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Why is it such a big deal to enjoy your meat well done?

I love steak and burgers, I find it a lovely and decadent meal every now and then, I love the sides, the atmosphere etc at a steakhouse, the drinks, the aromas, the fireplace in the corner, I even kind of think the moose on the wall is okay. I like it all except for having to beg them to cook my food all the way through and then being mistrustful that they will. They look at me like I am committing a sin…or worse they give you this condescending nod and walk away shaking their head…like…"you poor thing, you just don’t know how to eat"…like you have ordered a can of Spaghetti-O’s at their fancy place. I think well done meat (not cooked to pieces) is very flavorful, not tough, and the best tasting way to enjoy my meat, whereas even medium rare makes me want to gag and all that blood running off the plate ruins the whole meal for me. It is a whole different flavor and texture, and I think it is almost barbaric and gross to eat it that way. I do realize that I don’t speak for everyone and I want them to order they way they love to eat their food.

I also don’t need any encouragement about it. I don’t feel less than, it doesn’t even hurt my feelings, I’m just curious about how we got to the place where asking for your food to be "well done" means you don’t have a sophisticated palate. Why is it not a legitimate standard of quality in cooking meat?
Janet it is a texture thing for me too! It feels mushy and way too wet.

Eating medium or rare is supposed to infuse the meat with more flavor, and make it more tender. Most people who ask for it well done are very health conscious, considering you’ve cooked out all the bacteria.

I say ignore the waiters, and enjoy your meal.

5 thoughts on “Why is it such a big deal to enjoy your meat well done?

  1. Sam says:

    Eating medium or rare is supposed to infuse the meat with more flavor, and make it more tender. Most people who ask for it well done are very health conscious, considering you’ve cooked out all the bacteria.

    I say ignore the waiters, and enjoy your meal.
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  2. firebender says:

    I don’t know, but I’m with you – I like meat well done too!
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  3. SJP says:

    i guess the stigmas at a steakhouse is a majority of customers will order rare/med rare. it’s a general thought that people who do order well done don’t appreciate it- which is just a stigma. obviously your entitled to your own food preferences, I mean you ARE paying for the meal. you’ll just have to get over it I’m afraid. it’s a hospo thing to think people who order well done don’t ‘appreciate’ how a real steak can be eaten. so unless you can somehow change that stigma your up shit creek and have to grin and bare it 🙂
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  4. JanetM says:

    I know just what you mean. I used to prefer my meat well done… but JUST well done, not well done and then cooked until it’s so dry it could be used for a hockey puck. I remember those looks. For some reason I’ve changed how I like it done, but I remember those looks, and even the comments from friends… like I just grew a 2nd head! Do those idiots not have a clue what "well done means". For the life of me, I’ll never understand why they think that once it’s well done it can’t get any more well done… so we’ll just let it cook… and cook… and cook. I’ve had many a perfectly cooked, well done steak that’s tender, and yes… juicy and flavorful. It’s NOT ruined. It’s ruined when it isn’t taken from the grill at that moment it reaches well done. I still don’t care for it rare or even medium rare. I always have that fear it will be too rare. It’s a texture thing for me… too rare and it’s too soft (or something). I just don’t enjoy it when it’s that red. I think my preference is medium now. I guess you could say I graduated from well done, to medium well, to medium. It just happened… it wasn’t a conscious effort.

    But believe me… I can relate!
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  5. cameron5a says:

    I recall ordering steaks at a steakhouse and my mother insisting that hers be well done. The waiter shouted back into the kitchen – one medium rare, one ruined! In France they kind of consider it impolite to overcook meat as they consider it kind of disrespectful. The truth of the matter is, order it the way YOU like it because you are paying for it and they asked you how you wanted it cooked in the first place. Don’t lose your sense of humor over it, that’s for sure. Tell them you insist that it be ruined!
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