well-done steak

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debodun
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2006/05/15 15:37:11 (permalink)

well-done steak

Forgive my plebean tastes, but I prefer my red meat cuts well done. To me it bring out the roasted meaty flavor much more. It seems that some eateries cannot comprehend what that means. Whan I order steaks, I always emphasize "Well-done". Apparently, some chefs consider this burned beyond recognition. Others think "well-done" would be what I would consider "medium-rare." At one place, I sent the meat back three times and it always came back in the same red state of doneness. Finally the chef came storming out of the kitchen and exclaimed that he was not going to ruin a perfectly good piece of meat! What's it to him? If I'm paying for it, I should get it the way I want. Ponderosa used to do it really well. No pink and it was still tender. Unfortunately, they went out of business many years ago, or at least pulled out of this area. How can I get the message across to the person doing the cooking that I don't want a charcoal briquet, but I don't want to see any pink in it either?
#1

137 Replies Related Threads

    V960
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 16:04:50 (permalink)
    I have the same but different problem. I want my meat barely marked, good vet could bring it back is the way I put it, yet I have the same problem...comes out in the middle.

    Feel lucky, you can always cook it a bit more but you can't take the cooking away.
    #2
    sk bob
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 17:35:04 (permalink)
    well done? the chef was right,just cut off a piece of the desk you're sitting at,add a dash of salt and bon appitet. it's the sane thing.
    #3
    Tedbear
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 18:10:09 (permalink)
    The problem, as I see it, is that the chef knows that cooking a steak to the point of being truly well-done will turn that succulent piece of beef into a dry, tough substance reminiscent of shoe leather. While it is your prerogative to eat your steak in that fashion, most chefs know from experience that a steak cooked in this fashion will be inedible by most people's standards. And then, when the patron complains about how tough it is, the restaurant winds up trashing the first steak and cooking another one. To most chefs and restauranteurs, it is just not worth the risk of having to waste food in order to try to produce an edible steak when the customer wants it cooked to that extent.

    With all due respect, you would probably be better off grilling your own steaks if you want them cooked this way. Most chefs would refuse to cook a steak to the extent that you seem to desire. Incidentally, most chefs would be offended to hear you call the grill guy at Ponderosa a "chef".
    #4
    UncleVic
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 18:39:18 (permalink)
    If I wanted to munch on leather, I'd order a well done steak. Give me a bloody one that lets out a slight moo when I stab it with my knife.
    I can see your dilema, but any decent Chef wouldnt desicrate a decent cut of cow...

    #5
    floridafoodeater
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 18:46:29 (permalink)
    With due respect to the rare/medium rare people here -- I'm one of you -- I go to an excellent high-end steakhouse, and if you want it Pittsburgh style, you get it Pittsburgh style -- but if you want it well-done, then by god, they'll give you your $32 steak well done, no pink, and do the best they can to make it was palatable as they can.

    Seems kind of silly to say, because as noted, you obviously wouldn't really call the people at Ponderosa "chefs," but if they can do it, an excellent chef should be able to do it, too.
    #6
    Cosmos
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 18:46:36 (permalink)
    I loved Anthony Bourdain's story of a filet mignion being ordered well done being tossed into the fryer for a while, set to rest while the other dishes were prepared and finished in the oven before serving.
    #7
    lleechef
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 19:19:38 (permalink)
    I always CRINGED when I had to take a beautiful Angus steak and cook it well done. I did it, but I sure didn't like it. And no, you don't have to burn the piss out of it, it can be done.

    A while ago I was going back to the restaurant after a catering job and witnessed one of the line cooks toss a filet in the fryer. His comment was, "The guy is drunk and he ordered it well done"!!
    #8
    Jimeats
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 19:23:45 (permalink)
    I like the best of both. Steak Pittsburg, burnt on the outside but very rare in the middle. Chow Jim
    #9
    Billfish
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/15 20:21:58 (permalink)
    I tend to disagree.Any real "chef" worth his salt can cook a well done steak without turning it into charcoal.Of course it will be tougher than a medium rare,thats just part of the physiology of meat,and anybody who orders it that way should be advised of same if they dont already know.
    Stories of temperamental chefs who throw a hissy fit when asked to cook something a certain way are many and legendary.We have seen the "soup nazi" roundly excoriated here.If they want to put a disclaimer on the menu."Not responsible for well done steaks",then so be it.We can do without the drama.Most chefs I have met (no,not at the Ponderosa) are pretty easy going and like to please the customer.
    Hey,if the chef absolutely,positively refuses to do it,just smile and say "Ok medium well will be fine".
    #10
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/16 02:26:01 (permalink)
    I'm guessing the reason Ponderosa steaks came out well done and tender is that they must have soaked it in a tenderizer so strong it would eat through the plate if you left it there long enough.

