So how do you feed your family and prepare healthy meals all while staying cool? We're glad you asked.Here are some tips and tricks from our favorite chefs and bloggers for how to beat the heat in the kitchen this summer:
Use Minimal Heat
Avoid using the oven and stovetop whenever possible. Instead, use toaster ovens and induction stoves, which produce less heat than your regular oven or stovetop. Turn on your exhaust fan to send warm air outside. Take advantage of the microwave whenever possible, as it produces little to no heat. You can even use it for boiling water or steaming veggies. Tiffany from Don't Waste the Crumbs suggests a slow cooker as another great tool to avoid heating up the house.
Cook With Fresh Ingredients
Incorporate foods that don’t need heating, such as fresh salads and fruits. Plus, using lighter ingredients like olive oil and vinegars won’t make you feel so weighed down after meals. "Take advantage of cucumbers, melons, mint, citrus, pickling, cold soups (gazpacho, etc.) for their cooling effects," says Chef Jeff Dietzman of Dallas’ LUCK.
Time Your Time and Do It Right
If possible do your cooking in the morning, when temperatures are cooler. When dinnertime rolls around and the house has had a chance to cool off, you can get back in the kitchen and finish anything that doesn’t generate a lot of heat. "[Eat] any kind of chilled dish or a food that you would eat at room temperature, that way you can make it early and then pull it out of the fridge and eat it later on in the evening," Chef Ben McPherson of Prohibition told Houston’s ABC13.
Prep For Quick Cooking
According to the folks at The Daily Meal, dice and slice your ingredients into small pieces that won’t need as much time to cook, thus reducing the heat output in your kitchen. You can also prepare foods in advance or on cooler days and freeze them to reheat later on.
Drink plenty of water while cooking to help keep your body cool and hydrated. Or as Chef Dietzman suggests, “Always stay hydrated with a cold witbier, hefeweizen and/or Gose (the Gatorade of beers) on a hot day!”
Embrace the heat and fire up the grill. Cooking outside as much as possible will help keep your home nice and cool this summer. Save time on busy nights and grill several meals at once during the weekend, then stash them in the fridge to reheat later in the week. The experts from FN Dish, Food Network's blog, offer some delicious grilling recipes.
While your home kitchen might not reach temps as high as the kitchen of your favorite restaurant, even residential kitchens can reach 100° F. With these tips, you can keep hungry mouths fed while keeping your cool.
See what American Home Shield can do to help keep you and your family cool throughout your house.