Cooking for a large group of people is never easy but there are some things you can do to make life easier. Get organised today and follow these simple mass catering tips for a smoother lunch or dinner service.
Check your equipment
Whether you’re cooking in your normal kitchen or using someone else’s for the event, it’s important to check over the equipment to ensure you have the right tools for the job. Catering for a large number of people is no easy feat, so you’re going to need extra equipment to keep up with the demand.
From cutlery and pans to mixers and refrigerated storage, there’s a lot to think about before you start to cook. So draw up a checklist of everything in the kitchen, including anything you might need to rent or buy for the occasion.
Double check your food volumes
Even cooking basic recipes for a large crowd can be difficult and often, it’s not as simple as using 10 or 20 times the ingredients from the original recipe. Spices and herbs can make a huge difference to how a meal tastes, so if you’ve not cooked for a large crowd before, you might want to use a recipe quantity calculator.
Another tip is to think about when and who you are cooking for, a lunch meal for young children will not require as much as a dinner service for adults. If in doubt, erring on the side of caution and purchasing slightly more produce is usually a safe idea.
Keep your ingredients and meals at a safe temperature
If you’re making lunch or dinner for a large number of people, it’s likely that you’ll have to create and store some elements in advance. Keeping huge quantities of food at a safe temperature simply isn’t possible with domestic appliances. Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, you should consider temporarily upgrading your storage with commercial refrigeration units and hot boxes.
Food safety should be a top priority if you’re cooking for a lot of people, which is why controlled temperature storage is a must. If heating raw food, it should be hot enough to kill off any bad bacteria in raw meats, fish and poultry. If chilling food before consumption, it should be stored at an ambient temperature of approximately 8°C. Any ingredients that are to be kept for a prolonged period without consumption must be stored at the standard temperature of -18°C or cooler.
Plan ahead and give yourself some breathing space
The most important tip to remember when catering for a large group of people is that planning is the key to success. Use all the tools at your disposal, like quantity calculators and additional storage, to make cooking easier. Careful planning and keeping calm under pressure will ensure your mass catering experience goes as smoothly as possibly.
CRS offer a wide range of mini blast freezing, cold storage and hot box units. For help choosing a portable unit that’s right for you, give us a call today on 0800 085 2298.