Got a lot of kids to cook for? Here are some dishes and appliances that every large family needs to help streamline their cooking. Post contains affiliate links.
Now, I only have 4 kids. One of them is still only exclusively breastfed. So… before you tell me that large families probably have at least 5 kids or more I’ll say that I agree with that.
However, even cooking for my 3 kids (who eat a lot), my husband, and other family members nearly daily I’m going to tell you that I am running into a problem.
Actually a few.
It takes a lot of food to fill that many people.
It takes bigger dishes to get the job done.
I don’t own all these things yet, but I am budgeting for these and other ways to bump up my game in the future.
We’ve only ever had a 2 piece toaster and when you run out of cereal, grits, and fruit then we have toast. It takes about ten minutes to make toast for everyone with a 2 piece, but this 4 piece cuts the wait time. Then you let your kids spread their own butter and jelly (since even 2 and 3 year olds can do that for themselves) and you’re golden.
2. Big dutch oven or casserole dish
If you make a lot of casseroles, potluck dishes, or one pot meals you need a big casserole dish. I personally love dishes that have lids like this one. These are handy if you need to cook and then bring your meal to someone else’s house or church, etc.
3. Baking dish
But not just any baking dish, mind you. There are baking dishes and there are baking dishes. This is a 4.8 quart baking dish and is 15 x 10 inches which fits quite a lot more than you’d imagine. With basic 9 x 13 dishes everyone only gets one helping, if that, and there’s never any left to freeze.
4. Cast iron skillet
I love cast iron skillets and cook most stove top meals on one of the few we have. This above is a 17″ cast iron skillet with two handles which is important. I have one that’s large but with a handle and I can barely pick it up with two hands, much less one.
5. Large crock pot
Large families need large slow cookers! Those small crock pots are great to make dips or small deserts, but to make dinner for everyone a big one is in order. I have a slow cooker right now that has been around for years and I use it a few times a week when I’ve meal planned well.
6. Food processor
I use food processors a lot when I’m in a homemade baby food phase, but what I’m coming to realize is that to be able to cook enough to fill their bellies (and afford to cook it) I’ve got to start making more from scratch. Food processors are very useful when making sauces, mixes, rubs etc. as well.
7. Jumbo fryer
I used to attempt to make spaghetti sauce to eat on for a while and save, but never quite had a pan that was big enough. If you want to cook one pot meals – which I highly recommend – this big fryer will fit a lot of ingredients for still a lot of people.
8. Mega muffin pan
This is not mini muffins, either. These are good for cupcakes, muffins, or even little breakfast or taco cups. Instead of putting in two different muffin pans you can do double with this one pan.
9. Food Storage Sets
The above is a Rubbermaid storage set, but I just recommend having any type that will seal, store, and freeze. Our freezer and fridge are full of leftovers and my mother – God love her – came over and matched all the tupperware so the bottoms and lids have corresponding numbers. We have so many and this really helps make it easy to find lids!