Large Family Cooking: 10 Must Have Kitchen Tools

Top 10 Tools for the Large Family Kitchen

I enjoy cooking.  Really, I do.  It’s just that with 8 kids, it can feel like I’m preparing food all. the. time.

Although I am not naturally organized, I have managed to keep everyone alive for the past 23 years and over that time, I have learned some practical ways to prepare reasonably healthy meals that can feed a crowd.

Last week I wrote about the amazing benefits of eating together as a family.  If your family isn’t eating together or you lack the motivation to cook family dinners, you’ll definitely want to check out that post.  Before I talk about what we cook and how we cook, I want to share with you some of the tools that we use to make feeding our little army just that much easier.

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1.  Crockpot:  We own an 8 qt crock pot and use it often for everything from soups and roasts to batch cooking meats.  I can cook two whole chickens in that baby and often do.  Fun fact:  I actually was inspired to start blogging after googling how to cook chickens in a crock pot on one sweltering hot summer day and reading this awesome post by The Happy Housewife.

cooking for the large family

2.  Large Roasting Pan:  In my desperation to find a really large pan, I noticed that if I removed the roasting rack in my roasting pan that I had some serious space for preparing enough enchiladas,  lasagna or other yummy casserole.

large deep fryer pan

3.  Large deep fryer pan  One way that I make an easy but large meal is by preparing one of my one-pot wonders.  One-pot wonders include all the meat, veggies and starches for the entire meal.  These kinds of meals are great for busy evenings when there isn’t a lot of time for clean up.

Stock Pot 4.  Stock Pot:  Tired of spilling soup all over your stove top while trying to make enough soup to feed your brood?  This non-stick stock pot can easily hold enough soup for tonight and enough to freeze for another night.

double griddle

5.  Double griddle:  This kitchen tool revolutionized our bacon and grilled cheese cooking.  Six sandwhiches at once – yes please!

feeding the large family

6.  Rice cooker:  One of the strategies that our large family uses to keep our food costs low is to serve meat as a side dish rather than a main dish.  This is more easily accomplished by serving rice, quinoa with dinner and our large capacity rice cooker takes all of the guesswork out of it!

feeding the large family

7.  Heavy duty food processor:  Oh, the chopping!  Oh, the grating!  Save your arms and let a good quality food processor do the work for you.  We also make large batches of hummus and nut butters with our food processor which can be a big money saver in a large family.

cooking for the large family

8.  Heavy duty blender:  Before we bought our Vitamix blender, we went through about 2 blenders a year.  Seriously, with the huge amounts of smoothies that we pump out around here we needed something strong.

cooking for the large family

9.  Large (8 cup) measuring cup:  Save time by adding some extra measuring capacity to your kitchen.  When doubling and even tripling recipes, I love having the measuring capacity to fill once and go!

cooking for the large family

10:  Stainless steel bowls:  So done with broken and missing bowls!  These heavy duty steel bowls can take a beating (and they have) and wash up and be used again and again.

cooking for the large family

Wait!  One more thing…Plenty of 13 x 9 or 10 x 15 Pyrex pans for freezing extra meals.  Another trick we use for streamlining our food production is to make two (or more) family-sized servings of a dish;  one for now and one or two for later.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be adding posts on how we organize our kitchen and pantry, tips for cutting costs and planning meals as well as our favorite healthy and simple recipes to feed a crowd.

Are you often feeding a crowd?  What kitchen tools do you love?

Marianne Sunderland

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  1. Nice post. I only raised four children and I wish I could remember what all that was like as a working Mom, but it must have been one of those ‘get er done’ kind of things. Of course they don’t all like the same thing and I had one that didn’t like hardly anything and the other boys used to make fun of me making him a ‘special’ meal. But it would only be maybe a peanut butter sandwich or grilled cheese or something. When I was little, I did not like much meat either, so I spent a lot of time at the kitchen table staring at that corned beef and cabbage or pork chop or whatever, but I would never eat it. Just a little something for nourishment for the super picky eater is O.K. I think. If they don’t tolerate heavy food, even a little bowl of dry cereal or something is better than nothing.
    Have a wonderful week!

    • Marianne Sunderland says:

      That is a great idea for a post Becky! There is definitely a balance between discipline and being gracious towards the picky eater. We have a few kids who have never liked meat. Interesting!

  2. Nice post! I totally agree, and have most of these items. There are a couple that are on my “list” like the double griddle! Also I need a bigger crock pot. ;) Just saying. THanks for sharing!

  3. I love your super-sized equipment! Where did you get your deep fryer pan? We’ve been looking for a super big one but can’t find it. We once had one that could go into the oven, but the handle came off we used it so much. We haven’t been able to replace it yet.
    What about your crockpot, where was that purchased?
    Thanks so much!

    • Marianne Sunderland says:

      Hi Ari. If you click on the photos in the post, there are links to Amazon. I love our deep fryer pan with lid. Use it all the time! We were given our crock pot as a gift but the image of a crock pot on my sight takes you to a link on Amazon where you can buy one. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. As a mom of 13 I’d add a good mixer. I love my Bosch! Powerful and large for multiple batches of whatever we’re baking.

    • And a 18 quart roaster. Great for cooking in the summer. I can place it on the deck to keep the heat out.

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