Summer is here and with it comes an abundance of fresh, delicious food, straight from the garden. Summer also comes with an abundance of heat, which can make it more than miserable to create great meals for your family. Using the oven makes the kitchen feel like an inferno and standing over the grill doesn’t feel much better.
So what can you do to make delicious meals in the summer without breaking a major sweat? You might have to think out of the box to find summer meals that won’t overheat the kitchen, but it definitely can be done. Here are some kitchen tips to beat the summer heat that will help you stay a little cooler.
Summer Kitchen Tips
Use Small Appliances
Instead of using the stove top or firing up the outdoor grill, try using those small appliances that are stashed in your cabinets to keep the temperature down as you cook. Their smaller surface area will help you stay a little cooler while making a hot meal with your favorite summer flavors.
Cut Down Oven Use
Though some dishes just don’t work without the oven, keeping its use to a minimum makes for more comfortable summer food preparation. If you have things that need to bake, do it earlier in the day and reheat it later on. This is also a great time of year to try a “cook once” technique and do all of your heat-inducing kitchen activities for the week at once. You’ll save time throughout the rest of the week, too!
Try Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker Meals
Most people think of slow cooker and pressure cooker meals as being fall and winter comfort food. While these appliances are great for that purpose, there is so much more you can do! Cook meat for shredding, chicken breast strips to top salads, and so many more things that make perfect summer meals without overheating the kitchen.
Turn Up Fans and Turn Down Lights
When cooking just can’t be avoided, there are ways to help regulate the temperature of your cooking area. Use your stove’s vent fan to help pull some of the warm air out of the room, while a portable electric fan helps to circulate the air in the room. Overhead lights in the room can also bring the temperature up a bit, so turn off as many as possible as you cook. Instead, use the natural light from windows to light the room.
Create Simple Cold Buffets
On the hottest of summer days, laying out a sandwich or salad bar is a perfect solution. Deli meats, fresh veggies, wonderful bread selections, and simple sides like chips and cold salads help you create a filling meal without breaking a sweat. Make sure you have everyone’s favorite dressings and condiments on hand, so they can personalize their sandwich creation.
Summer meals can still be fabulous without heating up the kitchen. Step away from the stove and try some alternative cooking methods and you’ll beat the summer heat in the kitchen with ease!