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Saute technique - the way they do it on the cooking shows

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Watching all these cooking shows and competitions on TV, I've noticed that they often if not usually have a very specific method of putting a piece of chicken, fish, or meat into a saute pan. They sort of dangle it over the pan, allowing one end of the piece to touch the pan and then they gently lower the rest of the piece into the pan. And then they sort of pat it gently with their fingertips.

Does anyone know what this is meant to achieve? It is stylish so maybe it is for show? I watched some old Julia Child videos on saute methods and she didn't do this. Interesting footnote - lady did NOT seem concerned about cross-contamination - she handled the raw chicken and then various kitchen items - butter knife, oil bottle, etc. - without washing her hands.

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  1. Minimize splash perhaps?

    1. The technique you are describing is not sauteing, but pan roasting or pan frying.

      gently lower to prevent the oil from splashing

      pat gently with fingertips to make sure of contact for even browning.

      cross contamination, I have been to two tapings of cooking shows, we were fed both times, each time the food cooked on the show was discarded, on the first show the food was not cooked properly; due to time constraints, some of the seasonings were not properly measured.

      I used to fish with the producer of cooking shows, I asked him about my experiences, he said live filmed shows have time marks they have to hit, on filmed shows that are not live, they may reshoot a cooking sequence. Don't believe that everything you see on TV or other produced video is "real life".

      1 Reply
      1. re: Alan408

        If done completely on the Cook Top, Pan Fried. If finished in the Oven Pan Roasted.

      2. The only thing I can think of is lowering in one end (closest to you), then laying the rest of the meat away from your person. This is generally done to avoid being splattered with hot fat in the pan. I have no idea what patting the meat afterwards would achieve.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mels

          Even contact with the pan.

          1. re: jlbwendt

            Interesting! I never thought of patting the protein.