Tips for cooking for a crowd?

If the idea of cooking for a crowd intimidates you, we have some few tips that may show it's not that scary. There isn't big difference between cooking for two or for a dozen if you are attentive to safety, keep yourself organized and prepare all you will need in advance.

Food and Hygiene Safety

Although cooking for a crowed is not a science it's presents high health risks if you don't take safety precautions. Every kind of food has a right cooking and storing temperature that you have to be aware of. Wrong cooking and storing temperatures will allow bacteria to grow creating a huge food poisoning hazard.

So, what should you do to protect your guest's health? When cooking, you must use instant-read thermometers to control the cooking temperature. If the food will be stored, divide it in smaller portions before storing it in the fridge. It will make the food cool quicker not giving bacteria time to develop.

Quantities - Rule of Ten

To avoid either hungry guests or waste of food you need to estimate quantities.

To find out the right figures for the quantity of food needed, there is a catering procedure called Rule of ten which says that when cooking for ten people you will need:

Meat - four pounds Potatoes for salad - three pounds Dry pasta for salad - one pound Peeled pre-cooked prawns - two to three pounds Shellfish - two pounds Soup to be served as appetizer - half gallon Soup to be served as main course - one gallon Salad - two pounds of leaves Salad dressing - three cups Cocktails - twenty per hour Punch - a gallon

If you plan to serve lots of cocktails, don't forget to have at least 10 pounds of ice and a good range of soft drinks. Furthermore, remember that one cocktail usually takes 1.5 ounces of spirit, so your figures are 16 cocktails for every 750 ml bottle.

Cooking Supplies

Well, it's not really easy to find the appropriate pans, pots and dishes to cook for a crowd. Some people may use foil baking pans. If that's what you intend to do, just be aware that they are very fragile and may not resist to heavy or extremely hot food. The best thing to do is to rent professional equipment that will bring all the supplies you need together and leave your mind free for exclusively concentrating on the food.

Stay Organized

Organization is a must have when it comes to cooking for a crowd. One nice tip is to make a to-serve list having the whole menu on it, and score out every dish you serve. Things can get quite frenetic in the back stage of a huge dinner, and you may simply forget to serve something.

Previous preparation and organized work are the keys for cooking for a crowd successfully having only to congratulate yourself for the impressive job you did.

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