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Author Topic: Steaks for a group  (Read 1084 times)


  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 2
Steaks for a group
« on: December 02, 2018, 03:38:52 PM »
If someone can point me to a discussion on this question that would be great.

I've been asked to grill steaks for a group of 16 in a couple weeks. I'm comfortable cooking 2 or 3 steaks at a time and getting them to my preferred internal temp. I'm a little nervous with a bunch of them and am looking for a cooking method most likely to result success with a bunch of steaks. Reverse searing gets a lot of attention today. Is this practical for 16 steaks that need to be finished at as close to the same time as possible? My experience is that thing can move along too rapidly if my attention is scattered too thin.  Would it be better in this case to sear first and then finish slower so I can catch them at the right finishing temp? I've got a couple webers (22 inch and 26 inch) so I can easily set up a couple different temp ranges.

22 inch & 26 inch kettles


  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6537
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 04:27:07 PM »
Yikes. Thatís a big one. I would ask what your cooking on? A ranch or couple 22ís? Do you have help? What kind of steak are being cooked?
If it were me and I had a say in the protein I would choose more along the lines of a few tri tips to cook. You can sear and slide or reverse sear, whichever your more comfortable with and the thing about tri tips are the ends will be more done than the middle so you can please everyone. If I were doing individual steaks on a small kettle I actually would be tempted to sear and finish in an oven if I didnít have any help.

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  • Statesman
  • Posts: 9269
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 04:30:40 PM »
sous vide those steaks to 128 or so and finish on the grill


  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 52
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 08:12:32 PM »
I would start in the oven at 250* until 115 for medium rare, rest and then sear on the charcoal.  I would do 8 thick steaks.  If you have a thermometer that you can leave in a steak while cooking it would give you a good idea when all the other steaks were getting close to the proper temperature.  This, IMO will be the easiest way to ensure quality and low stress.


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1345
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 10:42:23 PM »
Troy and azbeeking probably have the best answers, if you have the equipment.

With no added equipment? Buy a roast of the desired cut, then cook that. Cut into steaks and sear. Or stack and tie with kitchen twine the desired individual steaks into a roast shape, then cook that. Separate into steaks and sear.

Or change the menu to a roast of some sort.


  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5899
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 02:43:48 AM »
I say sear first then indirect. A 22 and 26 should handle this. You could use one to sear and one to hold. But I would recommend a helper if you can find one.

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  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1168
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 10:04:16 AM »
sous vide those steaks to 128 or so and finish on the grill

This is exactly what I did for 10 Rib Eyes not too long ago.  Sous vide the Internal to 130 and finished up on the CI grates of the the Genesis and a Large CI Skillet on the side burner for color. 3 fit at a time in the skillet.  Braised them with compound butter and rosemary.  Some Coarse Salt and fresh pepper and you have a winner.

My $.02 worth.  Your mileage may vary...

Lets just say I have acquired a few Kettles.  Big and small.   Vintage and New...  Some say I have a problem.  I find the Kettle, buy the Kettle, USE the Kettle...No problem...


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1417
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 07:39:04 AM »
Best/easiest way would be to sous vide like Troy said.   

If you don't do sous vide and just want to grill, there's a number of ways to do it.  One is to set the 22 up for 2 zone cooking (chimney over half the coal grate)  and that will be your warming/holding box.   Set the 26er up for a total direct cook.  1 1/2 to 2 chimneys to fill the entire grate.   Cook 7 or 8 steaks at a time.   Seems intimidating if you've never done it, but its really not any harder than cooking 3 at a time.   Just remember that putting the lid back on puts flames out.  Only have the lid off a short time to check steaks and flip them.  If need be, flip 4 steaks, put lid back on for 30 seconds or so, then lift and flip the other 4.      Take the first set of steaks to about 2 temps less than you want the finished/plated product to be.   I.e. if you want Medium, cook the first set to rare.   If MidRare is desired, cook to just under rare.    Take the first 8 off the 26'er and move them over to the indirect side of the warm/hot 22.  Stack them up if you need to.      Then throw the next set on the 26'er.   Take them to just under the desired finish temp.        Pull the 2nd batch of steaks and put them in the final service container/tray or whatever.   Go back to the 22 and check those steaks.  If they appear to be fine, serve them.  If they need to be reheated a bit or cooked a bit more, put them back on the 26er to finish.

Again, this might look and sound intimidating, but it really isn't.    I use a similar method when grilling 24 or so ribeyes at a time on one of my Ranch Kettles.

BTW, when you go to load the grill, have a pattern in mind.  I like to start at the top, 12 o'clock and work my way counter clock wise.  Don't know why, that's just the way I do it.  In prep, have the steaks all laid out on 1/2 sheet pans the same way.   Put all the steaks down the same way.    I put each steak on kind of diagonally, from 10 to 4.   After a few minutes, I rotate each steak 90 degrees clockwise, so they now go 2 to 8ish.  This gives nice diamond marks, but more importantly, it helps you keep track of the cook as you can look at the bottom of a couple of them to try and gauge how much more time they need on that side.    After a little while longer, I flip the steaks, again with the first orientation.    Once last rotation to get diamonds on that side as well and then bring them off.

And yes, diamond grill marks are over rated, there's better ways to cook the steak from a taste perspective, but people are impressed by them and this process actually makes the cook go easier as it helps you to keep track of things.   



  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1417
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 07:44:39 AM »
BTW, if you want to practice, go grab a couple of eggplants from the grocery store.  Slice them long ways into 1/4 slabs.   Set up the grill and throw them on to cook.   Obviously, make sure you have at least 15 or 16 slices.    Run through the process I outlined above, or come up with your own method.   Either way, it will help you get a handle on working with 8 or 10 items on the grill at one time and can be done cheaply.


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1371
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2018, 10:18:05 AM »
If you don't have the sous vide, the route with the oven will work...I've done it once for a group of 10...I would go even lower at 225 if you have the time.  My only question is what type of steaks are you cooking?  If they are thick steaks (like at least 1.5 inches) and are ribeyes or strip steaks, I'd try the oven/then a blazing sear on your 26er.  If they are thinner, you might have a harder time...which may be a perfect excuse to get a sous vide.
Chasing the impossibles: Westerner, Custom, Meat Cut!

Big Dawg

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1057
Re: Steaks for a group
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2018, 01:16:26 PM »
All of this is good advice. 

Back in the day, a bowling league would contract with my Elks Lodge to do their banquet, 80-90 people.  At the time I was using three gas grills at different temps.  Diners got to choose MR, Med. MW.  I started cooking some on my main grill before I got the first orders (tables of 8) in.  As I filled orders I would move steaks from one grill to another, to either speed them up or slow them down.

Result was that I got all of the steaks out in less than an hour with no returns.

You should probably be able to do similar for 16 diners with a 26er and two 22s.

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