While it won’t technically be summer for another few days, it’s been feeling a lot like summer lately! We’ve already reinstated many of our favorite summertime “heat management” practices, like opening and closing the windows at strategic times, never ever leaving the doors open, and of course, avoiding using the oven as much as possible. (I haven’t quite gotten to the point of banning it entirely, but I’m sure we’re not far off!)
Cooking during the summer is always tricky, because it’s hard to balance your desire for a warm meal with your desire for a cool house. But there are plenty of ways to cook up a great meal without heating up your house, and I’ll be sharing a few of them with you today! So without further ado, here are 6 alternative cooking methods that will help you keep your family fed and your kitchen cool this summer. :-)
7 Ways To Cook That Will Keep Your House Cool
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1. Get Out And Grill
Summer is the season of grilling and barbecuing, and you should take advantage of it as often as possible! You can cook a wide variety of foods out on your grill, including steaks, chops, chicken, pizzas, fish, veggies, and more! If you’re worried about food sticking to your grill, you might want to invest in a good set of grill mats. They work wonders!
2. Use Plug-In Appliances
Small appliances like your Instant Pot, crockpot, toaster oven, and electric griddle don’t give off much heat at all, so they’re great for summertime cooking. Plus, it’s a fun, creative challenge to come up with new things to cook in your small, plug-in appliances. (For instance, your waffle iron is much more versatile than you might think—check out the link below for more on that!)
3. Take The Kitchen Outside
Even if you’re not a grilling pro, you can still find ways to take the heat of cooking outdoors. For instance, you can always set up and use your favorite electric cooker outside! Just run an extension cord out the door, find a shady spot to work, and invite the family out to enjoy your fancy new outdoor kitchen! :-)
4. Don’t Cook At All
You won’t heat up the kitchen if you don’t cook anything! During the hottest days of the summer, cold foods can be a refreshing respite from the relentless heat. There are plenty of things you can make to help beat the heat, like salads, sandwiches, wraps, and chilled soups. Yum!
5. Do Your Cooking Early
Even during the hottest part of the summer, temperatures can still cool off quite a bit overnight. You can use this to your advantage by limiting your oven or stove use to the early morning hours, before the sun has a chance to heat up your house. It might feel a bit weird at first to cook dinner at 9am, but desperate times call for desperate measures!
6. Cook In Batches
When you do decide to turn on the oven or stove during those hot summer day, make it count! Cook extras of whatever it is that you’re cooking (whether it’s pasta, rice, hard-boiled eggs, pancakes, etc.) Keep the leftovers in your fridge or freezer to eat later.
7. Cook Over A Fire
If your local rules and regulations permit it, set up a fire pit in your backyard. (You can also check with your local parks and campgrounds to find out if they have fire pits or charcoal grills that are free to use!) Cooking over a fire is a summertime tradition, and it’s a great way to keep your house cool too.
And if you need some inspiration for what to cook over your fire, check out the link below for 10 delicious ideas!
How do you keep your house cool during the dog days of summer?