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Steak etiquette: Cut it all up at once, or one piece at a time?

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,604
17
81
I'm having some steak here at home and happened to think of this:

Some time ago I was out at a restaurant once with a rather well-off vendor at work, and figured I'd order a steak. The food was brought to the table, and I started cutting up the steak like I always do.

The reaction from my coworkers there indicated that I'd made some terrible faux pas, and I was told that the "proper" way to eat steak is to cut off a piece, eat it, and repeat.
I was cutting the whole thing into pieces from the start so as not to be bothered with the knife for the duration of the meal, which was evidently a very unorthodox way of doing it. o_O

Has anyone else ever heard of that?





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John Connor

Lifer
Nov 30, 2012
22,848
613
121
It would seem to me you would cut off a one piece at a time. Being in ROTC, we had formal etiquette training and this seems prudent.

Cutting all your steak at once seems to imply your a damn animal or something. LOL

And never finish every last bit of food. Like the few small pieces of salad or whatever. You know, the pieces left that are stuck to the bowl. Keep your other hand on your lap. So my left hand is on my lap as I'm right handed. A lot of other things to consider.
 
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Balt

Lifer
Mar 12, 2000
12,677
481
126
It kind of looks childish to cut up all your food ahead of time.

Also it probably affects the temperature and the juice/flavor in the steak.

But really, do what you want. It's your life, man.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
59,634
11,961
136
When the food hits your plate, it's yours to do with as you please.
 

Raizinman

Platinum Member
Sep 7, 2007
2,319
41
91
The point is that it saves time. You cut one piece and then put it in your mouth. Then as you are chewing, you start cutting another piece. If you time it perfectly, you should be done chewing when you finish cutting the next piece of meat. If you happen to be with your wife or girlfriend, it works out perfect, this way your mouth is always busy and you don't have to talk to them.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,604
17
81
It would seem to me you would cut off a one piece at a time. Being in ROTC, we had formal etiquette training and this seems prudent.

Cutting all your steak at once seems to imply your a damn animal or something. LOL
Animals take their food a bite at a time.;) Carnivores don't nibble a kill into pieces before eating them.



And never finish every last bit of food. Like the few small pieces of salad or whatever. You know, the pieces left that are stuck to the bowl. Keep your other hand on your lap. So my left hand is on my lap as I'm right handed. A lot of other things to consider.
I heard that too. I don't think I work or otherwise dine with people who are that particular.

(God humans have some damn bizarre behaviors.
"Let's go to a place people go to when they want food. Just don't act like you're hungry. That sends the wrong message to people. Because of reasons.")

I obviously never had formal etiquette training of any sort. If anything, I was always told that it was rude not to eat everything that someone else made, since someone usually put some effort into making it and leaving any would be wasteful.




It kind of looks childish to cut up all your food ahead of time.

Also it probably affects the temperature and the juice/flavor in the steak.

But really, do what you want. It's your life, man.
I was curious as to the reason.
Why would it be childish? Just one of those ancient/arbitrary rules that came out of nowhere?
It strikes me as efficient: Rather than having to pick up a knife constantly throughout the meal, it's used once and then can be set aside.

And yes, I do cut it to affect the temperature: Restaurant food is usually extremely hot. Cutting it cools it faster so it doesn't burn.



The point is that it saves time. You cut one piece and then put it in your mouth. Then as you are chewing, you start cutting another piece. If you time it perfectly, you should be done chewing when you finish cutting the next piece of meat. If you happen to be with your wife or girlfriend, it works out perfect, this way your mouth is always busy and you don't have to talk to them.
I don't cut that slow though. Cut a piece, cut a few more pieces while chewing....<10% of the steak is gone and the rest of it is already cut.
(Do other people have extra teeth in their stomach? I just can't eat as quickly as most people do, not without chewing holes in my cheeks or tongue.)
 
