I recently asked for a well done steak at a restaurant, while my friend asked for a medium rare. When waiter came back with two steaks, he used 「火をよく入れた方」 to let us know which one is well done. So essentially it was used as "the one cooked longer".

I then tried to re-use this expression at the other restaurant in the same situation, with the only difference that now I was supposed to tell waiter what kind of steak I'm expecting (so that he could give me the right one out of two he brought). And he didn't get what I meant.

I later asked my Japanese colleague about this expression and he claimed that it is not a standard thing to use 火を入れる in such context. However, searching on the Internet gives me following examples, which reassures me that waiter from the first restaurant was not wrong:

  • 「肉にはどのように火を入れるのがいいのか?」
  • 「それはさておき、サシの多い和牛肉は、ある程度、火を入れた方がおいしいです。」

Could it be that this expression when used in context of frying meat is a professional slang of some sort? Any advice would be appreciated.


I think よく火を入れた[方]{ほう} / 火をよく入れた方 is understandable... but if they don't understand it probably you could try:

よく焼けてる方 etc.

to say "The one cooked longer (is mine)" as a response to "Which is yours?" (Normally, you don't use the phrase よく火を入れる when ordering steaks/meat dishes. I think you're more likely to see/hear it in cookbooks or cooking TV shows.)

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    Hope OP understands that he cannot describe how he wants his steak done using 方. – l'électeur Mar 3 '14 at 6:59
  • @TokyoNagoya え、そこが問題やったん・・・ – user1016 Mar 3 '14 at 7:18
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    問題っていうか、質問を読む限りでは、店員の言葉遣いと客のそれとを自身で混同してはるような印象があるので、老婆心ながらコメしてしもてん。杞憂かもしらへんけどな。 – l'électeur Mar 3 '14 at 7:23
  • Ordering steak is indeed not something I'm particularly confused about, as @TokyoNagoya suggested in his comment. Confusion happened when I was trying to point to a well done steak out of two steaks cooked to a different degree. Probably question title is misleading. +1 to the answer anyways, as its first section partially answers the question. – Dmitry Aleks Mar 4 '14 at 13:19

「肉の焼き加減」is more appropriate. I am an IT engineer, we use 「火を入れる」when you boot up servers(machines)

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    Thanks, I think 焼き加減 defines a category, not a particular rung in it. While 火を入れた方 seem to point to the upper range of the 焼き加減 category ("well done" in particular). – Dmitry Aleks Mar 2 '14 at 13:35
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    That would be 「火のとおった方」when you are talkin about steaks. – hanishi Mar 2 '14 at 13:36
  • Btw, would 火を入れる when used towards booting a server be a slang synonym to 立ち上げる or 起動をかける? (Interested, as I'm an IT guy as well). – Dmitry Aleks Mar 2 '14 at 13:37
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    Rigjt, we say like「サーバに火入れといて!」and it is a jargon. It means 起動させる or 立ち上げる。 – hanishi Mar 2 '14 at 13:41

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