How to get ready when you’re cooking for a crowd

Hosting Australia Day lunch or dinner at your place can be a busy occasion and should probably the most enjoyable meal you’ll host all year.

But cooking for a crowd can also be stressful! With a little planning and preparation the day can flow flawlessly and you can enjoy yourself as much as your guests. 

Lay the table

Setting the table before everyone arrives is one of those jobs that can be done in advance to save you time. You can also lay out serving ware and condiments.

It’s also a great idea to make a small drinks table where you can put out glasses and have drinks handy in an ice bucket. This will save people from coming into a crowded kitchen to get what they need. 

Cook ahead of time

Do as much food preparation ahead of time as you can. Chop the veggies you need, prepare a salad so it’s ready to go. You can also prepare potato dishes and put them in a baking tray ready to be cooked.

The less you have to do in your kitchen on the day, the more time you can spend with your guests.

Stick with recipes you know

When you’re cooking for a crowd, it’s not the time to experiment with new recipes. Stick with what you know so there’s less chance of your meal being a disaster. It’s also a good idea to stay with the usual crowd-pleasing dishes. Everyone loves lasagna, but they may not be too keen on baby quail and octopus!

Don’t over-stuff your oven

Planning to have a roast meal and the works of roast veggies, plus an apple pie for desert might sound delish, but think practically – can you fit it all in your oven at the same time? If not, you might have to cook in batches and just heat things before serving, or rethink your menu.

From everyone at A-Plan Kitchens, we wish you a Happy Australia Day and wish you every success with your Aussie cook up or BBQ.