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cbrunny

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 2007
6,791
403
121
Steak should never be extremely hot. You're doing it all wrong. That poor cow didn't die so you could burn the shit out of it. It died so you could eat it at a nice cool medium rare.
 

preCRT

Platinum Member
Apr 12, 2000
2,340
123
106
You're way past the age when you should have learned proper manners. Dining like a 4 year old makes you look foolish in the eyes of others. Google & read up.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
100,547
3,823
126
it's one piece at a time unless you are in a timed challenge where the clock starts the moment you put food in your mouth. in that situation you cut first so as not to waste any time cutting.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,604
17
81
You're way past the age when you should have learned proper manners. Dining like a 4 year old makes you look foolish in the eyes of others. Google & read up.
30+ years and that was the first time I'd ever heard of that.

Rules about how to cut food. Yes, our species is weird.

"Yes, you do need to turn that food into smaller pieces. But not in that sequence! That sequence is wrong! It's because someone a thousand years ago said to do it this way, and it's persisted like a software worm."

Makes me wonder how many other similarly arbitrary and obsessive rules there are that I've failed to clutter my mind with. It was in the class of things that I didn't know I didn't know: Unknown unknowns.


(And still, what is the rationale behind these rules and behaviors? Elbows off the table, napkin on the leg where it's less accessible, specific flatware for specific dishes rather than a smaller number of more versatile ones that do the job just fine. Again, because of reasons.)



Steak should never be extremely hot. You're doing it all wrong. That poor cow didn't die so you could burn the shit out of it. It died so you could eat it at a nice cool medium rare.
:D
Other people will get soup and start on it right away. I don't know how they do it. I slipped up and did that once and my tongue hurt for more than a day, felt like a mild burn. Steaming-hot.

Either way, I salute the cow's service.
 
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MarkXIX

Platinum Member
Jan 3, 2010
2,646
1
71
When I serve a steak at home, I slice it into uniform pieces and fan them out artistically as a visual cue of how awesome a good medium rare steak is and should be.
 

Ns1

No Lifer
Jun 17, 2001
55,399
1,508
126
At home = cut one piece at a time by myself

At a restaurant = they cut it all and I enjoy
 

Artdeco

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2015
2,682
1
0
Jeff7, you need to date a Korean that cuts it all up for you with scissors, LOL.
 

destrekor

Lifer
Nov 18, 2005
28,728
332
126
The point is that it saves time. You cut one piece and then put it in your mouth. Then as you are chewing, you start cutting another piece. If you time it perfectly, you should be done chewing when you finish cutting the next piece of meat. If you happen to be with your wife or girlfriend, it works out perfect, this way your mouth is always busy and you don't have to talk to them.
I cut like five pieces or whatever (who's counting?) then dig in as I cut more.

But see, to me it only makes sense, because I also trim any remaining fat and/or gristle from the edges and, since I've already gone that far, may as well just carve out all my slices.

Because as etiquette also suggests, if you are right handed, you hold fork with left hand while cutting, but then transfer fork to right hand to transfer food to mouth.

And, the way I figure it, may as well cut up everything at once, grabbing a bite or two while I do that, so that I may then keep my fork in right hand the whole time and not have to constantly shuffle the utensils.

Thoughts, ATOT?
 

destrekor

Lifer
Nov 18, 2005
28,728
332
126
When I serve a steak at home, I slice it into uniform pieces and fan them out artistically as a visual cue of how awesome a good medium rare steak is and should be.
And I always do this, too.

Slicing against the grain, I always, after having trimmed edge fat and gristle, then fan out whatever meat I am eating, nice and thin-ish strips, all nice and purty. :)
 

master_shake_

Diamond Member
May 22, 2012
6,430
291
121
pick it up and gnaw on it like the man you are.

then spit the fat and throw the bone at the weaker males to show dominance
 

Newbian

Lifer
Aug 24, 2008
24,605
625
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The only reason to cut something like in multiple pieces is to cool it down to feed a kid and doing it as a adult is a crime as you are letting it become cold cut up like that and drain extra juices.

Do you use a sippy cup and bib also op? :p
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
59,634
11,961
136
Just order carne asada, it's pre-sliced and cooked how steak is supposed to be cooked.

But, again, it's your food, commenting on how you choose to eat your food is an asshat move on the part of your table mate.
 

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