Tools That Make It Easier to Feed a Crowd

When you're armed with a few key pieces of equipment, a fete of any size is possible.

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Slow Cooker

A slow cooker will do the majority of the work involved in preparing perennial crowd favorites like chili and pulled pork, but it doubles as a chafing dish, too, for foods that haven't necessarily been prepared in the slow cooker.

 

By Teri Tsang Barrett

Rice Cooker

A big batch of rice stretches servings at any meal. Plus, the only method for perfect rice, each and every time, is a rice cooker.

Rimmed Baking Sheets

Think beyond the cookie! The rim allows the sheet to keep messes contained while also doubling as a large baking dish or roasting pan for anything from brownies to roast chicken.

Toaster Ovens

These junior-size ovens can do anything a standard oven can do — with a much shorter preheating time, making toaster ovens ideal for quick tasks like toasting nuts or reheating appetizers.

Chafing Dishes

Not everyone needs or has the space to indulge in this serving vessel, but if feeding large crowds is a house specialty, having a chafing dish on hand means hot foods remain hot without need of the oven or a stovetop burner.

Stockpot

These extra-big pots are great for making and holding big batches of soups and stews, but when it comes to cooking lots of pasta, that's where stockpots really shine: The extra room in these pots makes it easier to make multiple batches with enough water that the pasta cooks evenly and without sticking.