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Fwismoker
11-05-2015, 10:40 AM
I was asked to help grill steaks for a VFW cook. It sounds like it's gonna be around 90 rib eyes around the 8oz range thinner variety. I guess normally they don't even season them and only grill them over their charcoal cookers.

The grills are the bigger charcoal pits with the adjustable up and down charcoal trays.


I know how to cook a mean steak on a small scale but if anyone has any advice on a larger scale like this then that would be awesome. I'm sure many of you have done this for their churches, legion halls etc... Thanks!

Ribeye Republic
11-05-2015, 10:46 AM
I cooked over 300 at the Houston Livestock Show last Feb.

Set up the grill with 2 zones one hot, one cooler. Please season the beef with at least S&P. Get help and have a thermopen for each cook. Don't try to get perfect sear marks, that will go out the window quickly.

Good Luck

columbia1
11-05-2015, 11:06 AM
You could also sous vide them in a large cooler until the IT is about 110', then throw them on the fire for a couple minutes a side.

SDAR
11-05-2015, 11:12 AM
I'd go with a slow smoke and a hot grill with grill grates. The steaks are done...bring em out of the smoker, slap em on the butt with a really hot quick sear and throw them on the plate.

Fwismoker
11-05-2015, 11:27 AM
You could also sous vide them in a large cooler until the IT is about 110', then throw them on the fire for a couple minutes a side.

I'd go with a slow smoke and a hot grill with grill grates. The steaks are done...bring em out of the smoker, slap em on the butt with a really hot quick sear and throw them on the plate.

This will be done just using their charcoal grills which can handle the quantities but there won't be any sous vide or grill grates involve although they sound like a great idea.

Fwismoker
11-05-2015, 11:33 AM
I cooked over 300 at the Houston Livestock Show last Feb.

Set up the grill with 2 zones one hot, one cooler. Please season the beef with at least S&P. Get help and have a thermopen for each cook. Don't try to get perfect sear marks, that will go out the window quickly.

Good Luck

Thanks! Yea I'll probably at least season with S&P. That makes sense to do the two zone route...take the temps to maybe 115-120 then quick sear on the other side. Hopefully these grills will be easy to set up and refill the charcoal if need be.

Fwismoker
11-05-2015, 11:33 AM
I cooked over 300 at the Houston Livestock Show last Feb.

Set up the grill with 2 zones one hot, one cooler. Please season the beef with at least S&P. Get help and have a thermopen for each cook. Don't try to get perfect sear marks, that will go out the window quickly.

Good Luck

duplicate ...

arclite
11-05-2015, 11:34 AM
I love big steak cooks. Pretty much a 2 zone fire. If the steaks are thin your temp window is really small, so I'd shoot for med. rare. Like any steak cook it's better to cook under. You can't uncook an overdone steak. I wouldn't bother with a thermometer and trust the poke test. You'll get the hang of it really quick.

Have fun!

silverfinger
11-05-2015, 11:35 AM
Just a thought,
Have all your orders in place before you start. Rare, medium, well done.
Start with the rare first then work your way up to well done. That way if you over cook any they can be moved up to the other orders.

PaSmoker
11-05-2015, 11:52 AM
I'd sear first over hot zone...then move to "not-as-hot" zone (technical term :becky:)...this way you can use time in that zone for doneness while all have a good sear...

deguerre
11-05-2015, 11:56 AM
I've done a bunch of burgers like that. I laid them down in series on the grate. By the time the last one was placed, it was time to flip the first one. By the time the last one was flipped, the first one was about ready to come off.

Fwismoker
11-05-2015, 12:27 PM
I'd sear first over hot zone...then move to "not-as-hot" zone (technical term :becky:)...this way you can use time in that zone for doneness while all have a good sear... Now that is a good idea and makes a bunch of sense. I'm so hooked on reverse sear that I forgot about the other way around. lol

Fwismoker
11-05-2015, 12:30 PM
[QUOTE=arclite;3395345 I wouldn't bother with a thermometer and trust the poke test. You'll get the hang of it really quick.

