's done at every single high end meat station.

 

4.) Be absolutely militant about setting up your mise exactly the same way every single service. By mise I mean everything from your tongs and grill brush to your salt and pepper. Having everything in the same spot allows you to not even think which frees up your mind to focus on timing, which with experience is 90% of working grill. Once your timing is down you can accurately get proteins temps dead on just by your internal clock telling you something is ready. For me I could produce dish after dish perfectly with a full board of tickets once in a rhythm because I was just producing and not thinking. There is no other station on hot line where timing is so important.

 

5.) Get to know your proteins. For me I would cut filets and arrange the perfect medallions in front of my reach in and tail pieces and less perfect pieces in the back of my reach in. Well done and medium well pieces were the less perfect looking portions because they don't cook quite as evenly, Medium rare were the perfect medallions because their shape allows an even temperature gradient.

 

6.) Send backs are the bane of a grill cooks existence. They unnerve you, expo gets pissed and chef questions your ability. No other station has this added fear placed on them. Experience and doing your temps correctly is the only way to eliminate send backs. Don't let them unsettle you so much when they do happen otherwise you're toast.

 

7.) FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS! Nailing temps is your number 1 goal on every single piece of protein on every single night of service. Try to channel out all the other factors going on to allow you to focus on getting that temps. right. Forgetting about a ticket, leaving your station to grab something in the walk-in, changing printer paper etc. are all factors that divert your attention and this is when things start to get less than perfect when you are busy.

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