How to Keep Your House Cool in the Hot Summer. Until the Money for My Beautiful Outdoor Kitchen Come in, I’m Going to Utilize a Few of These Summer Kitchen Tips.
I moved to Texas a little over two years ago and discovered something that I’d never really thought about before we moved. The heat and humidity during the summer months can be miserable.
Most of us in the South will experience at least 3 months of 100 degree days and the air conditioning will be running constantly. That’s a big hit on the budget! Air conditioning is great, but you need to save money too, and cranking down the thermostat because you have the oven on for dinner is not the most economical option.
I’ve learned that it’s best to do whatever you can to keep the house cool and that cooking in the summer kitchen requires a bit of creativity.
Cooking early in the day is and cooking multiple meals in one day are also a good idea. If you have to heat up your summer kitchen you might as well get as much cooking done in one day as you can.
There are several easy ways to keep cool and still cook healthy meals in the summer.
BBQ or Grill
This option really needs no explanation. There are websites galore that can give you tips for cooking the best brisket or smoking vegetables. Out of all the options, this is the one we use the most.
Make sure you have it located close to the kitchen so it’s easy to bring heavy meat indoors.
It is fast becoming our second favorite way to cook. Pressure cookers (Amazon) are such a time and money saver! The initial expense is well worth the overall gain. I set mine up on the stovetop and get things ready. On average, meat needs to be pressure cooked for only 30-60 minutes, so you can have a meal prepared quickly.
A pressure cooker also saves money by letting you choose tougher, less expensive meat. This is my favorite pressure cooker cookbook.
I have been experimenting with solar oven (Amazon) cooking this year and I love the ability to cook without power at all. It’s not a quick cooking system, though. The oven works best when set up first thing in the morning so it can benefit from the intense rays of mid-morning.
If you have the time, give solar oven cooking a try.
Electric skillets are an old standby. I remember my mom cooking on hers when I was a kid. They make them in all sizes and are a great replacement for stovetop cooking.
I like to bring my electric skillet (Amazon) out on the deck for cooking. If you have an area outdoors that has power and is protected from the sun, this is a good option to keep your summer kitchen cool.
Keep Your Food Simple
Sometimes it is easier to eat things you don’t have to cook at all. Once a week we have a salad and sandwich night to keep it simple.
It’s a great way to use whatever is available in the garden. Fresh can also save money in the summer if you buy whatever is currently in season.
Slow Cooker Cooking
Slow Cookers are a wonderful way to cook a multitude of meats and dishes all while keeping your home cool. I have two crockpots so I can further prep meals and cook two items in one day.
Here are some of the most popular main dishes that you can easily cook in a crockpot. Follow the links to our Pinterest page and save these for later.
You can even make sides in a crockpot. Here are some ideas from Pinterest:
Canning and the Summer Kitchen
Once the harvest starts to heat up in the fall, the kitchen heats up too. Many times it will still be 100 degrees outside as we are planning to can a batch of tomatoes or beans. If you have the resources to create an outdoor kitchen and move all the processing
Since we know the steam from canning can heat up a house in no time, it will be worth it to create an alternative. If you have the resources to create an outdoor kitchen and move all the processing outside it will be worth the effort. This does not need to be fancy (see Teri’s set up below). You only need power for an electric burner or you can set up an outdoor cooking stove.
There is more to this than picking a heat source and setting up your canner. The article Canning on Hotplates or Portable Stoves from Healthy Canning give you all the things you should think about before trying it.
The Outdoor Kitchen
There are many great qualities to southern living and one of them is the outdoor kitchen. I even have the perfect one picked out – should I ever get the money for it.
Until the money for my beautiful outdoor kitchen come in, I’m going to utilize a few of these ideas from Teri @ Homestead-Honey when she set up an outdoor kitchen. Teri lives in a tiny house in Missouri and does all of her cooking outside. Just wait until you see her outdoor bread and pizza oven!
That’s the ultimate way to keep your summer kitchen cool.
What ways do you keep your house cool when it’s 100 degrees outside? Share your tips to cook in the summer kitchen.
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