What is the easiest line cook station/position?

Joined Jan 26, 2011
I was just wondering...

and also, if you get hired as a line cook, which station are you most likely placed at?

Is there some kind of hierarchy that you start off with one kind of station and advance to the others?
Joined Apr 3, 2010
I believe hardest for beginner is saute, but the really hard thing, and you can only learn with experience  is   Time management.and multi tasking.
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
the hardest is the one you have never worked before. I have done every position there is in a kitchen. Been "in the weeds" at all of them at one time or another.  I have to agree with ChefEd, if you don't have time management down, they are all the hardest.
Joined Aug 21, 2004
The easiest station is the one the other guy is working. Actually I would probably say fry because it is relatively quick cooking time wise, making errors in time management easier to overcome, and the most straight forward in technique.
Joined Oct 8, 2010
You will most likely start on pantry or another station which handles cold prep (salads, some sandwiches, etc.) That is the beginner station at my restaurant but not necessarily the case at all establishments.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
Salad/panty is the second easiest. Fry by far is the easiest ( for me atleast ). I work pantry usually cause ive only been at my current job for a year, but i know every station, just we have it kinda set up in our heads, everyone knows where their gonna work a certain day, and thats it.

Grill is by far the hardest, gets full fast and takes the longest.

But every station is the same. You make the SAME thing every night, things dont change, just the way they come in changes, like the other guys mention, time managment makes everything sooo much easier.
Joined Oct 3, 2010
No position on the line is "easy", its all just one big game of time management like was said earlier... I myself have worked everything right up to the wheel. They all become easy once you can get your timing down, but a big part has to do with how good your other line cooks are and how well they comminucate with you.... Line cooking is an art in itself imo.
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Joined Feb 24, 2015
This is a loaded question. It is easy to assemble things as opposed to cook them (and I don't count searing and deep frying things as cooking), so I would say the easiest to plate is Pantry/Garde Mange, but I wouldn't call it the easiest overall. The "Pantry" position is hit with appetizers, salads -  pre-meal and entree - and has to "fix" proteins from other stations if needed (sure, I will dry out your MR by squeezing the shit out of it, so its now dry and looks MID, A-Hole grill guy). In my house, the pantry is really three stations-in-one, hot apps, salads, and desserts. there are 93 plates this position needs to know how to execute - mind you many have the same base, it just changes for bases, proteins, or dietary-menus. It is mostly assembly, but there are a good number of fry times, and a couple of flat-top dishes, so there is a lot - and unlike grill or sautee, you may be hit three times by the same table... I think the order-to-delivery time makes this a tough position, you can have your base prepped in as little time as you like, and if the grill takes too long to send you a protein, it's your fault the salad was late...

I am not complaining, just showing how the whole line is a team... If the pantry person has the salad bowled but not tossed expecting the delivery from the grill, something that takes 8 min to cook can be ready for delivery-hands in 8:20...

I am about to get my special colored hat, which means nothing more than I know each station and can execute each order in less time than is expected in a rush, but who cares if I don't see how it fits in each station. 

I started in pantry, and used to get so angry, so now I get it - the new guy in pantry has to make the prep, wait for the grill to cook the protein, wait for sautee to make sides, has to listen to the barking of expo, an then have it all show up in the life-cycle window, just to be asked where the other 3x the other stations tickets will be ready, and just smile when the EC says "hands please" or " "send to table xyz"...
Joined Feb 24, 2015
The easiest position is on your day off :)

Joking aside - fry definitely ranks amongst the easiest to master at the beginning and in my experience is also generally where most start.

Piece of advice - learn right from the start time management and right after that communication.

This way you can ensure that your station is doing what it is supposed to and can help / support another station if needed.
Joined May 27, 2013
You didn't say what kind of experience you have. 

Garde Manger - which is basically what everybody is telling you. Pantry and cold apps - Salads, Sandwiches, etc. 

In my mind, the lines follow in order of difficulty easiest to hardest : 

Garde Manger


Hot apps



Meat. I always thought this line to be the most stressful. 

You might also assist with sides and plating with fish or meat. On the other hand, if you have no experience you won't be going near the line.  

You'd be doing mostly cold prep, like making a gallon of lime juice, plucking herbs, and cutting hotel pans full of onions.

. . . but I'm not a professional. 
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Joined Feb 24, 2015
Loved that dicing of onions when I was just a young lad
Mind you, really gets your knife skills honed *smile*
Joined May 28, 2015
I think that every position is difficult if you can't manage your time properly, but taking that away... fry.

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