Cooking for a crowd

Cooking for a Crowd On a Blackstone

If you’re planning on cooking for a crowd, the Blackstone griddle is one of the most effective ways to cook large amounts of food quickly. The 36” griddle has an impressive 756 square inches of cooking surface which is great for making quantities of food in a hurry.

How is cooking for a crowd different than cooking for just a few people?

Cooking for a crowd is different because everything happens on a larger scale. Because you are making food in quantity, it’s important to think about more than just the ingredients.

Most people don’t have access to restaurant-style hotel pans and buffet dishes at home. So, considering what you will put cooked food in is very important.

Baking pans, although often overlooked for griddle cooking, make a fantastic vessel for both holding and serving cooked foods. Lasagna pans, turkey roasting pans, broiling pans, brownie pans, and even cookie sheets are perfect for holding food for hungry guests.

What types of cooking utensils should I use when cooking for a crowd?

Although standard kitchen utensils can work, they are on the small side and some of them simply cannot handle moving around large quantities of food. This may be the excuse you need to upgrade to Blackstone’s 6pc Culinary Series Griddle Kit or something similar.

You want to look for tools like spatulas and tongs with longer handles and plenty of surface area for grabbing food. Also, consider adding a second spatula to your beverage hand while cooking. You can use the two spatulas together like a scooper, making it simpler to move, cook, and serve foods. There are even hybridized spatulas that resemble a scooper that’s great for corralling smaller foods like peas and corn.

How do I make sure my food is safe when cooking for a crowd?

Food safety is no joking matter. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure food is properly cooked and safe to serve.

  • Familiarize yourself with the USDA’s food safety guidelines for safe food handling and preparation.
  • Keep raw meats away from cooked meats and other cooked food. Cross contaminating cooked food with even the juices from raw meat can ruin a party in a hurry if someone gets ill.
  • Keep a high-quality instant-read thermometer on hand to ensure foods are cooked to their minimum required doneness.
  • Keep your hands, cooking surface, and surrounding areas clean to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Make sure food stays out of the danger zone. Hot food must stay hot and cold food must be kept cold. Make an effort to cool any hot leftovers rapidly to prevent bacteria from growing.

What are the top 5 dishes I can cook for a crowd on a griddle?

What’s on the menu is for you to decide, but these are the top 5 recipes for cooking lots of food on a griddle:

  1. Burgers and hot dogs - It’s hard to argue with burgers and hot dogs when feeding a crowd. The 36” Blackstone griddle can cook about 30 burgers or 70 hot dogs!
  2. Pancakes and bacon - With loads of cooking surface area you can cook pounds of bacon and park it on a warming rack while you’re making pancakes.
  3. Fried rice - Always a crowd pleaser, fried rice is simpler to make than you would think. Vegetarians, pescatarians, and carnivores can all be satisfied, depending on what types of ingredients you include.
  4. Pasta dishes - Yes, you can cook pasta on the Blackstone griddle! Whether it’s pad Thai noodles, ramen, spaghetti, or tortellini, pasta is great for cooking on the griddle. The pasta can be par cooked or blanched then cooled and kept in the refrigerator 2-3 days ahead of time. When you’re ready to cook, the pasta only needs reheating and a few accouterments like a griddle sauce and your favorite protein.
  5. Hot sandwiches - There are so many types of sandwiches out there and they can be perfect when cooking for a crowd. Breakfast sandwiches, ham and cheese melts, and even Reubens can be prepared ahead of time and then finished on the Blackstone so they’re served piping hot. Intrepid griddle cooks may even take on patty melts, chopped cheese, or cheesesteak sandwiches, serving them made-to-order. The extra effort is definitely worth it.

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