Searing, chilling and reheating.

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Hey Guys

Just wondering if some pro's could give me a definitive answer on this. Is it safe and advisable to sear chicken breasts, kiev's, cordon bleu's, filet steaks etc so they are cooked between 20 and 90 percent through. Blast chill them and refrigerate until needed, and then finish cooking in combi oven for service?

Cheers
 
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I know many people who do it and have never poisoned anyone, but the EHO wouldnt be happy about it. Im no pro but its best not to do anything that will get you in trouble with the law
 
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From a safety standpoint, it presents no problems; but why? I'm sure it is being looked at as a time saver in getting food out, but how much time is saved? A sear takes what... like 2 minutes. Plus while searing you are also raising the internal temp, granted only minimally; but I can guarantee that it will take less time to finish in the oven than a cold pre-seared out of the fridge. So what is the overall gain?
 
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Thanks for the reply guys.

In my area the eho state that most food should be cooked to 70 degrees if being cooled down and not served immediately, but I have worked in different kitchens where meats have been seared and chilled before service. I have even cut into pre cooked chicken kievs from super markets and they have been slightly raw in the middle. Im just looking to get this cleared up at it seems to be a bit of a grey area.

thanks again pro's!
 
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With all the entree possibilities that are perfectly suited for cooking prior to service why make stuff then ....why?

It seems like you are asking is there a good way to do things wrong....

Just Sayin'

Peachcreek
 
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In my area the eho state that most food should be cooked to 70 degrees if being cooled down and not served immediately, but I have worked in different kitchens where meats have been seared and chilled before service.
So what is the grey area that needs to be cleared up?
Originally Posted by PierreBlack  
 

Is it safe and advisable
safe; yes

advisable: no
 
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Thanks for the feedback. The grey area is the disparity between what the eho say and what I see a lot of chefs do. I'm just questioning if maybe there is a special circumstances where food that is not cooked through can be chilled and finish cooking. As I said, I have seen Kievs in supermarket chains that do not have to adhere to cooking the food through rule. 
 
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Safe or no it's not advisable from a quality standpoint.  Why would you even want to given how quickly those things cook?  Some things you have to sear for specific reasons- for example you need to sear the beef in a Wellington so it doesn't weep into the pastry and because otherwise there'd be no sear at all.  But I can't see why you'd ever sear a chicken breast.  Okay, maybe a stuffed one or an airline, but those would be uncommon examples.
 
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The only times I've seen things like this done is for large banquets and things like that, where you pre-sear a bunch of proteins, rack them up, then just pop the trays in the oven to finish.

I'll echo what others have said, while there are ways to make it work from a food safety standpoint (basically just make sure the food is seared, chilled quickly, stored properly, and when it is cooked/re-heated it reaches the necessary internal temp) but you will suffer from a quality standpoint. 

It sounds like the "grey area" may be chefs improperly handling their food (e.g. not doing the pre-sear correctly, inadvisable as it may be), in which case, they are not adhering to the rules anyways. 
 
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Yeah, in banquet cooking it's necessary to do this.  I thought the OP was talking about doing this for a normal restaurant line but perhaps I misinterpreted the question.
 
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Hi Phaedrus. Yes it has been to generally to cater for large groups when I have seen this. Sorry if I was a bit unclear and thanks for your input. 
 
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When I sear and chill stuff I am for just basically marking steaks, and with chicken cooking roughly 25% from one side, flipping and going 25% from the other.
 
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