    I don't know if it is true, but I was told once that the chemicals they used at Ponderosa were so strong that people who handled the meat had to wear gloves.
    #11
    Jimeats
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/16 05:54:43 (permalink)
    I'm kind of sceptical about the chemical thing, but my guess it was heavely needled. Passed thru the tenderizer machine a couple of times too many. It turns the meat into a grainey mass of crap. But on the other hand if someone forgot their dentures they could still consume it. Chow Jim
    #12
    BTB
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/26 10:29:40 (permalink)
    Many restaurants have on their menu's something like "Not responsible for steaks ordered Medium Well or Well Done." As I do not like shoe leather or "hockey pucks," I order my steaks Medium Rare or Medium.
    #13
    Sundancer7
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/26 14:23:58 (permalink)
    I travel with folks who want everything well done. That certainly is not my favorite way as I like my steaks medium rare but that is the reason there is chocolate and vanilla, you got a lot of choices and I am glad folks like what they order (at least part of the time).

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #14
    2005Equinox
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/28 03:42:26 (permalink)
    I like mine rare or medium rare. Hamburgers too. To me if you have faith in the quality of your meat you wont have a problem doing it rare. I never hesitate when cooking something this way from the local meat market. Nothing better than going to Heans and picking out a steak. I usually go for PorterHouse or London Broil.
    #15
    Adjudicator
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/28 10:08:17 (permalink)


    End of discussion. Those who prefer to eat well done and perhaps even medium-well done steaks should be sentenced to a week of eating Hamburger Helper.

    #16
    blizzardstormus
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/28 12:48:26 (permalink)
    Unless a customer orders a steak BURNT, I always grill a well-ordered steak to a medium well state. This gets rid of the pink that most customers who order a steak well-done don't want to see but still allows for some juiciness'

    My mother, bless her soul, is a fantastic cook except for steaks. She ALWAYS turns them to shoe leather & loves them.
    #17
    sizz
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/28 15:15:52 (permalink)
    Linda likes her's extremely well done, she better not see any pink or juice (she calls juice blood) ............ I like mine medium rare.
    As protocol dictates a waiter asks the lady first for her order. Linda will explain and make damn sure the waiter understands that her steak or hamburger is prepared as I have just related "extremely well done" then I will chime in my order "medium rare"........................
    When our food is delivered to our table Linda's steak or hamburger will be as she ordered and my steak/hamburger is well done. ............. always!
    "ooh waiter, didn't I order my meat medium rare?"
    "yes you did sir............"
    "look, it's well done"
    "oh dear so sorry let me get you another"
    Now I have to wait another twenty minutes and Linda's meal will get cold so we have to eat alone............. this screws up our whole meal so most times I'll say forget it and eat my meat well done and tip$ accordingly.
    One day we sat at the counter at Johnny Rockets and we went though our standard scenario on how we want our hamburgers cooked..... I watched how our order went to the fry cook, he reads the order then tosses two patties onto the grill................ when he thought my medium rare was done he moves it over to a warmer part of the grill. As Linda's extremely well done was ready he then completes making up our hamburger order and my medium rare is now well done. ............ damn!! that's why when Linda and I eat together my medium rare always comes out well done.
    So from now on when the waiter takes our order I let Linda tell the waiter how she wants hers extremely well done , be sure you squeeze out all the blood........... etc etc.
    I then tell the waiter to please start Linda's order and then come back in 5 minutes to take my order. ............... problem solved. ......Linda and the waiter are pissed but my steak is now the way that I like it.
    Linda likes her meat like beef jerky and I still love her...................sigh!
    #18
    2005Equinox
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/28 21:00:23 (permalink)
    Why dont more places ask how you wqant your hamburger done? So few ask this. And quiter a few are afraid to make it less than medium for fear of a lawsuit. Like I said, if you use a good quality of meat you wont have an issue with making it rare or medium rare. Nothing worse than getting a steak or hamburger that is cooked so much it doesnt taste like anything.
    #19
    salsailsa
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/28 22:49:30 (permalink)
    Where I live, it is law that hamburgers must be cooked Medium well. I've seen people practically beg servers to get their burgers cooked medium rare.
    #20
    abe_froeman
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/05/28 23:22:46 (permalink)
    Anthony Bourdain also notes that when a customer orders a piece of beef well-done, the chef generally picks the worst piece of meat they have, that they've been pushing aside for the orders of rare, medium-rare, medium and medium-well because they figure when it's cooked that much, the customer isn't going to be able to tell the difference anyway.

    It drives me nuts when restaurants won't allow you to get anything less than medium-well. It's not a law in the state I live in, but there are restaurants (such as Red Robin) where it's their policy to only cook their burgers medium-well or well-done; the waitress has perkily [read: annoyingly] asked me if I want my burger "a little pink or no pink at all?" and I reply back, in the same perky tone, "Oh, I'd like it as bloody as possible, please!" It comes back medium-well. Grrr.
    #21
    rbpalmer
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 08:48:03 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Montecarlolsus

    Why dont more places ask how you wqant your hamburger done? So few ask this. And quiter a few are afraid to make it less than medium for fear of a lawsuit. Like I said, if you use a good quality of meat you wont have an issue with making it rare or medium rare. Nothing worse than getting a steak or hamburger that is cooked so much it doesnt taste like anything.


