Simple Tips to Use When Cooking for a Crowd

Simple Tips to Use When Cooking for a Crowd

For many of us on Super Bowl Sunday, the football game is just as important as the food that will be served. Super Bowl Sunday is a perfect excuse to enjoy the five Fs: family, friends, football, fun and feasting! However, if you’re the one in charge of hosting the party, you might be a bit stressed trying to figure out how to make the day just right.

Cooking for a crowd can be slightly intimidating at first but it doesn’t have to be. Just take a few deep breaths and follow the tips below to help make the day (and any other party you host) a huge success. Remember, it’s a party…you should be allowed to have some fun too!

Simple Tips to Use When Cooking for a Crowd

How To Cook for a Crowd

The Golden Rule when Cooking for a Crowd: Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead

  • Decide how you want to serve the food. A buffet-style service is one of the easiest ways to serve when entertaining a large crowd in your home, especially for a Super Bowl Party. Buffet-style will allow your guests to serve up their own dishes and then head to the living room to plant themselves on the couch and mow down the grub while watching the game.
  • Plan your menu a few days in advance. Choose dishes that are easy to make in large quantities. It also helps to make dishes that can be prepared in advance. There’s nothing worse than being a host of the party and spending your entire time cooking in the kitchen. For some ideas on what to cook for this Sunday’s Super Bowl game, be sure to check out some of these great game day recipes! They’re easy to prepare and work great as part of a buffet-style service.
  • Study your recipes once you decide on a menu. By studying your recipes, you will be able to come up with an action plan as to what can be cooked a few days in advance, what needs to be chopped, what needs to be stored in the refrigerator, what needs to be heated prior to serving, etc.
  • Make refrigerator space. Time and time again, I try to cram as many dishes into the refrigerator as possible and I almost always find myself wishing that I had a second refrigerator. Once you have your menu down pat, decide what needs to be stored in the refrigerator prior to serving and make room for those dishes prior to preparation.
  • Be sure you have enough serving utensils and dishes. There’s nothing worse than frantically pulling out all of the contents of your cabinets only to realize that you don’t have anything on which to serve the food. Take stock of your inventory and stop by the store to pick up any necessary utensils or dishes.
  • Serve food at appropriate temperatures. Be sure to keep warm foods hot at 140 degrees F or warmer by using slow cookers, chafing dishes or warming trays. It also helps to keep dishes hot by storing them in a warm oven until ready to serve. For foods that are meant to be served chilled, nestle the serving dishes over bowls of crushed ice.

Another rule when cooking for a crowd? Be realistic on how much of the cooking you can do by yourself. As my husband can attest, I’m a control freak who ends up making every dish for my parties. Word of advice: don’t be like me if you’re not ready for hours of prep and cooking. Enlist the help of your guests, delegate chores and ask your guests to bring a dish. Like I said before, it’s a party and you need to kick back, relax and enjoy a few cocktails too!

What’s your favorite tip to use when cooking for a crowd?

photo via ErinMadeThis

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