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

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nakedfrog

Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
49,964
2,673
126
Geez, I suppose next you're gonna tell me those artisan sandwiches are McDonald's aren't gourmet?
 
Feb 4, 2009
26,741
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Darn, that's one less excuse that we can use for getting fatter!
We can still keep the "drinking outrageous amounts of alcohol" excuse though, right?
Yup you guys own that one. The girls I knew from England 25 years ago could drink a ton (not metric ton either). There was always a weird line that would be crossed and I could no longer understand what the hell they were saying. I think it was around the 7th drink, I forgot the number but a friend of mine & I would have a count down until we couldn't understand them.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
38,752
3,064
121
My spouse prefers cutting it all up and putting sauce on it.
Mine has also in the past, but I've started to teach her better over time :)

I get hassled over having various flavored A1 sauce in the background of some pics, but it never goes near a steak.

I am guilty of putting Pickapeppa sauce on the side now and then :p
 
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MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
38,752
3,064
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Yup you guys own that one. The girls I knew from England 25 years ago could drink a ton (not metric ton either). There was always a weird line that would be crossed and I could no longer understand what the hell they were saying. I think it was around the 7th drink, I forgot the number but a friend of mine & I would have a count down until we couldn't understand them.
Just a funny story from the past, I knew a little blonde from Nebraska that could drink most guys under the table when I was in the Marines.

She seemed to have a pretty high tolerance, was a bit odd, she was a small cute girl I worked with at the time. The first wife was pretty hot too att, used to model a bit.

The wife and I hung out with her a lot, was one of the funniest things ever we had a guy trying to hit on my wife coming out of the E-Club one night.

I said that is my wife just back off.

He started hitting on Karen then and I got pissed off, he asked if she was my wife also. She turned around and said "No that is our Pimp, so get the fuck out of here"

I miss the old days a bit.

Sorry, a bit off tangent. was just going to delete it but I'll leave it.
 
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CZroe

Lifer
Jun 24, 2001
23,750
672
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Never thought about it but cutting it up all at once means having to work pieces of of your fork that may as well go in your mouth. It's a lot more clatter and fuss for no reason.

Fork into steak an appropriate distance away from the edge for the size bite you want, knife along the back of the fork, fork into mouth (or steak sauce if you are the type who likes to ruin steaks).
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,604
17
81
No its childish to do that for almost any food except maybe a salad that has big leaves in it or maybe some kind of noodles that are mixed and extremely long.
This.

You cut a piece, you eat it. Then you cut another piece. This goes for any food, not just steak.

Only kids cut it all up at once, or have it done for them.

Plus, with a steak you don't want the juices to run out of it and the meat start to dry out, which would happen more quickly if you cut it up.
So is it just "one of those things" that inexplicably persists throughout the years? What part of it makes it childish? I still haven't seen a reasonable explanation for that.

And...the meat would start to dry out? What? Maybe in Arizona if you take an hour to eat lunch.


Effect on flavor: Maybe, if the temperature changes rapidly.
Meat doesn't taste like a whole lot of anything to me though. It's ok, but something has to go with it for it to be worthwhile:
I cut mine up all at once and use Heinz57. dont like it, to bad.




It's your food, do whatever the fuck you want to it.

Some people care too much what the others think of them.
:D
A thread about the socially-acceptable sequence of cutting and eating a piece of cooked meat is now over 110 posts long in under 2 days.


For my next trick, I shall go buy some alternator-sized bulk beef and post a video of it being cut into tiny pieces after it was cooked well-done in something other than a cast iron skillet, while it cools to room temperature, and is slowly doused in store-brand ketchup.




I think it's one that has been lost in American culture, but I do believe that, at least in the UK, it is still considered proper to only eat with your dominant hand, you just use two hands to cut.
This is just so delightful though, isn't it? "No, you're using the wrong hand for that!"
Someone with certain obsessive thoughts can be labeled has having a disorder, or you can attend formal training to learn some obsessive behaviors that society at large is ok with, and even demands in some cases. ("You didn't eat that slice of cake with the wrong kind of fork, did you?!! Unacceptable!")
Heck, here are the Chinese rules for chopsticks.
- It's ok to push rice right into your mouth from the bowl. (But not in Korea.)
- Don't set down chopsticks such that they point at other people at the table.
- Don't spear food with a chopstick; only use them to grasp or move it.

This is not a sign of a compulsive mental disorder. This is a sign of proper manners. Because.
We're such a weird species.



Which is the tied to the only reason I've often cut everything up at once: I just want to use the knife, and then get it out of the way, not bothering with these multiple pieces of silverware in both hands... and especially not juggling the silverware if I intend to appear proper.
Exactly. Practical efficiency. Or laziness. They're often the same thing. :awe:
I think I remember reading somewhere in this thread that one proper way is to keep swapping the fork from one hand to the other from cut to bite. Who would come up with that as a proper way of doing it? Genuine obsessive compulsive disorder that found its way into popular culture?




But at home I certainly don't care, and don't notice food getting cold unless I get into long discussions while eating.

I'll have to keep this in mind for whenever I get myself to a nice steakhouse again. I don't like appearing to be the typical ill-mannered American.
At the same time, I usually don't care if something I do is considered to make me look more like an animal. Because, wait for it... we are! Sometimes people get far too hung up on inventing or following these proper etiquette procedures just to feel superior to the animal kingdom. I don't think we need any of that to feel superior - the very fact that we are even dining at tables with silverware should be plenty enough for that, or, you know, the fact that we can converse with one another some profound subjects. Such as, like, this one. :D
If that's even the true reason behind it.
Lions gather around a kill and eat together, tearing off meat a bite at a time. We gather around a table and do the same thing.




