How to Cook Steaks for Large Numbers

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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.


Few people own a grill large enough to cook large numbers of steaks.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum Foil (Wide Enough To Cover Sheet Pans With One Piece Of Foil)

  • Large Metal Spoon

  • Mixing Bowl

  • Cooking Brush

  • Meat Thermometer

  • Dried Seasonings

  • Cooking Oil (Olive Or Vegetable)

  • Large Plastic Squeeze Bottle

  • Grill Tongs

  • Sheet Pan(S)

  • Beef Stock (8 Oz. Per Dozen Steaks)

  • Grill (Electric Or Gas)

  • Oven

Season and Sear

Step 1

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.


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Step 2

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.


Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.


Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.


Step 7

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

Step 8

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

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Step 2

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


Step 3

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

Step 4

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


Step 5

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.


Never use a grill fork with steaks. Puncturing the meat releases juices and can result in dry and unappetizing steaks.

Steaks will continue to cook for at least 5 minutes after they come off the heat, so remove them from the oven 3 to 4 degrees below your desired temperature.

If you're serving the steaks buffet-style in a heated chafing dish, remove them from the oven 8 to 10 degrees below your desired temperature.

Do not flip the steaks over once they begin to cook on the sheet pan; doing so will ruin the grill marks.


United States Department of Agriculture guidelines recommend cooking beef steaks to at least 145 degrees to avoid food-borne illness.

Bacteria grows between 40 and 140 degrees F. If meat remains in this temperature range for any length of time, bacteria can grow and the risk of food-borne illness increases.



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