Hot dogs for 400+

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by jspryor, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. jspryor

    jspryor Fire Starter

    Our church is having a picnic before an event and they are looking to serve grilled hot dogs for 400+ people.  The challenge is that there is only about 1 hour to serve these people.

    Any ideas on how long it will take to grill 400 hot dogs?  What about grilling them the day before and keeping them in water overnight, then reheating in roasters?

    Look forward to any advice people have.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's kind of a hard question to answer.

    You could grill 400 hot dogs in 3 minutes, if you have a big enough grill.

  3. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What size grill do you have? You can get alot of dogs on even a normal size grill and like Bear said, you can cook them quick. I wouldn't cook them the day before unless you had no other choice, but that's just my 2 cents.
  4. dforbes

    dforbes Meat Mopper

    I agree, how much space do you have to cook them on. If limited on space I would cook them and throw them in a cooler lined with foil. This will keep them warm til you serve them. With a good fire you should be able to cook a grill full in less than 5 minutes easy.
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are they precooked cured dogs? And how large is the cooking surface? what I did when I cooked for events was to get started early and start a bunch and when they're near done set them in a warm corner of the grill and start cooking more... you want a pile of cooked dogs ready for your customers while at the same time cooking more to add to the original pile. hope this helps or at least gives you some ideas
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  6. tulsajeff

    tulsajeff Master of the Pit Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member

    You could always smoke them.. I have smoked a couple hundred dogs before. It only takes about an hour so if you had good size smoker or even 2 of them, you could easily do 400 and have all of them ready at about the same time.

    They also brown up pretty nice in the smoker and the flavor is unbelievable.

    In my gas smoker which is what I usually use for hotdogs, I can fit about 50 dogs per rack and I have 4 racks so that's 200 dogs in the smoker.

    If I was doing 400 dogs, I would borrow an extra smoker and do them all at once.

    Just an idea.

    Keep the smoke going for the entire hour.

    If you really want to gill them, I would get about 4-5 buddies to all bring their grills and start about 60-90 minutes before you need them. As they get done place them in an empty ice chest lined with foil to keep them hot until all of them get done and folks are ready to eat.
    meateater likes this.
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    They're hot dogs. Grill 'em, high heat(lump is best), start about 15-20 minutes ahead and don't stop 'til all the dogs are cooked. Store in a warmer/buffet server. I used to cook for church cookouts on a barrel grill( a 55 gallon drum cut in two the long way) over charcoal. It got so hot it would singe the hair off your arms, We'd start cooking at communion and by the time mass was ended we were ready to serve 150+ people hot dogs, burgers and chicken. Remember they're hot dogs=high heat.

    P.S.- for 400 you may need 6-8 grills
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't grill then place in water, the other way around is ok,

    You can grill them and keep them warm in chafing dish or foiled pan in the oven.

    Start grilling them as many will fit on the grill at once, with a tad of space between them, after they re grilled move to a foil pan cover and keep warm on another grill or oven, repeat the process.

    If it were me, I would cook all the dogs in one shot in a large pot, like a turkey fryer pot.

    At most of our parties one of the biggest compliments I get is "your hot dogs always taste so good", not sure why maybe it has to do with sitting in a crock pot warming all day.

    And use ALL BEEF dogs if you can, they hold up better...and taste better.

    Just make sure not to boil the dogs long, bring the water up to a boil, add dogs, when water starts to boil again, turn off pot and cover pot.

    Not sure if you HAVE TO grill them or if you just need to serve 400+ dogs.
  9. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you get the disposable chafing dishes you can store them HOT with no problems - I just did 20 # of PP in a public park using a chafing dish and it kept the meat quite hot - this is another option if you can not get enough grills
  10. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    A couple of turkey fryers and a roaster to keep warm.

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