Probing steaks

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Joined Feb 16, 2014
Hello
I just have a question about steak cooking. Probing is probably the most accurate way to cook a steak. There are loads of ways but probing is about 99% efficient. However when you probe a steak does it affect the resting process and therefore affect the quality.
Heston Blumenthal probes them but I thought it might affect the overall quality?
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Are you talking about the thermometer that stays in while you are cooking it or just an instant read thermometer? Either way the hole you make from the probing is minimal and shouldn't let enough juices escape to affect the overall quality. But I wouldn't keep poking your meat every 30 seconds either.
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
If your asking this question your probably not being trained by a real good grill man. Nothing against you but I've never trained anyone to stick a steak with anything. If you need to take a temp reading and that the norm of where you are then do so. While your getting a reading try to touch the steak and feel the amount of softness you feel when it reads at different temps. It will start off real soft to the touch at 120 and get a bit firmer as you progress in higher temps. In time you will get a feel for R,MR,M and so on.....Good luck.......ChefBillyB.......P.S. going back years ago when checking things like Roasts, Prime Rib and other meats we would us a metal skewer poked into the roast and then checked how hot the skewer was on our wrist.
 
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There are many schools of thought on this issue. Some say that by poking a steak or roast with a meat thermometer that the juices will spill out of the hole made by the thermometer as the meat cooks or rests. Some say that the juice loss is minimal and therefore, not a problem. Others say to simply feel the firmness of the meat and judge from that.

However, in your present position, if you are told to do it a certain way, then, that's the way you should do it.

But, to answer you question, in my opinion, using a meat thermometer on roasts is perfectly fine. They are large enough so that any hole that is made will have a negligible effect on the meat. On the other hand, steaks are smaller and have a smaller amount of juices. I have seen steaks spill their juices from the hole made by the skewer, especially while resting. But, I have never known a meat thermometer to ruin a steak either. So, is it ok to use a meat thermometer? IMO, yes. However, as chefbillyb chefbillyb pointed out, its fine as long as you don't skewer the steak several times.

As for the touch test, that's probably the best method to use. However, keep in mind that various cuts have varying degrees of tenderness and will, therefore, feel differently from one another at the various stages of doneness. In other words, the way you gauge the doneness of a filet mignon or ribeye will be different than how you would gauge the doneness of a strip steak or flank steak. They will each have their own specific "feel" at the varying stages of doneness, especially if you are working with a cut that has a bone. The meat will always feel softer towards the bone than it does around the edge. The meat at the bone cooks slower than the rest of the meat as well. So, you must keep that fact in mind when testing for doneness.

The same is true for poultry and seafood. They will each have their own type of firmness at the varying stages of doneness.

Good luck. :)
 

Cdp

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Joined Aug 31, 2017
doing functions every day doing 50-100 steaks
now i set the temp at 70cook core temp 55
using a probe
this ensures they cook slow and loose weight i do it as iam traying up
doing restaurant work i do it by hand no prob no thermo
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2004
If your asking this question your probably not being trained by a real good grill man. Nothing against you but I've never trained anyone to stick a steak with anything. If you need to take a temp reading and that the norm of where you are then do so. While your getting a reading try to touch the steak and feel the amount of softness you feel when it reads at different temps. It will start off real soft to the touch at 120 and get a bit firmer as you progress in higher temps. In time you will get a feel for R,MR,M and so on.....Good luck.......ChefBillyB.......P.S. going back years ago when checking things like Roasts, Prime Rib and other meats we would us a metal skewer poked into the roast and then checked how hot the skewer was on our wrist.

I've worked the broiler in some very high volume places, and generally there's not time to use an instant read on them. As chefbillyb says, it's generally done by touch. But the skewer trick is useful (and is really just a variant of using a thermometer).

That said, I've worked some successful, high volume places that do train to temp each steak before serving so it can vary a bit.
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
If your asking this question your probably not being trained by a real good grill man. Nothing against you but I've never trained anyone to stick a steak with anything. If you need to take a temp reading and that the norm of where you are then do so. While your getting a reading try to touch the steak and feel the amount of softness you feel when it reads at different temps. It will start off real soft to the touch at 120 and get a bit firmer as you progress in higher temps. In time you will get a feel for R,MR,M and so on.....Good luck.......ChefBillyB.......P.S. going back years ago when checking things like Roasts, Prime Rib and other meats we would us a metal skewer poked into the roast and then checked how hot the skewer was on our wrist.

....or as my French Chef would do....running the skewer on the upper lip....
 

pete

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Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I am not against probing steaks but I was trained to do it by touch and that worked out just fine for me. I could temp numerous types of steaks, with pretty high accuracy, just by touch. Rarely had steaks returned due to improper doneness, and of those, the vast majority were by people whose idea of a doneness was not in line with "standard" doneness.

My one concern about probing steaks for doneness is that many steaks can be pretty thin. If you aren't careful and place that probe right in the center that can throw off your reading considerably. It seems more fussy to do it that way, especially when it doesn't take that long to master "the touch."
 

Cdp

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Joined Aug 31, 2017
as mentioned only reason i use a probe on the oven is i am generally doing the function myself without help, if I take it to 49deg c it goes DING, i open door let em rest out and it will continue to climb approx 5/6 deg within resting time of 20min. in that time setting up of other componets to get it done.

hey as it has been said before as long as the same result comes doesn't really matter how it got there.
 
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