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Old 03-13-2008, 06:28 PM   #1
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What do these restaurants do?

I have always wondered this:

There is a local restaurant that everyone in the area agrees has the "GREATEST STEAKS". They are excellent. They are tender and unbelievably delicious. I do not understand how they do this. How do some places make such excellent steaks? Does it have to do with:

* Precooking prep (marinades or seasonings)?
* Cooking practices?
* Quality of the meat that they use?
* Something else?

I ask this question all the time and nobody ever seems to have an answer. I figured that this forum is probably the best place to get some quality opinions. Anybody have insight into this?

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Old 03-13-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
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Yes to your 4 possible answers.

It's just the same as the fact that I can cook indoors, but my dh is the outdoor grill master.

Technique, food quality and the best, freshest ingredients all add up to better food.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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To add to what jkath said, restaurants can put much more heat on the meat then you would ever be able to do at home. That will also make a difference.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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To add to what jkath said, restaurants can put much more heat on the meat then you would ever be able to do at home. That will also make a difference.
What do you mean?
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:48 PM   #5
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unless you have a salamander at home, or an IR Broiler, you cant get the ripping hot goodness.

A great steak and marinade shouldn't be in the same sentence imo.

Quality is a big, if not the MAIN factor.

And Cooking is obviously paramount.

Now for lesser cuts, marinade is ok, but I am not a ball tip or sirloin eater if I am out, gimme a ribeye or porter house and I am in.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:49 PM   #6
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Your grill or broiler or stovetop only gets so hot. A restaurant kitchen can get much much hotter than a home kitchen. Cooking steak at a higher temp will help form the crust while keeping the inside juicy and delicious.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:54 PM   #7
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I also think that restaurants get better cuts from the supplier. The suppliers get a better price from the premium steakhouses than they do for your average supermarket. If you have access to a farmers market or butcher that gets their meat directly from a processor, you might get better stuff.

They also often age their steaks, oftentimes for several weeks before serving them. And yes, the heat has a lot to do with it.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:41 PM   #8
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I also think that restaurants get better cuts from the supplier
Bingo. Here in Canada, the best cuts go directly to the big name steak houses. Then, add to that what Tattrat and GB said.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:59 PM   #9
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Do I ever agree.

First, and foremost, it is the quality of the ingredients. One can make a good meal, a tasty meal, with less than the finest fixin's. But for a truly good steak, as has been said, it is quality, quality, and quality. To me that means cut, grade, and thickness. And yep, the best grades are difficult for us regular folks to obtain. Sigh.

Then it is technique, and I think you can make a darned good steak using what most of us have to cook with. Yeah, the pros have equipment most of us don't, but we can make pretty darn good steaks with what we have. Don't be cowed.

Also, the degree of cooking is very important. A well done steak to me has little flavor. Know folks like different degrees of doneness, but to me a steak on the mooing side of medium rare is perfect.

As far as marinades, rubs, that sort of thing I am going to actually disagree a bit with my fellow posters.

If I want the true cow experience, nothing more than S&P. But with a thick slab, yeah, a lovely rub or a short marinade, don't think of watching a movie and going back to cook it, can give a nice touch. You get the interesting flavor of the rub/marinade at the beginning of the bite and the lovely beef flavor later on.

Normally we don't do that. But it is your beef and your palate and food is about what you like (and of course your family and guests).

I guess my point is even the finest chef cannot take a thin, select grade, not very tender cut and make it a good 'steak'. They may play with it and make it tasty, but it ain't a good steak - it does not have that flavor most folks are thinking about when they want a really good piece of cow.

Sorry to go on so long but I tend to do that. Sorry.
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:10 PM   #10
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Auntie D, you hit the nail on the head, great input.
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