Cool cooking in a hot kitchen

It’s the first official week of summer and it is quite warm here in Recycla’s home state of Virginia.  While it’s not as hot as this time last year, when the temps soared to nearly 100, 90 degrees is still pretty warm.

Even though Recycla’s home is air conditioned, she doesn’t particularly feel like spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen when making dinner, so she has been thinking of ways to keep cool while cooking.  She grew up in a house without AC, so she remembers that summer meals were light and often included a lot of raw veggies.  Here’s what else she’s been doing:

  • For starters, Recycla minimizes oven use.  Her family is eating a lot of simple foods, including salads and pastas, instead of their winter meals of stews, soups, roasts, and more.
  • She is using the microwave to heat up some foods.
  • For baking bread, she has been using her bread machine instead of the oven.  If she had a slow cooker, she’d probably use it too.
  • If cooking something small, Recycla uses the toaster oven, as it produces much less heat.
  • If using the oven is necessary, she tries to cook everything at once and then doesn’t open the oven door unless she absolutely has to.

Like Recycla said earlier, her house is air conditioned, so she doesn’t have to be careful with heat in the kitchen; however, she chooses to do so in order to keep her AC from having to work harder and therefore use more energy.  And with the long-term weather forecast showing many days with highs in the 90s, she could probably even fry an egg on the sidewalk.

Tell the Eco Women:  What’s your favorite meal on a hot summer day?

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4 thoughts on “Cool cooking in a hot kitchen

  1. No oven use at all in my kitchen in the summer. We grill (even in mild winter days) ALL THE TIME. We eat quick stir frying type of meals, no baking bread, no simmering over the stove sop soups of chilis.

    Gaszacho, salads, chilled dishes, and did I mention grilling?

    Oh, and I make my family drink blended veggie/fruit drinks about an hour before dinner. It fills them up, they get their veggies and fruits, and no cooking involved.

  2. A slow cooker is worth the investment. I use mine frequently. Did I mention I have 5 of them? Well, 4. One belongs to daughter and she’ll take it with her when she finally gets a job and MOVES OUT.

  3. IWhat I like to do, if I have to use the stove top or oven, is make double or triple of whatever and either use the extra for lunches or repurpose it for another dinner. Pasta is especially good for this: a one time cooking in a big pot saves turning on the stove a second time or even third time. I typically use half the first night and the rest to make a cold pasta salad for the next few days.

  4. Oooh we’ve got 31 C degree (about 88 F) heat in London today which is awesome (apart from being stuck in an office with no air con). But I can’t bear the thought of a hot meal while its this hot, especially in a tiny little flat that is like a SAUNA, particularly when the oven goes on…. So, I’m planning on some sort of Greek style salad, maybe with some halloumi (yummm) and looooooads of nice fresh, crisp leaves, with Greek yoghurt & honey & nuts for pudding! Deeeeelicious! We also put some pineapple in the freezer last night to take to work for our lunches, so by the time it reaches midday, we should have nice, ice-cold pineapple snacks 🙂

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