What Is a Meat Press?
What is a meat press? Simply put, a meat press—or more commonly known as a steak weight—is used by steakhouses and food-service establishments or restaurants that serve steaks and thick cuts of meat to help cook these meats thoroughly and evenly. Burger restaurants sometimes use a meat patty press before cooking their hamburgers to ensure that they are evenly cooked. Evenly cooked meat is even more important in the case of hamburger patties because ground meat can potentially harbor harmful pathogens such as salmonella or E. coli if not properly or evenly cooked.
Food-service businesses that serve bacon for breakfast such as diners, for instance, use a bacon weight or a bacon grill press. A commercial bacon press (more preferably an iron bacon press) not only ensures evenly cooked bacon but also helps prevent it from curling.
A steak press, meat weight, or bacon weight works by compressing the meat or steak or bacon via application of weight, thereby ensuring that the food under the weight cooks evenly. Steak weights, in particular, can even promote healthy cooking because your food-service staff can squeeze out the unwanted fat from the meat while it is grilling. Steak weights are perfect for use when looking to cook meat or other thick cuts of steak medium well to well done.
How to Properly Use a Steak Weight
Before using a steak weight, you will need to preheat it. A hot steak weight will ensure that the cooking process is started immediately. Steak weights can be heated by placing it on top of the grill or by placing it inside an oven. When the meat weight is hot enough, you can start the grilling process. Put the meat in the grilling surface of your choice, and then apply the steak press.
The cooking duration of the meat will depend on the pressure that you are applying to the steak press. The more pressure, the faster the meat cooks. A heavier cast iron meat press will not require a lot of additional pressure and, in fact, can just be left on top of the meat for it to work well.
Afterward, you can then check the meat for doneness. Using a meat thermometer is more accurate and the more preferred method for checking the doneness of the meat. After use, it is important to immediately clean the meat press by washing it and then drying it. A cast iron steak weight, in particular, should be dried immediately after washing to prevent the formation of rust spots that may potentially damage the weight.
Different Types of Steak Weights
Regardless of what type of meat press you choose, a cast iron steak weight or an aluminum steak press will work wonders in your kitchen. But as with any kitchen utensil, however, both have pros and cons. For instance, a cast iron steak weight is best for those restaurants that will be using the weight frequently as cast iron is one of the most durable metals and can stand up well to heavy use. Aluminum steak weights, for instance, are more ideal for occasional use. Although not as heavy-duty as cast iron, an advantage of aluminum is that it can heat up and cool down quickly. Both cast iron and aluminum, though, are excellent heat conductors.
Our steak weights available here at Rapids Wholesale are manufactured by two of the most reputable brands in the market today, American Metalcraft and Tablecraft. Both steak weights have wooden handles that won’t heat up, ensuring the safety of your food-service crew.