    Of course, the reason that most places don't ask you how you want your burger cooked is because they're going to cook it medium or medium-well no matter how you ask for it. And it's not the quality of the meat, it's the sanitary conditions at the place where the beef was ground into hamburger that matter. I would prefer my hamburgers medium rare too, but if the beef came from a supermarket, I want the burgers cooked medium or medium-well because I don't know whether the meat was ground under sanitary conditions, and I have no faith in the ability of our grossly underfunded and understaffed state and/or federal meat inspection systems to keep e-coli contaminated hamburger from reaching the market. I think that the "Jack-In-The-Box" illnesses of some years ago and the resulting fear of lawsuits pretty much ended the availability of medium-rare or rare burgers at restaurants, except for operations that grind their own beef and can therefore carefully monitor the sanitary conditions.
    #22
    Bushie
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 10:09:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Montecarlolsus

    Why dont more places ask how you wqant your hamburger done? So few ask this. And quiter a few are afraid to make it less than medium for fear of a lawsuit. Like I said, if you use a good quality of meat you wont have an issue with making it rare or medium rare. Nothing worse than getting a steak or hamburger that is cooked so much it doesnt taste like anything.

    It's because liberal trial lawyers and judges continue to destroy this country. Like you noted, the business owners justifiably fear getting sued if, through no fault of their own, a molecule of eColi is found in the meat.

    Modern-day liberals always have to find someone to blame for everyday inconveniences of life, and the medium-rare hamburger is just a casualty of that thinking (or lack, thereof).
    #23
    rbpalmer
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 10:47:55 (permalink)
    Two observations:

    1. Whatever the political leanings of trial lawyers and judges (most of whom, by the way, on the federal level have been appointed by conservative Republican presidents), the awards in civil cases are generally made by juries composed of ordinary citizens with varying political viewpoints.

    2. I trust that Bushie did not mean to suggest that food-borne illnesses, which can and do kill people every year, are mere "inconveniences."
    #24
    Bill B.
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 11:05:45 (permalink)
    What is this, the Michael Savage Show?

    I cooked at a Ponderosa-type steak chain for a week one summer when I was in high school, many years ago. The beef we used came from Brazil, shipped unrefrigerated in formaldehyde. When it arrived at the U.S. distribution center, the beef apparently was as grey as cardboard. Workers sealed the beef in plastic bags filled with tenderizer and a red food coloring and shipped it out to the restaurants.

    When we opened a bag, the stench would just about knock us over. The raw steaks were reddish on the outside and grey on the inside. It didn't matter whether you served it rare or well-done -- when someone cut INTO the steak, it LOOKED well-done. Which is how about 80 percent of our customers ordered their steaks: "Cook 'er well-done, there, pardner!"
    #25
    Bill B.
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 11:15:05 (permalink)
    Let me correct that: We got our beef from Argentina, not Brazil.

    Like I said, it's been a long time.
    #26
    sizz
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 11:15:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Bill B. Posted - 06/02/2006 : 11:05:45
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What is this, the Michael Savage Show?

    I cooked at a Ponderosa-type steak chain for a week one summer when I was in high school, many years ago. The beef we used came from Brazil, shipped unrefrigerated in formaldehyde. When it arrived at the U.S. distribution center, the beef apparently was as grey as cardboard. Workers sealed the beef in plastic bags filled with tenderizer and a red food coloring and shipped it out to the restaurants.

    When we opened a bag, the stench would just about knock us over. The raw steaks were reddish on the outside and grey on the inside. It didn't matter whether you served it rare or well-done -- when someone cut INTO the steak, it LOOKED well-done. Which is how about 80 percent of our customers ordered their steaks: "Cook 'er well-done, there, pardner!"


    BS...pure unadulterated BS ..........................
    as a teen I believe you were treated to and fell pry to a Urban Legends
    #27
    rbpalmer
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 11:16:15 (permalink)
    Yet another reason to stay away from "Ponderosa-type steak chains."
    #28
    Bushie
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 11:19:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rbpalmer

    I trust that Bushie did not mean to suggest that food-borne illnesses, which can and do kill people every year, are mere "inconveniences."

    I did not mean to suggest that. It's wrong, though to destroy the life of an innocent business owner over an accident.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, I took a friend out to a place I love to go in Hare, TX. (Merely a wide place in the road.) She ordered a burger rare (explaining that she really wanted it medium-rare, but when she orders it medium-rare, people tend to over cook it). The owner replied that they normally won't do that, but she'd make an exception because she knew me. In other words, it was only because she trusted that I wouldn't sue their a** if my friend got a tummy-ache afterward.
    #29
    sizz
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    RE: well-done steak 2006/06/02 11:26:03 (permalink)
    Bushie....didn't you know that Liberal's know what is good for you because your to stupid to know what you like ???
    case in point ................. "rbpalmer"
    #30
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