It is nice to be able to go out to a restaurant for a meal and enjoy their nice air conditioned room when there's the heat wave outside. You probably notice that when doing this, it takes more time and gets expensive. Don't feel like you have to eat out for your meals in the summer. Here are a few tricks that you can do to still cook at home and keep the temperature of your kitchen cool.
1. Oven Preheating
Most of the time you, turn on your oven and then start prepping. When doing this, you tend to keep your oven on longer because prepping your food will take more time. A tip is to wait to prep your oven until after you are done cutting your veggies and prepping your meat. Make sure that you stick around the kitchen so that you know when the beeper goes off telling you that the oven is ready. You could even time yourself of how long it takes you to prep and how long it takes for preheating your oven and then calculate a time of when you should turn on the oven at the end of your prepping.
2. Oven Cooking
We all have a tendency to open the oven door to check on our food. Try to avoid this as much as possible. Opening the door releases the heat into the kitchen making the room hotter. This also makes your oven have to work harder to adjust the temperature and prolong your cooking time. Try using your oven light and look through the window to make your checks. Also, make sure to put your all of your dishes in at the same time to limit how often you open it to put another dish in.
3. Stovetop Cooking
If you are using your stove top, you should try to use your smaller pot and use the smaller burner. There can be a huge difference when using a 6-inch pan vs using a 8-inch pan with how much heat and energy is used. Make sure too to put a lid on your pan. This will make you food heat up faster and contain the heat inside the pan. Make sure to use your exhaust fan to circulate the hot air better.
4. Kitchen Lighting
One thing that you can do, is during the day have your shades and blinds shut to block some of the heat from outside coming in. This will make your room a little less hot. Another trick is to turn your lights off as much as possible. The electricity will generate more heat, so if you can turn them off or use less lights it will help keep the room slightly cooler. You can also buy energy-saving light bulbs. CFL and LED lights are lower on the Kelvin scale and require less energy compared to incandescent light bulbs.
Make sure to utilize your fans in your home. If you have a ceiling fan in the kitchen, turn it on! If you have a room that is close to the kitchen that has a fan use that too. This will help circulate the air and lower the temperature of the kitchen.
6. Outside Cooking
One way to eat at home and keep your kitchen cool is to cook outside. Bring out the grill and cook your veggies, fruits, and meat while enjoying the fresh air. Colorado has more sunny days than Sunny San Diego, so almost every day of the year is perfect for grilling. You can even grill when its overcast or slightly raining. Just watch out for lightning.
One tip is to not cook when it's hot outside. If you are an early bird, you can do your cooking in the morning or mid-morning before it gets too hot outside. The kitchen won't heat up as much and it will cool down a little faster than cooking later in the day. If you have no time during the morning to cook for lunch or dinner, that' okay. You could always eat a little later and start cooking when the sun goes down.
With these tips you can make sure that you are cooking more during the summer without having your kitchen super hot. What other tips do you have for staying cool during the summer?