During the summer months, preparing food for your family in an uncomfortable, hot kitchen can be a challenge. Using a conventional oven can add even more heat to an already sweltering room. Hot weather is a great time to try different appliances to prepare hot food without adding too much heat to your kitchen. Some great summer cooking appliances to help keep a kitchen cool include:
- convection ovens
- crock pots
- electric skillets
- grills and griddles
- panini and sandwich makers
- microwave ovens.
Using your stovetop will also generate less heat than baking in a conventional oven.
Taking Advantage of Cool Evenings
After the sun goes down, many summer evenings feel pleasant and cool. This is a great time to cook meals for the hot days to come. Cooking late in the evening will help keep your kitchen cool and your family comfortable.
Refreshing Cool Foods
Another great way to help keep a kitchen cool is to opt for meals made from colder foods. When the weather is hot, cool foods make light and refreshing meals. Cold buffets are fun for the whole family, look beautiful and require very little or no cooking. Some delicious ideas for cold buffets include:
- chilled soups
- cold cuts
- cold pasta salads
- fresh fruit
- fresh vegetables
Keeping the Air Moving
Improving air circulation in the kitchen will go a long way toward keeping a kitchen cool during the hot summer months. If you don’t have air conditioning, one of the best ways to keep the air moving in your kitchen is to install a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans with lighting fixtures are available in a wide variety of colors and styles to fit almost any budget.
In the evening, the combination of a ceiling fan and the soft breeze from an open window is a gentle way to cool off your kitchen.
Enjoying the Great Outdoors
Sometimes, the best way to keep your kitchen cool in the hot weather is to give it a rest and take your meals outdoors. Cooking on an outdoor grill is fun and can be a welcome change of pace. You can enjoy summer meals at a backyard picnic table or spread out a blanket on the grass for an old fashioned picnic. In addition to the traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, some other wonderful foods to barbeque include:
- corn on the cob
- eggplant, onions and zucchini
- firm tofu
- fish, such as shark or tuna steaks
- vegetarian burgers.
If you currently don’t have a barbeque, consider getting or building your own barbeque island.
Ordering Take-Out Food
Sometimes a very hot day can sap the energy it takes to prepare a nutritious meal. On those days, ordering occasional take-out food is a great way to keep your kitchen cool. Take-out food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Many restaurants offering food “to go” have begun to offer healthier alternatives, including:
- brown rice instead of white rice with Chinese or Japanese food
- elimination of MSG
- healthier oils used for frying
- low fat or non-fat salad dressings
- salad options
- whole grain breads
whole wheat crust on pizza.