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Grill Your Own Steak

We are having a small dinner party, 6 people in total. We are having appetizers ( marinaded shrimp, empanadas, bruschetta and prosciutto,melon,bocconcini skewers ) followed by a fresh peach, onion and greens salad. For the main coarse we would like to have our guests grill their own fillet mignon on the BBQ. Would this be appropriate. We will all be sitting in our lanai as the BBQ is also in the lanai. Thanks for any feedback.

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  1. What do you mean "appropriate"?

    1. for a casual evening on the patio/lanai/deck it sounds nice to me, I love to retain control over the doneness of my steak.

      1. What's a lanai?

        Anyway, I bet some guests (if my own acquaintances are any measure) will not know how to cook a filet mignon as they prefer it. They might welcome someone else doing it to order.

        Sounds like a fun occasion.

        15 Replies
        1. re: Bada Bing

          One of the smaller Hawaiian islands.

          1. re: flavrmeistr

            Yes, I know. But the phrasing "sitting in our lanai" puzzled me.

            1. re: Bada Bing

              Fancy word for "screened porch", I guess.

              1. re: flavrmeistr

                The "screen" is not necessary.

                You could substitute "deck," or "patio," and be very close.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    I bet you would want that screen if you were still in NOLA. ; )

            2. re: Bada Bing

              think of a covered or shaded patio in a tropical location. an outdoor living/dining room.

              1. re: hill food

                On "The Golden Girls", they have a lanai. I thought it was what old ladies in Florida call their patio.

                1. re: iluvcookies

                  just those old ladies...

                  IIRC a screened-in lanai in FL is also called a '3-season room'.

                  in HI it's generally free and easy.

                  1. re: hill food

                    I'm lucky to get 2 seasons out of my FL lanai. Bummer. Nice room, too friggin hot half the time.

                      1. re: Steve

                        A Florida Room has glass. That's why it's too hot half the time.

                2. re: Bada Bing

                  These guests will know how to grill. A lanai is a covered and screened I porch.

                  1. re: Bada Bing

                    Depending on what area of the country you live in, a lanai is a porch, deck or a patio

                    1. re: Bada Bing

                      A lanai is a roofed outdoor living space, usually abutting the house on one or more sides and either screened or not. It is not totally protected from the wind (thats the whole idea in the tropics) and only somewhat protected from rain, unless it is an 'enclosed lanai', usually with one or more walls of sliding doors or windows.

                      The 'balconies' on condos/apartments in Hawaii are always referred to as lanais, but they can be much larger and more useful than that. The old Governors Mansion has a lanai that is probably about 20 feet by 30 feet and is where most entertaining is done by the governor.

                    2. How many will be standing around the grill tending to their own steak? Al 6 at once? No, I think it's kind of weird. One person at the grill, tending the steaks, taking orders for doneness.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: wyogal

                        Agreed. Some people shouldn't be allowed near the grill. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

                        1. re: wyogal

                          I agree w/ this... I can't see how letting everyone grill their own would even work, unless you're ok with everyone eating at different times.

                          1. re: juliejulez

                            I've we're thinking of having the men grill for themselves and their wives. It would just be 3 at the grill. The BBQis quite large.

                            1. re: No1Nonna

                              Yeah I just don't get why... to me it seems like making the guests work for their food.

                              And, I'm a better griller than my other half is, so don't assume the man is the better one :)

                          2. re: wyogal

                            I was picturing what you describe. Not appealing at all. One person asks the others how they want their steaks and then they all get cooked at once.

                            Not that OP asked :), but my opinion is the apps are WAY, way too much. I was reminded not long ago that apps are named that because they're supposed to what the appetite not kill it. Just my two cents.

                          3. A disaster waiting to happen...followed by litigation, at least if alcohol is involved.

                            1. It looks like you have plenty of appetizers and salad.Serve exotic cocktails in your lanai.Then if people are still hungry. You can toss a couple of fillets on the grill. Slice thin and serve.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: emglow101

                                Planning on serving watermelon margaritas with appetizers and red wine with dinner.

                              2. Why do you want people to do their own? So they can do it to their own preference/because you want or need to be doing something else/because you're not confident in your own skills?