You're supposed to enjoy your meal, not engage in a contest of efficiency. Why not put it in a blender if you want efficiency?
I guess, though most days I'd be fine if I didn't have to eat to survive.

It's a true first world problem, isn't it though: Wanting to eliminate the requirement for food, not so that I don't have to face death of starvation, but so that I wouldn't have to spend so much time throughout my life simply satisfying an extremely ancient metabolic requirement that that has yet to be properly fixed.
 
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CZroe

Lifer
Jun 24, 2001
23,750
672
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I think it's one that has been lost in American culture, but I do believe that, at least in the UK, it is still considered proper to only eat with your dominant hand, you just use two hands to cut.



Which is the tied to the only reason I've often cut everything up at once: I just want to use the knife, and then get it out of the way, not bothering with these multiple pieces of silverware in both hands... and especially not juggling the silverware if I intend to appear proper.
Yes. I've talked to women who went to finishing school and they tell me that they are specifically instructed to switch hands if they are dining with Americans and specifically not to do it if they are dining with Europeans. My mother and grandmother spent their formative years in Europe so they adopted European style and I did too.

They also said that women are expected to leave something on their plate but that's not PC at all these days.
 
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IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
59,634
11,960
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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.
Miss Manners would have bitch slapped your coworkers.
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,253
18
81
I don't think it's any kind of terrible breach of etiquette to cut up your steak before eating it, but it does bring to mind how toddlers consume meat products after mommy cut it up into easily swallowable portions. That a grown man clings to such childhood practices makes one think he must have been a pampered mamas boy who, due to her incessant helicoptering attentions, now must cut his food into easily swallowable portions to eat it. It is somehow vaguely infantile and off-putting.

There is also the fact that it exposes more of the inner material of the steak to air, causing it to get cold and dry that much faster, but I think that is secondary to my first point in most people's minds.
 

Leyawiin

Diamond Member
Nov 11, 2008
3,205
51
91
One piece at a time, fork in left hand tines downward and knife in right (European style). Learned it while living in England. Realized what a p.i.t.a. the American style is constantly switching the fork from one hand to the other and putting the knife down between bites.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,145
2,752
126
I cut a strip of meat out. Then cut that into bites.
DGAF if that's not "proper". Because proper is what I say it is.
*growl
 

destrekor

Lifer
Nov 18, 2005
28,728
332
126
One piece at a time, fork in left hand tines downward and knife in right (European style). Learned it while living in England. Realized what a p.i.t.a. the American style is constantly switching the fork from one hand to the other and putting the knife down between bites.
Hmm... what you just described matches what I've always seen here in the US: both utensils in hand, fork in left, eat with left. Americans don't do the utensil switching.

How I've always understood it to be in Europe (at least, old ways - perhaps that died off there too), you cut with right, used fork in left, and then transferred to right hand to eat, repeat until finished.

Now, with this tines downward comment I've seen repeated a few times: is this for the action of moving food to mouth, or simply while you are holding whatever you are cutting?

I've always used the fork with the tines facing down when using both hands, but then as I move the food to my mouth, the tines end facing upward.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
26,516
3,469
126
How I've always understood it to be in Europe (at least, old ways - perhaps that died off there too), you cut with right, used fork in left, and then transferred to right hand to eat, repeat until finished.
Europe definitely don't swap their cutlery to different hands.

Now, with this tines downward comment I've seen repeated a few times: is this for the action of moving food to mouth, or simply while you are holding whatever you are cutting?
You're not supposed to use your fork like a shovel and scoop up your food, you're supposed to use the "back" of the fork and push food onto it with the knife (that's for stuff that you aren't going to stab). I'm not too sure that many people worry about this one now as long you're not hunkering down and shoveling food in as quickly as you can.

I've always used the fork with the tines facing down when using both hands, but then as I move the food to my mouth, the tines end facing upward.
It's not about stuff that you're stabbing.
 

kt

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2000
5,226
91
91
I think it's one that has been lost in American culture, but I do believe that, at least in the UK, it is still considered proper to only eat with your dominant hand, you just use two hands to cut.

Which is the tied to the only reason I've often cut everything up at once: I just want to use the knife, and then get it out of the way, not bothering with these multiple pieces of silverware in both hands... and especially not juggling the silverware if I intend to appear proper.

But at home I certainly don't care, and don't notice food getting cold unless I get into long discussions while eating.

I'll have to keep this in mind for whenever I get myself to a nice steakhouse again. I don't like appearing to be the typical ill-mannered American.
At the same time, I usually don't care if something I do is considered to make me look more like an animal. Because, wait for it... we are! Sometimes people get far too hung up on inventing or following these proper etiquette procedures just to feel superior to the animal kingdom. I don't think we need any of that to feel superior - the very fact that we are even dining at tables with silverware should be plenty enough for that, or, you know, the fact that we can converse with one another some profound subjects. Such as, like, this one. :D
Quite the opposite actually. Americans are still doing the switch while the Europeans went back to cutting and eating with fork on the same hand. They thought it was too inefficient to keep laying down the knife and switch to the fork.
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
154
106
Cheezus Christ you don't point the fork downwards YOU BARBARIANS!
 

kt

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2000
5,226
91
91
Hmm... what you just described matches what I've always seen here in the US: both utensils in hand, fork in left, eat with left. Americans don't do the utensil switching.

How I've always understood it to be in Europe (at least, old ways - perhaps that died off there too), you cut with right, used fork in left, and then transferred to right hand to eat, repeat until finished.

Now, with this tines downward comment I've seen repeated a few times: is this for the action of moving food to mouth, or simply while you are holding whatever you are cutting?

I've always used the fork with the tines facing down when using both hands, but then as I move the food to my mouth, the tines end facing upward.
Nope, American way is switching the fork and move food to mouth with fork tines upward. European way is no fork switching and eating with the tines downward.
 

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