Have fun![/QUOTE] Thanks...Yep the finger poke test is a good idea but i'll probably bring my therm to verify my finger test is close! :becky:

arclite
11-05-2015, 12:44 PM
Thanks...Yep the finger poke test is a good idea but i'll probably bring my therm to verify my finger test is close! :becky:

90 ribeyes with hot spots and a 2 zone on any grill will make the thermo pretty inconsistent. Maybe to establish a baseline for the poke test with your first couple steaks. You'll be surprised how quickly you get the hang of it with a finger and a wave of a hand.

Again, I'd also limit your temps if the steaks are thin. Medium rare or medium well ("burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell" :heh:) to help with your sanity.

landarc
11-05-2015, 12:53 PM
I assume you are not cooking alone. Also, are you cooking to temperature, or giving folks whatever comes off the grill. We used to cook a couple of hundred steaks for church from time to time, and we told folks, everything was going to be medium. And more or less, everything was medium.

For production, I tend to favor the old style, of grilling it hot to whatever desired doneness is requested. I don't do two zone, or slow smoke for steaks in fund raising. It ends up being a mess.

Untraceable
11-05-2015, 01:03 PM
with 8 oz ribeyes and that many, you are just cooking them to done. By the time you lay out the first batch, your going to be ready to flip the first down. Have fun with it.

arclite
11-05-2015, 01:09 PM
2 temps are pretty reasonable. Medium rare as your baseline and grey for the people who demand bad steak. Skinny ribeyes cook like skirt steaks - sear and flip with a cool zone on the grill in case you get in trouble.

Fwismoker
11-05-2015, 01:11 PM
I assume you are not cooking alone. Also, are you cooking to temperature, or giving folks whatever comes off the grill. We used to cook a couple of hundred steaks for church from time to time, and we told folks, everything was going to be medium. And more or less, everything was medium.

For production, I tend to favor the old style, of grilling it hot to whatever desired doneness is requested. I don't do two zone, or slow smoke for steaks in fund raising. It ends up being a mess.

Bob I'm assuming it's going to "everything done to medium" with a few requests of well or rare....but that's just a guess and how i'd rather have it be.

I'll probably do the sear first then move to a cooler part of the grill just to keep things more simple. It just seems like i'll have more control that way but IDK as this is a first time for that kind of madness.

I'm thinking sear real hot for a couple minutes per side then move em over.

Shagdog
11-05-2015, 01:18 PM
I'm with landarc on this.. When I had to do one of these, it was pretty much like this -

Try to get even temps across the whole grill. Start laying steaks down in the back left corner and follow a pattern, like all the way across the back, then the next row, whatever. Whatever your pattern, just remember it. By the time you have the grill full, go back to the start and start flipping. By the time you get to the end, depending on how many, how fast you move, and how hot your fire, it is most likely time to start pulling them. Check for doneness, flip again if you're not close, and start pulling from your start point when they're in the medium ballpark. I can't even imagine trying to cook to multiple temps and keeping a 2 zone fire on top of it, unless your fire just isn't that hot or you have time to do only 10-20 steaks at a time... With 8oz steaks I'd just go hot and done.

Q Junkie
11-05-2015, 01:26 PM
When I was a lad I worked at a cheesy cowboy themed place in AZ called Rawhide.
I cooked countless steaks for the snowbirds on an outdoor adjustable pit that was able to be raised up and down as well as front to back . The front was always lower for the hot zone and the steaks were moved to the back that was higher for the cooler zone. Being able to recognize heat zones and how to use them is critical. Environmental conditions like wind always had an effect on how we would set it up and cook. Always at least two people running it and at times two people cooking and two people pulling the steaks and plating when they were done. It was the job of the cooks to flip and move the steaks to the proper zones and the people pulling them to get them off at the right time. How ever you end up doing it just enjoy it and have some fun.

ColoradoSmoke
11-05-2015, 01:45 PM
I've done several really big steak cooks.

