Tips for reheating meats.

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Joined Apr 13, 2017
Hello, everyone. I'm happy to be here. Please know that I'm not a seasoned cook by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just a dude who loves to be in the kitchen and who happened to rise to the challenge of manning the grill on the family food truck. 

Anyway, my question has to do with grilling pork and chicken in a food truck setting. We have several menu items and our services are very busy. This is good, but it requires excellent timing and efficiency in order to keep from going mad. We serve a lot of lunch break folks as well, so keeping customers waiting for 20+ minutes simply isn't an option.

I'm wanting to introduce a delicious banh mi sandwich. The trouble is, however, that cooking the chicken to order would take quite a bit of time and consume precious grill space. Is it acceptable to cook the chicken ahead of time, store it in the fridge, and simply re-heat on the grill?

This is a novice question, I know. These things aren't really an issue when you're cooking for friends and loved ones but become incredibly important when cooking in a restaurant setting. 

I'd love some advice, guys. Thanks so much. 
 
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Joined Feb 17, 2010
How much meat are we talking? Why not cook and hot hold in smaller batches so that it's always fresh?
 
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The classic banh mi as I understand it is a cold or room temperature sandwich, a baguette spread with seasoned mayo, carrots, daikon, jalapeño and cilantro and assorted vietnamese cold cuts. I bought them five at a time in Seattle but I never bothered to ask what the cold cuts were made of. 

Anyway, why mess around with  trying to cook chicken? Do a more classic version, make a bunch ahead of time, wrapped in paper or plastic. Hand them to the customer and that's it. 

I understand everyone wants to reinvent the wheel nowadays but if I saw your truck and it said banh mi on it, a hot chicken sandwich is the last thing I'd expect. Just make them fresh every day. 
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
There are several issues here.

You want the product to be tasty re nicely seasoned with that little bit of char on the outside but to remain juicy and moist as well.

In my mind the largest consideration is safety from improper cooking (slightly underdone) and holding (temps).

You are in luck....this has been hashed out many many times so there are lots of good answers already on the board.

Seek and ye shall find.

Welcome.

mimi
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Welcome Zach! All the recipes I see are building the banh mi sandwich with cold meats. That being said and not knowing your reasoning I'll answer your question. Like Chefbuba said you could keep the meats warm in a steam table/ crock pot or whatever means you have on the truck for hot holding. This method is fine if the chicken and pork are a large part of the menu and the meats are needed in volume. The other method you mentioned and if you need a few portions at a time can be reheated on the flat grill. The heating method can be accomplished with a squeeze btl and pot lid to steam the meat quickly. This method is also used when melting cheese on burgers. If your cooking other items on the grill like onions and chilies then just put in you pork or chicken closer to the end of the process. Make sure you always work with a fully cook chicken or pork that is cooled down properly. Never under cook anything thinking you will fully cook the product when ordered......There are no stupid questions! knowing how to reheat and hold meats and keep their quality is an important part of a quality operation. I would like to know what you reasoning is for wanting to heat the meats. I'm not saying its wrong, I'm just wondering what your idea is for building the banh mi sandwich......Good Luck.........ChefBillyB
 
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Joined Apr 13, 2017
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I haven't had the pleasure of trying a banh mi made with cold cuts. The ones I've had in the larger metropolitan areas are generally made with thinly sliced grilled pork that has been marinated in fish sauce, garlic, sugar, and fresh lemongrass. Absolutely delicious. If anyone is interested, I'd love to share my recipe.

Anyway, I think I'll go the route of reheating on the grill with a grill cap. I'll let you all know how it goes! Thanks a lot bunch.
 
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If you're thinly slicing and then holding, your portions will reheat quickly on a flat top grill (griddle).  You can pre-cook, cool, slice, & portion ahead of time.  When your orders come in you only need to empty your pre-portion onto the griddle.  Easy.
 
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Joined Sep 21, 2010
As others have said, banh mi are served cold or room temperature. They are indeed delicious, with cold & crunchy daikon, carrot, cilantro and cold pate, plus lemongrass chcken, pork etc. Here's a picture of one of Vancouver's most popular banh mi counters. They make their own pork pate and fresh Vietnamese bread, which is different than western bread. Really good and only $4.00, with the bread still warm from their oven.That's the only warm thing in the banh mi!  They do so much business that they're constantly making bread.

 
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