How to Cook Steaks for Large Numbers


Even in commercial kitchens with large grills, steaks prepared for big groups are often braised rather than cooked on the grill. Braising combines two methods of cooking: dry heat and moist heat. Chefs typically braise steaks by searing them first in a pan, then transferring them to a covered dish and baking them in a small amount of liquid to finish cooking them. But you can also sear the steaks on a grill to get the appealing diamond pattern of a grilled steak before finishing them in the oven.

Things You'll Need

  • Dried seasonings
  • Beef stock (8 oz. per dozen steaks)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large metal spoon
  • Large plastic squeeze bottle
  • Cooking oil (olive or vegetable)
  • Cooking brush
  • Grill (electric or gas)
  • Grill tongs
  • Sheet pan(s)
  • Aluminum foil (wide enough to cover sheet pans with one piece of foil)
  • Oven
  • Meat thermometer

Season and Sear

  • Trim excess fat from the steaks and apply seasoning in advance. Allow time for the meat to absorb the flavors, at least three to four hours but preferably overnight. Keep the steaks refrigerated until you are ready to grill them.

  • Prepare a basting mixture with beef stock, seasonings and cooking oil. For 12 steaks, combine 8 oz. stock with 1/4 cup of dried seasonings and 2 tbsp. of cooking oil in a bowl. Combine equal parts of the basting mixture with water or beer in plastic squeeze bottle. Use this liquid to douse excessive flames when you grill the steaks.

  • Preheat the grill to 425 degrees F. Allow the steaks to come to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Brush the seasoned steaks lightly with oil while the grill preheats and brush a sheet pan with a light coating of oil.

  • Place the steaks on the preheated grill and sear the first side for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have distinct grill lines on the steaks.

  • Use grill tongs to rotate the steaks 45 degrees on grill. Do not flip the steaks over.
    Sear them for another 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Flip the steaks over using tongs. They should have distinct diamond-shaped grill marks on the now face-up side. If they don't, try again on the second side. Sear the steak for 2 to 3 minutes on the second side.

  • Rotate the steaks 45 degrees on grill; do not flip them over. Sear for another 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Pull the seared steaks from the grill and place them on oiled sheet pans. Put the side with the best grill marks face up. Arrange the steaks with at least 1/4 inch of space between each them. The loaded sheet pans can be covered and refrigerated until you're ready to finish the steaks in the oven, or you can continue cooking them right away.

Oven Finishing

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

  • Pour 1 to 2 tbsp. of the basting mixture over each steak.

  • Cover the entire sheet pan with a single sheet of aluminum foil. Crimp the foil edges tightly around the pan.

  • Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake the steaks for 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Remove the pan from the oven and check the temperature of the steaks. Peel back the foil without tearing it and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
    If the steaks haven't reached your desired temperature, repeat steps 2 to 4 until they do.

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