We put all the steaks in a large food grade container and season them with LAWRY's salt and coarse black pepper. Simple and great tasting.

As others have said - x2 zone fire - need a place to keep cooked steaks warm.

Biggest mistake I've made / best advice: keep an eye on the fire and make sure it stays hot. It's easy to get carried away cooking and serving and forgetting to add fuel to the fire.

landarc
11-05-2015, 01:50 PM
I just want to say, I would love to be able to say "when I was younger, I worked at a place called Rawhide"

Mdboatbum
11-05-2015, 02:03 PM
90 steaks may not seem like a lot to a veteran line cook, but for everyone else, it's a daunting task. Hot zone, cool zone, sous vide, reverse sear etc.. are all pretty words and nice ideas, when you're at home making 2 or 3 steaks.
Here's how I predict the cook will go. You'll be standing there with nothing happening waiting for the go ahead to start cooking. Then, within about 11 seconds, 90 hungry veterans are going to sit down and want their steak NOW! You've suddenly gone from "tumbleweeds" to "in the weeds" and the first steak hasn't hit the grill. You start furiously dropping steaks, trying to keep up with which are done to what temperature. You can just forget that right now. An 8 oz ribeye will, depending on the grill temp, go from raw to ruined in maybe 45 seconds. Shoot for "pinkish". This is a charity event and folks aren't paying I'm assuming, so really they can't be all that picky. They will be, of course, but that's their problem. You're in survival mode here, and the best you can shoot for is that everyone gets a safe, nicely cooked steak in the medium range. Between the heat, the smoke in your eyes, the servers and organizers screaming at you and the vets themselves milling about offering "advice" on why you're doing it all wrong, you're not gonna give a tinker's damn about the fussy SOB who asks for his steak 2/3 of the way between medium rare and medium. The best advice I can offer is to flow your steaks from one end to the other. I usually try, try being the operative word here, to build a fire that is hottest on the right side and gradually cools toward the left. Every time you flip, you move each row to the left. So you drop maybe 5 rows of steaks. After 2 flips, you have 2 free rows on the right, so drop more steaks. Just keep flipping and dropping, pulling steaks as they get to the left side. Each steak will be flipped maybe 5 or 6 times, which is fine. It'll keep anything from burning and will actually let them cook more evenly. After the first 12-15 you'll get the timing down and it'll just be a constant cycle of steaks from right to left. If you have helpers to pull the finished steaks and add the raw ones, even better.
Good luck and have fun!

Happy Hapgood
11-05-2015, 04:12 PM
Hot grill with cooler area as mentioned. Then just use your trusty thermapen. You do have a thermapen, don't you? :cool:

VoodoChild
11-05-2015, 04:21 PM
I just want to say, I would love to be able to say "when I was younger, I worked at a place called Rawhide"
I Have been to Rawhide so many times !
The original closed several years ago and was relocated to Chandler AZ
Also Pinnacle Peak Patio and Greasewood Flats and Reata Pass are gone Now as Well
All of the Good Ol Arizona Cowboy Steakhouses Are Gone Bill Johnsons as well.

DouG M
11-05-2015, 04:57 PM
Just another way to think about. You could start to cook early cook these to med. and put into a cooler then cook next batch to med. rare and put into another cooler start next lot this should get you to just before they want to start to eat. Your first lot should be more to the well done now from sitting in cooler and the other cooler should be just med. by now.The last batch or 2 go from grill to plate you will have your timing down to a T by then. Make your coolers (meat stand time) work for you . Good Luck you now need to tell us how you did it with pic. and how great a time you had. DouG

mchar69
11-05-2015, 05:39 PM
My 1st thought - GET 16 OZ. STEAKS, cook them, then
cut them in half, they are juicier.

