Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kitchen Tip: Random Thoughts on Keeping the Kitchen Cool in Summer


It is hot. The temps are forecast to exceed 100 degrees here today. It is 5:48 am and already it feels like an oven outside. The last thing we need is to heat up the kitchen today. In fact, my menu plan this week centers around keeping the kitchen cool. So here are a few random thoughts and strategies to keep the kitchen cool this summer.

1. Do any cooking/ baking early in the morning or late in the evening. For example, in making yogurt, I need to heat milk on the stove. I try to do that at night (around 9:00 pm, after sunset). It works for us because the yogurt can incubate over night and we have yogurt in the morning, just in time for breakfast.

2. Use your slow cooker. As a general rule, these do not heat up the kitchen as much as an oven or stove top. If it is really hot where you live, and you have a safe outdoor area (like a garage) with a power source, you can always put your slow cooker out there and keep the heat completely outside.

3. Cook once, eat twice. This week, I am cooking a roast in the crock pot (while we sleep) and using it during the day for French Dip Sandwiches, one day and BBQ sandwiches another. You could do the same with a whole chicken cooked in your crock pot, then cooled and used for chicken salad sandwiches or a roasted chicken green salad.

4. Use a solar oven to cook. Now I will admit that I don't have one of these, but I'm tempted to use these plans to make one from a pizza box and try it out. Years ago, my Dad made one and used it a few times before the newness wore off and he forgot about it. They can get temps high enough to cook with if built right. If we can scrounge the needed items, I think we will make one to try out. I'll post pics if we make one and I'll post the results of the cooking experiment as well. I wonder if we could get it to work.

5. Run the dishwasher only after dark and/ or turn off the drying part of the cycle. The same goes for your clothes dryer. Either run it at night or use a clothes line.

How do you keep your kitchen cool during the hotter months?

This is my submission to Kitchen Tip Tuesday hosted by Tammy's Recipes.

6 comments:

Casserlys said...

We like to BBQ a lot. That and crock pot cooking. Pannini's for dinner sometimes. :) Too bad you can't just have ice cream, and call it a night! LOL

Raise Them Up said...

These are great tips! I'm going to check out the solar oven. :)

Alea said...

Great tips! I also walk around barefoot, because I feel cooler without socks and shoes.

Lori said...

My crockpot is on my BFF list spring, summer, fall, and winter! LOL! I love using mine. :) We also often eat just two main meals in summertime....not only does it keep the kitchen cooler, but ya just don't feel like eating as much in the summer heat! Speaking of heating up the kitchen, I'm off to fix biscuits and gravy...we're having company for breakfast! Yikes! :)
These are good tips! Thanks for sharing! :) Have a great day!

The Book Lady Online said...

Casserlys,

I'm sure I could find some way to convince myself that ice cream is a good dinner. Hmmmmm . . . Great tip about BBQ.

Raise Them Up, I'd love to know if you get the solar oven to work.

Alea, I'm barefooted most of the time, including winter (our winters are extremely mild). Great tip.

Lori, great point about 2 meals instead of 3. I had noticed that we were doing that here without even trying. Its just too hot to eat much.

Sandra said...

I hate using my oven in the summer. It just heat the kitchen up so much but there are just some things I don't want to wait until winter to have. My son built me a small table to go on the back porch. I have one of those convection/toaste ovens. I put it on the table on the back porch when I need to bake something that will fit in there. I can bake potatoes, bake biscuits, 3 cheese mac and cheese etc. in there and not heat up the kitchen. Then when it is cool, I bring it back in.