Grilling steaks for banquet

Joined Feb 17, 2014
Hello chefs!

Have been asked by a client to grill 300 14oz strip steaks on 2 outdoor grills for an event. All steaks will be med rare to medium. Basically we'll grill them and them hold in chaffers right by the grills where guests will pick them up and serve themselves. Just seeking advice on the whole concept, but especially timing and how to cook that many steaks outdoors without keeping guests waiting in line for a steak.

Thanks for your help!
Joined Oct 31, 2012
I hope the grills are large so you can cook as many as possible all at once. Then as close to service as possible. Leaving steaks sitting in chafers for too long will over cook them. Do them in batches, time the batches, serve that many while the others are cooking. 

A few minutes waiting in between batches may be necessary if every one cares about accurate meat temps. 

Hopefully one of the catering experts here will have a better suggestion. 
Joined May 5, 2010
I'm so sorry that you got roped into this situation. I've been there myself.

I worked for a banquet house that expected the kitchen to grill the steaks while the guests ate their salads.

They went out and purchased 2 8' long lava rock gas grills. I took one look at them and told the owners the only way we can cook the steaks and serve the guest in a timely manner was to "mark" the steaks on the grill and finish them to medium rare in the oven.

You options are limited.

You may want to start very early and "MARK" the steaks. These can go into a chaffing dish and be cooked to medium rare my the sterno, however; you will have to watch them and turn them to insure that they all cook evenly while in the dish.

Alternately, you could "mark" all 300 steaks, bring them to the event and finish them on the grills there.

Good luck...
Joined Sep 5, 2012
I do this kind of event several times a year with the service for 500 paced over an hour. I use 2 big wood/charkol grilles, both can hold 50 pieces of meat. I time the first hundred to come of the grille 5 minuts before they come thru, under cooked by half a temp. I hold them in not completly covered chafers and they come up to medium and have some rest time before they dig in. Repeat and you have a good flow. Have 1 guy per grille plus a helper. Have a runner to fetch steakes from the storage area. Have the meat near room temp and have them salted a few minutes before the go on the grille. Keep a couple of spray bottle in reach for flair ups.

It aint easy to say they least. Good luck.
Joined Oct 23, 2013
Sounds like fun.

If its your gear its rmfeasible if its the clients gear good luck. Byobbq.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
Your options are on the table..........It can be done, but like Lagom said, it ain't easy.

You need a good charcoal grill like this

You might be able to rent them from a party rental. I used these in movie catering where we would grill steaks, fish for 3-400 on a regular basis.

Use mesquite charcoal or mesquite & briquets. Mesquite burns very hot, don't let the grill cool down or your screwed.
Joined Aug 21, 2004
I basically second @Lagom on method. If you want a little more cushion seeing as how this is your first time doing this scenario, you can do one grill mark per side ahead of time and chill the steaks until the event. At the event, bring steaks to room temp and do the second grill mark per side and finishing right before service for the first batch and continuing on with subsequent batches.
Joined Aug 8, 2015
Are they paying you enought to pit perfect diamond grill marks on them? That many people that short a time grill marks on the go will be hard. No marks if the metal isnt hot and doing that many to order is not going to give you enough refresh time to allow the grates to heat back up. Ny strip is a good choice of steak for this though. Filet to expensive and thick. Ribeye is good grilled but that many and you are sure to have a grill fire or two from the fat dripping. I would definagely mark them off ahead of time and finish on the grill. If you continue to load and finish one grill at a ti e you should be able to have a goos flow. Ny strip especially an 8 to 10 oz is going to be thin and should cook quick as hell on high heat.
Joined Dec 11, 2014
Just trying to throw ideas here it just depends on what kind of resources and equipment you have.

Like everyone else is saying a big grill is what you need.

However what if you did a sousvide on the steaks and finished on the grill that way you could keep them hella tasty and keep pumping them out as people are coming threw rather then cooking them from raw ????
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