2nd thought
I failed at a cook in Denmark, guy had a welded 3x5 ish metal
'Box, all the charcoal made temps too high all over.
'08, Befo' the BQ Brethrens - rolling and pulling sausages like a maniac - for 50+ people.... dumbass me -

This a perfect fix for my failed cook -
Here's how I predict the cook will go. You'll be standing there with nothing happening waiting for the go ahead to start cooking. Then, within about 11 seconds, 90 hungry veterans are going to sit down and want their steak NOW! You've suddenly gone from "tumbleweeds" to "in the weeds" and the first steak hasn't hit the grill. You start furiously dropping steaks, trying to keep up with which are done to what temperature. You can just forget that right now. An 8 oz ribeye will, depending on the grill temp, go from raw to ruined in maybe 45 seconds. Shoot for "pinkish". This is a charity event and folks aren't paying I'm assuming, so really they can't be all that picky. They will be, of course, but that's their problem. You're in survival mode here, and the best you can shoot for is that everyone gets a safe, nicely cooked steak in the medium range. Between the heat, the smoke in your eyes, the servers and organizers screaming at you and the vets themselves milling about offering "advice" on why you're doing it all wrong, you're not gonna give a tinker's damn about the fussy SOB who asks for his steak 2/3 of the way between medium rare and medium. The best advice I can offer is to flow your steaks from one end to the other. I usually try, try being the operative word here, to build a fire that is hottest on the right side and gradually cools toward the left. Every time you flip, you move each row to the left. So you drop maybe 5 rows of steaks. After 2 flips, you have 2 free rows on the right, so drop more steaks. Just keep flipping and dropping, pulling steaks as they get to the left side. Each steak will be flipped maybe 5 or 6 times, which is fine. It'll keep anything from burning and will actually let them cook more evenly. After the first 12-15 you'll get the timing down and it'll just be a constant cycle of steaks from right to left. If you have helpers to pull the finished steaks and add the raw ones, even better.
Good luck and have fun!

landarc
11-05-2015, 05:52 PM
Mdboatbum is right on the money with his comments.

That's not a whole lot different than the system we used to charcoal cook 1500 chicken halves.

If you are really doing this with no helpers and no bosses, the first time, keep it really simple, getting the meat cooked safely, and decently, will be quite the drill. Oh, and I like to set up about a quart to quart and a half of cold water ready for me to drink near the grill.

Bob C Cue
11-05-2015, 06:43 PM
https://youtu.be/aB2yqeD0Nus

Q Junkie
11-05-2015, 07:05 PM
I Have been to Rawhide so many times !
The original closed several years ago and was relocated to Chandler AZ
Also Pinnacle Peak Patio and Greasewood Flats and Reata Pass are gone Now as Well
All of the Good Ol Arizona Cowboy Steakhouses Are Gone Bill Johnsons as well.

I know you didn't mean to, but you just made me very sad.

Q Junkie
11-05-2015, 07:16 PM
I just want to say, I would love to be able to say "when I was younger, I worked at a place called Rawhide"

"We know not what we have until it's gone".

Teleking
11-05-2015, 07:47 PM
Just a thought,
Have all your orders in place before you start. Rare, medium, well done.
Start with the rare first then work your way up to well done. That way if you over cook any they can be moved up to the other orders.

That's not how it works at the steak fries I've attended. You get what you get when they drop a plate in front of you. Went to a few at gun clubs over the years and typically a club fund raiser. Quantity over quality and you eat what you get. Cooked to order is not an option.

