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Old 09-01-2015, 10:26 AM   #1
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Post Frying: 3 minutes?

On most cooking videos, chefs always mention you should fry meat or fish for 3 minutes on each side.

How do I practically measure how long 3 minutes is?
What if I don't want to use any type of timing device but I just want to base those 3 minutes off of experience?
I don't want to keep flipping over the food periodically to check its color/texture/readiness because that seems inefficient.

Any tips on how to measure those 3 minutes.. or better said: how to know it's time to flip the food over?

Thanks.

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Old 09-01-2015, 10:35 AM   #2
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Three minutes may be a rule of thumb, but there are too many variables to make it a hard and fast rule. Size of burner, burner setting, type of fish or meat (cooking times are hugely different), thickness of fish or meat (again, cooking times are hugely different), etc.

A much better idea would be to learn to identify the correct time to flip an item.

I almost never use time as a measure of how done an item is.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:43 AM   #3
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+1..well said ^
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:47 AM   #4
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Agree with Andy. Some things you have to learn from experience. And there's nothing wrong with flipping foods to check doneness. With thicker items, it's a good idea to use an instant-read thermometer.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:29 PM   #5
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I agree with Andy.

While you are developing your skill and increasing your experience you could count, in your head.

Remember these?

one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, etc...


one battleship, two battleship, three battleship, etc...

one Piccadilly, two Piccadilly, three Piccadilly, etc...


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Old 09-01-2015, 12:48 PM   #6
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I just got this answer back from a cook: "Flipping a piece of meat over and over in a pan is considered poor technique. Doing so makes the protein tough and/or greasy". Well, I learned something new.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:59 PM   #7
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be careful what you learn....my quick search did not turn up any "famous" names - but someone can probably cite them.

The Food Lab: Flip Your Steaks Multiple Times For Better Results | Serious Eats

Why Constant Flipping is the Key To Perfectly Grilled Meat: And Other Tips! | The Kitchn

another aspect to the topic is a creating a sear / crust vs. a through cooking. I rather often sear a chunk of meat multiple minutes on a side, flipping only once - alternately for big round things once per "side" - before finishing it in the oven. the counterpoint theory to that method is "reverse searing" - do the oven roast first, then remove to a hot pan to sear / crust it up.

I presume you're joking about how to measure three minutes....
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:00 PM   #8
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So just pick up the edge of the meat with your spat and see if it's browned. If yes, flip it, if not, leave it.

Keep this in mind. When you put a piece of met or fish into a hot pan with hot fat, It will initially stick to the pan. As it heats up and starts to cook, it will release on its own. Don't force the issue. Wait until it releases then check/flip it.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
I presume you're joking about how to measure three minutes....
No I am not joking and this is a serious question. I understand very experienced cooks may find it a silly question, but I am very new to cooking. I don't know anything about temperatures, thickness, types of pots.. I just know how to make a few dishes.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProCuisine View Post
No I am not joking and this is a serious question. I understand very experienced cooks may find it a silly question, but I am very new to cooking. I don't know anything about temperatures, thickness, types of pots.. I just know how to make a few dishes.

You can easily measure time with a wind up timer or a phone app.

But Andy's right, it's not good technique to use 3 min for everything. Cook by doneness not time.
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