Grilling For A Crowd

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(KTVI) – Are you hosting the party? Tim Gilbert, from 54th St. Grill & Bar, has some tips for grilling for a crowd. He showed Tim Ezell how to make a good impression.

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  • Create a self-serve toppings buffet
  • Have some appetizers and dip ready for guests to much on as they start trickling in
  • Designate a grill master
  • Get organized and do prep work ahead of time
  • Once guests have fully arrived and you have an accurate head count, the grill master should start grilling up protein so they are coming up hot and sizzling
  • Side dishes plan many cold, do-ahead so they will be ready when the grilling is finished.
  • Side Dishes- Hot side dishes pre-done and warming up in holding station

Grill Preparation:

  • Medium High Heat-normally time is not of the essence in a BBQ setting so you will end up with a better product by cooking on a medium high heat preferably between 300 to 350 degrees.  Avoid letting the grill get into the 400+ temperatures.  High heat will increase burning and make cooking to proper temperatures more difficult.
  • Oil down the grill to avoid product sticking and tearing.  Either a brush or a spray bottle of oil or non-stick spray will work fine.

Cooking System

Broiler marking system- Be the hero of your BBQ by using this very simple system that allows you to cook every steak from memory perfectly by having a predefined row for each temperature that you place each steak as you put it on the grill.  Most cooking errors occur trying to remember what each steak is supposed to be and turning at random times.  You will turn all steaks in each row all together waiting longer to turn each row the higher the desired temperature(Rare in front, Medium in middle and Well to the back of the grill ETC).  Place each steak on grill at a 45 degree angle turn in opposite direction, flip steak over and repeat process.  Flipping and turning in this manner will produce beautiful diamond grill marks, avoid any unnecessary charring and burning and help cooking to desired temperature.

Fish is a very delicate product so a well-oiled grill and even oiling down the fish is helpful.  For all fish cook on each side and flip without ever turning.  If the grill is too hot or not properly oiled the fish will stick and tear destroying the end product.  Chicken, hamburger and Steaks are much more durable protein so you want to rotate on each side once from original placement and flip and rotate again to get a good presentation and have the best end product.

Avoid any unnecessary downward pressure with spatulas to maintain optimal flavor and juiciness of the product.  Just turn and rotate but don`t press unless you are trying to cook product to well done (not recommended)

Different products and sizes will require different cook times but normally about 6 minutes will produce around a medium rare steak and every couple minutes it will raise another temperature.  Steaks and burgers will have a tougher texture and dry out more as they cook to a higher temperature.  Always error to the low side as you can always throw product back on if you want it cooked more but you can`t reverse once you have overcooked.  If needed make a small cut in the side and continue to cook if you want a higher temperature.

Overcooking fish and chicken.  (concern for cooking thoroughly often causes overcooking and dry, flavorless product). = needs to be added to this section....very important point.  Fish cook to no more than 145 degrees and chicken no more than 160 degree.  Many cook books tell you 150 and 170 will be over-cooked and dry at these levels.

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