Firby13
11-06-2015, 10:12 AM
90 steaks may not seem like a lot to a veteran line cook, but for everyone else, it's a daunting task. Hot zone, cool zone, sous vide, reverse sear etc.. are all pretty words and nice ideas, when you're at home making 2 or 3 steaks.
Here's how I predict the cook will go. You'll be standing there with nothing happening waiting for the go ahead to start cooking. Then, within about 11 seconds, 90 hungry veterans are going to sit down and want their steak NOW! You've suddenly gone from "tumbleweeds" to "in the weeds" and the first steak hasn't hit the grill. You start furiously dropping steaks, trying to keep up with which are done to what temperature. You can just forget that right now. An 8 oz ribeye will, depending on the grill temp, go from raw to ruined in maybe 45 seconds. Shoot for "pinkish". This is a charity event and folks aren't paying I'm assuming, so really they can't be all that picky. They will be, of course, but that's their problem. You're in survival mode here, and the best you can shoot for is that everyone gets a safe, nicely cooked steak in the medium range. Between the heat, the smoke in your eyes, the servers and organizers screaming at you and the vets themselves milling about offering "advice" on why you're doing it all wrong, you're not gonna give a tinker's damn about the fussy SOB who asks for his steak 2/3 of the way between medium rare and medium. The best advice I can offer is to flow your steaks from one end to the other. I usually try, try being the operative word here, to build a fire that is hottest on the right side and gradually cools toward the left. Every time you flip, you move each row to the left. So you drop maybe 5 rows of steaks. After 2 flips, you have 2 free rows on the right, so drop more steaks. Just keep flipping and dropping, pulling steaks as they get to the left side. Each steak will be flipped maybe 5 or 6 times, which is fine. It'll keep anything from burning and will actually let them cook more evenly. After the first 12-15 you'll get the timing down and it'll just be a constant cycle of steaks from right to left. If you have helpers to pull the finished steaks and add the raw ones, even better.
Good luck and have fun!

We do a couple hundred t bones this way every Fathers day weekend for our annual steak ant lobster bake.
Wood fired pit. I always try to get pics but there just isn't time.
Steaks on the open end and served from the closed end or as requested.
Flipped with spatulas and if they get to Med we pull them to the sides to rest.

The pit building the coal bed:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/<a href=http://s182.photobucket.com/user/Firby13/media/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg.html target=_blank>[IMG]http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x159/Firby13/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpghttp://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/<a href=&quot;<a href=http://s182.photobucket.com/user/Firby13/media/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg.html&quot; target=_blank>http://s182.photobucket.com/user/Firby13/media/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg.html&quot;</a> target=&quot;_blank&quot;><img src=&quot;<a href=http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x159/Firby13/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg&quot; target=_blank>http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x159/Firby13/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg&quot;</a> border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot; photo 04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg&quot;/></a>http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x159/Firby13/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/souw5mzmaoc4w07/AAB0vbawFEyOrbc_bZsT0azna

the coals get raked out and a few chunks thrown around on top

arclite
11-06-2015, 10:43 AM
We do a couple hundred t bones this way every Fathers day weekend for our annual steak ant lobster bake.
Wood fired pit. I always try to get pics but there just isn't time.
Steaks on the open end and served from the closed end or as requested.
Flipped with spatulas and if they get to Med we pull them to the sides to rest.

The pit building the coal bed:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/<a href=http://s182.photobucket.com/user/Firby13/media/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg.html target=_blank>[IMG]http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x159/Firby13/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpghttp://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/<a href=&quot;<a href=http://s182.photobucket.com/user/Firby13/media/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg.html&quot; target=_blank>http://s182.photobucket.com/user/Firby13/media/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg.html&quot;</a> target=&quot;_blank&quot;><img src=&quot;<a href=http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x159/Firby13/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg&quot; target=_blank>http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x159/Firby13/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg&quot;</a> border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot; photo 04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg&quot;/></a>http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x159/Firby13/04003315-FBA3-4079-A412-9E07DF14CE85.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/souw5mzmaoc4w07/AAB0vbawFEyOrbc_bZsT0azna

the coals get raked out and a few chunks thrown around on top

That looks like a lot of fun!

It's been a few years since I did a big steak cook, although I did grill two dozen skirt steaks this past summer for an outdoor dinner party.

Firby13
11-06-2015, 11:14 AM
That looks like a lot of fun!It is (and a lot of work).

Our big fund raiser for our rod and gun club.

$50 gets you a dinner of two items plus baked potato and corn (steak and lobster / two steaks / two lobsters) at 6:00 PM.
You can also choose to take the steaks raw and the lobsters either way instead of the meal.
All you can eat Burgers, sausages, BBQ chicken, clam chowder etc. from noon to four.
Band from 6-10 pm.
Beer, soda etc. included.
horse shoes, tug of war .. good time.