Ina Garten's Clever Hosting Tip Will Get Everything On The Table At Once

Picture it. You're hosting a dinner party, and guests are starting to arrive, but chaos is unfolding in your kitchen. Your oven is too small to roast everything at the same time, and every burner on the stovetop is in use. You've put foil on top of the food to keep it warm while everything else finishes cooking, and now your homemade dinner rolls are a soggy mess from the condensation. It's safe to say — we've all been there.

When you're looking for tips on how to be the hostess with the mostest, perhaps there's no better expert to turn to than Ina Garten. The chef has authored 13 cookbooks, has won numerous awards for her Food Network show, and, per her Instagram account, has at least 3.8 million fans.

You'll never see the Barefoot Contessa losing her cool in the kitchen. She's well-versed in the best ways to reduce stress when cooking dinner for a crowd and knows it requires ingenuity. And the TV personality utilizes a brilliant hosting trick that you can use, too.

Ingenuity at work

­­­­­­­­­According to People, when Garten is hosting a dinner party, she puts a strategy in place that starts with planning the menu and deciding what she will serve based on which cooking appliance she can use to cook the recipe. This method ensures all the food can be brought to the table at once, fresh and hot. Let's look at putting together a dinner party menu using the expert's method.

Your guests will be drawn into your home by the smell of Potato Rolls baking in your slow cooker. While the entrée finishes in the oven, Brussels sprouts are crisping up in the air fryer as the Instant Pot quickly brings a simple side dish like this quinoa to the table. Some soups can be blended and heated in the container of a Vitamix blender. Don't forget about dessert. Your guests will go crazy for these warm and gooey Nutella Mug Cakes you can make in your microwave. No fuss, no muss.

You see, Garten's top tip for hosting large crowds is to make use of all the appliances in the kitchen, not just the oven. 

Connection over convention

The Barefoot Contessa is full of helpful hosting tips; to her, making her guests feel welcome and at home is the most important thing. Garten told CNN that she likes to put together a charcuterie board to serve before the meal and a buffet-style service for dinner so guests can choose which dishes they want to eat based on their taste preferences or dietary choices.

Garten always opts for practicality and simplicity over formality (via Texas Public Radio). In fact, the chef says, "if a recipe isn't simple enough for me to do and do well and repeat and do it again the same way, it doesn't make it into a book." That's great news for all the home cooks out there.

It's also crucial that Garten's guests feel comfortable, so she forgoes the stiffness of a conventional dinner party and focuses on bringing people together for food and good conversation. Hosting a large gathering doesn't have to be an unpleasant and chaotic experience. The next time you have people over, use Garten's clever multi-appliance trick and follow her philosophy of valuing connection over convention. You and your guests will have a night to remember.