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Restaurant grilling.


aaguirrejr
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This is what I do when I'm given an order: I get the meat, salt + pepper all over, then spray the item with pan coating, not the grill. I was also told to never season over the grill because it will ruin the grill. Is this right?

Does anyone know any way to tell the doneness of the meat just by touching? I was taught to touch the base of my thumb (e.g. index-base = rare, middle-base = mr, ring-base = medium, pinky-base = wd). Is this right? I don't want to practice this in restaurants where food might come back due to under/over doneness.

Also, re slicing, let's say it's a beef tenderloin. Pan-roasted, left to rest, then carve into 6 pieces. I know I'm supposed to cut against the grain, but is the correct way to slice to slice AWAY from yourself? Or is that not too important?

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I teach the cheek-chin-nose-forehead method. But along with that, I tell students the method doesn't matter so much as correlation to standardized results, meaning use a thermometer for a while and cook to temperature. Check that against the touch system you're using and eventually you'll develop a reliable system. Finally I tell them that none of it is worth much if you don't practice a lot.

As for carving, the direction isn't as important as that you make a single clean cut. Sawing creates an unattractive portion.

I guess salting over the grill (I assume it's a gas grill) might eventually corrode the burners. But if the grates are cleaned properly every night, they should be fine, whether they're steel, iron or some porcelain-coated metal.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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After a night of getting the steaks wrong, you'll figure out really fast how to tell if they're cooked right. :biggrin:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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How do you determine the doneness of the meat currently?

I stick a cake tester in the center of the meat and feel it against the underside of my lower lip--how hot the poker is tells me how done the meat is.

Touching is OK and I rely on that as well, but it is also a bit unreliable to me, i.e. too many variables. The cut of meat, size, thickness, type (pork vs. beef, etc) all have different "feels."

I don't think that cutting away or towards yourself matters, as long as the slice is nice and even and you have a sharp knife. Just make sure you aren't cutting towards any fingers or hands and you should be fine.

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I really think Dave the Cook hit the nail on the head saying that it doesn't mean much unless you practice alot.

And, in my experience every single grill, cooktop, oven, range is different. You must get used to the one you use. I sometimes use a thermometer until I get used to the cooking device. Then it's just "knowing how it cooks".

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