                                My suggestion would be to have one designated host or guest (known to be competent or better) take specific orders for doneness and let her/him do the lot.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Chatsworth

                                  My husband is a great BBQer. Heirs Argentinian born and can grill up an awesome steak. We just thought of all the fun we had grilling our own at a restaurant once and thought it would be a kind of different and fun time. We don't worry about the alcohol issue.

                                  1. re: No1Nonna

                                    In that case, I'd want your husband to BBQ. :-)

                                2. Not sure what your motivation is for everyone preparing their own but like most others I don't like the idea.

                                  Filet Mignon by the nature of its cut (thick) is a very difficult steak to grill to correct temp. If any of your guests like their steak cooked beyond medium you should pre-butterfly those steaks ahead of time.

                                  My advice pick one person who knows what they are doing.

                                  1. With respect IMO I'd give the fillet mignon a pass. I'd go for rib eyes or strip loins. 'fillet mignons' have very little flavor and if BBQed are tricky at the best of times to get right.
                                    Just my opinion.
                                    I just can't see six adults standing in front of a hot BBQ poking away at their meat/s.

                                    7 Replies
                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                        Most grills don't really have room to grill six rib eye's at once. Especialy consider there wil be some flare up and you will need room to move them around. Six fillets can be manageable.

                                        1. re: mike0989

                                          OP said it was a big grill, large enough to have at least 3 men hover over it while the women folk, well, not sure what they do while the menfolk are cooking the steaks.....

                                          1. re: wyogal

                                            No doubt the women are sitting in the background enjoying a second or third cocktail and quietly laughing at the caveman group gathered around the fire making grunty noises at each other pretending that they know when each steak is ready. It's especially fun to watch when cooking takes longer than expected and the flashlights come out in order to see how the steaks are coming along.

                                            Now if one or more of the women is interested in standing in front of a hot grill instead of sipping a cocktail, more power to her, and vice versa for any of the men.

                                            1. re: wyogal

                                              I've taught Bob everything he knows about grilling.

                                          2. re: Puffin3

                                            Good points about fillets. On the rare occasion (like you, I don't think they have much flavor) I cook them, I do in a CI skillet and then into a hot oven and make a sauce to give them some flavor. For us, ribeyes are the go-to for the grill.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Chateaubriand avec Bearnaise or Beef Wellington. It's a sin to hack up a tenderloin.

                                          3. I don't like the idea, but then again, I am not one who would want to cook their own steak at a restaurant either. (the concept boggles me).

                                            You know your friends. If you think they'd all enjoy it, go for it.

                                            1. Are they all really that diverse and picky and varied about the doneness of their filet's? If everyone is wanting medium to medium rare - I would just do all the cooking for them instead of making everyone crowd the grill like that.

                                              If there are people who want blood rare and others who want well done hockey pucks, then I guess the grill won't be crowded then since the well done folks will be getting theirs last.

                                              Or perhaps, you could just grill them to mid rare and slice them up and put them out on a platter for filet tacos, along with the shells and toppings of course. Then the people who want them a little more done can toss their meat on the grill for a little longer.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Atomic76

                                                The future well done ones go on first and then everything (in a perfect world!) comes off at the same time. ANother argument for one, skilled griller.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  With the skill and timing of a great orchestra leader, like Seiji Ozawa from his BSO days.

                                                2. re: Atomic76

                                                  My mother used to joke about my father when he would ask people, usually family, how they want their steak done. He would ask everyone and my
                                                  mother would say something about why he was asking since they were all going to be the same, medium. I have since chosen to grill my steak on the rare side of medium rare.

                                                3. I think it sounds like fun. Do whatever you think your and your friends would enjoy! It's your evening.

                                                  1. yeah you could go uber-casual and just say 'here are the drinks, here are the sides, there's the grill - go for it in the order you like, as it's not a sprint, it's a marathon'

                                                    I'd be cool with that.

                                                    1. As long as you are providing the steak, and your husband is experienced with this cut of meat, I think it is a terrific and fun idea to do for a backyard cookout, dinner, etc.

                                                      1. All I can do is scratch my head and say, "Why?"

                                                        On a bunch of different levels ...

                                                        1. I think one person should to the grilling so that everyone eats at the same time. It can be awkward to start your entree while other guest are still cooking.

                                                          However, if your guest are up for it, give it a shot.