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There’s nothing like a roast in the oven to stimulate appetites, generate mouthwatering aromas, and add a general, cozy feeling of home. But using an oven in the summer adds an unwelcome element—more heat. Here are 10 cooking tips plus 5 bonus tips that will help keep your kitchen cool so you can beat the heat.
Using a grill is obvious, but it needs to be said. It doesn’t matter if it’s a basic grill with just a grate or a multi-tiered hooded beast that “fires” the imagination: it’s time to uncover it, clean it, lay in fuel, and start using it. One handy thing about grills is you can often grill enough meat and veggies for several meals. Don’t own a grill? There are very inexpensive versions out there. And if your family loves pizza, investing in a pizza oven makes sense, especially as they can also bake/cook more foods than just pizza.
Don’t have a patio, balcony, or garage to set up an outdoor grill? Indoor electric grills are an excellent alternative. Not only can you grill, but you also don’t have to worry about bad weather putting a damper on things. No flies to contend with either! Some grills come with a cover while others are smokeless. Read this article (you can scroll past the review section) to see what features to look for before you purchase one.
Let a restaurant or bakery worry about generating heat. Purchase fast-food proteins and baked goods to complement the rest of your meal.
When summer hits a toaster oven is a great alternative to a wall oven. It doesn’t take much electricity to heat up its smaller cavity and you can use it to bake, toast, and broil.
Microwaves come in varying flavors of sophistication. There are standard ones, standard ones with a top crisper element, convection/microwave combos, and even air fryer/convection/microwave combos. Like a toaster oven, their oven cavities are quite small so there’s little heat to dissipate. The microwave function generates heat by way of molecule friction inside the food. And any convection action blows external hot air to hasten cooking time for a more efficient use of heat.
A regular oven heats up a lot of air to bake, roast, or broil. But cooktops are a direct source of heat because they don’t radiate much heat out into the rest of the room. Steam dissipates quickly, too. But be sure to match the pot size with the right burner. There’s no point in using an 8 in. burner to heat up a tiny pot or pan. And if you have an exhaust fan that vents to the outside, use it!
Slow cookers, rice cookers, air fryers, hot pots, multicookers, and other countertop appliances can often do double or triple duty. Read the instruction manual that came with your appliance, and you’ll see there are several creative ways to use them.
Once the heat starts building outside, your home’s AC system works harder to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. Using the oven in the coolest part of the day will help take the strain off your air-conditioning system. Be sure to use smaller portions of meat as they will cook much more quickly. Reduce your preheating time if you can. Time all your prep work so it’s done when the oven is preheated. Finally, no peeking! Keep the oven door shut so the heat won’t escape.
This tip is especially useful for those who are on an energy-saving plan with significantly higher rates during peak heating. Some energy plans charge more for electricity usage between 2 pm and 7 pm Monday through Friday while reducing costs for the other 19 hours of the day. So if cooking inside is necessary, shift that hot part of the meal till after 7 pm, regardless of the appliance. Even then, the oven remains off limits.
Sandwiches, salads, and fruits don’t require cooking. Experiment with no-bake recipes for dessert or dig out the ice cream. Simply assemble and serve! Remember, you can always supplement with hot, to-go orders.
Besides practicing the suggestions above, there are some other things you can do to help beat the heat inside your home.
Curtains help limit the amount of heat or sun’s rays that penetrate through the windows. Shades and blinds also help. Using both kinds of window treatments is quite effective—especially if those curtains are insulated. This will help both summer and winter.
If your kitchen gets hot, station a floor fan where it’s cooler and aim that air toward the kitchen. A ceiling fan with its blades set to turn in a counterclockwise direction can help any room feel up to 8° cooler and save up to 40% on air conditioning costs.
The refrigerator’s compressor generates heat, expelling it into your kitchen. So, it’s important to keep it running efficiently. That means you need to clean the lower front grille so air can reach the condenser. Also, make sure the fridge isn’t jammed up against the wall or packed wall to wall with food inside; it needs that air space. And when you store warm leftovers, cover the food. This limits moisture evaporation which makes the fridge work harder. Finally, when you raid the fridge, make it quick. Keep that cooled air inside.
Dishwashers and dryers expel heat as well as use energy. So don’t add that extra heat to your home’s cooling load. Use them during off-peak hours.
Consider getting an induction model. Only the magnetic cookware (and the food in it) gets hot. The cooktop itself stays cool.
So, turn off the oven to help beat the summer heat. And use the cooler cooking alternatives to handle meal prep. There’s no need to add manmade heat inside the home when Mother Nature turns up the heat all on her own.
Summer is also a good time to take advantage of your oven’s inactivity to replace or repair it.
if you decide to upgrade your wall oven, cooktop, or range in preparation for the winter holidays, you’ll want to read our November 2021, March 2022, and April 2022 blogs about ovens. Then, go shop the Fourth of July sales.
If you decide that repair is a better option for you, read our April 2021 blog about Certified Appliance Accessories replacement drip bowls and drip pans with rings for electric cooktops. Certified also has surface burner elements and oven bake elements for your electric ovens and ranges that need some TLC. You can read more about elements in our October 2020 blog.
Should you need any of our Certified Appliance Accessories you can purchase them online through this website.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only. Certified Appliance Accessories is not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.