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Grilling burgers at a casual restaurant


urnwue
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I am very new to being a line cook. How do I handle grilling burgers to a required temperature in a fast paced place that would be the most efficient. How do I determine the doneness, etc? We have both flat grill and chargrill. 

Thank you.

A beginner line cook at a casual restaurant in NYC.

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you need an instant read thermometer - "guessing" at temperatures is not going to work for a beginner.

with experience you'll be able to "poke test" and judge rare / medium / well done, but not this week.

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On 3/4/2016 at 1:56 AM, pastrygirl said:

Is there no chef or anyone training you?  Some chefs have their own definition of 'medium'and ways they like their line to run that we can't necessarily advise on. 

 

I mean.... this is sort of a big one - where's the chef, or the person training you? Instant read thermometers are going to be the best best, no matter where you are, but some may not want to spend the money, so many chefs have many different ways of teaching this, and may have their own quirks.

 

*Personally*, without instant reads, I used to train my guys to use cake testers - the 'poke' test is never an accurate test, and is widely known to be pretty much the least accurate. Without a digital thermometer, I've found using a cake tester (the very thin stainless steel wire), to be the quickest with the least amount of room for error. Essentially you insert this tiny piece of metal into the center of a protein, keep it there for a few seconds, take it out and immediately touch it to your lower lip, which is very sensitive, and you can feel how cold, warm, or hot, the center is. Now, this means you generally have experience with temps, and what each temperature feels like, but it's recommended for being fast and relatively accurate. If you aren't super comfortable with temps, then of course you will need someone to teach you, or just end up using a thermometer anyway.

 

My advice is have someone there show you, give you tips, train you, etc - there isn't a shortcut working a burger station, that's experience you need to go through. If, for some reason, there isn't someone training you if this is a new position for you, get a thermometer - shy of that, I don't think there is a concrete set of rules that anyone can give to be honest. If you're on your own, read up on techniques, get an instant read, and keep practicing.

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Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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