June 3, 2010


Keeping the Kitchen Cool

While it isn’t officially summer yet, here in Maryland we’ve had some hot days.  And when the weather turns hot, I change the way I cook.  Casseroles are put on hold for cooler days.  Soups are saved for days when we need to be warmed.  The grill is fired up and the oven is used much less.  I try to keep the kitchen as cool as possible to save on the cost of air conditioning.   Here are some appliances I use to help me with that.

Grill. That’s a pretty obvious one for most of us.  A grill keeps the heat outside.  Many gas grills also have side burners allowing you to prepare multiple parts of the meal outside.  All kinds of meat, poultry, and fish can be cooked on the grill, as well as many vegetables.

41OtZjbJHsL._SL160_AA115_[1] Slow Cooker.  I plan on buying a new one soon and hope to use it frequently this summer.  Since crock pots run hotter than they used to, you might find it heats up the kitchen more than you would like.  For that reason, many people put theirs outside or in the garage.  I hope to try that too.

31aJnWAljmL._SL160_AA115_[1] Pressure Cooker.  I love pressure cooking.  If you haven’t bought a pressure cooker yet, the summer is a great time to give it a try.  I highly recommend Kuhn Rikon, though it is costly.  I bought a second one on eBay and I often use both my pressure cookers for one meal.  A pressure cooker has several advantages, but the biggest one is that it cooks faster than regular methods.  Faster equals less heat and energy used.

41LA3nzmVsL._SL160_AA115_[1] Turbo Oven.  The Turbo Oven is a countertop convection oven.  This is another appliance I use all the time.  In the summer it allows me to cook things like roast chicken or oven fries without heating up my big oven.  I actually use it for those items year round because it cooks them faster and uses less energy than my conventional oven.

If you are considering buying a turbo oven, I have Aroma brand.  I have been happy with the way it cooks, but was very unhappy that the handle broke.  It is much more difficult to handle the hot lid with a broken handle.  I would not buy that brand again unless they redesign the handle.  There are other brandsto choose from though.

What do you do to keep your kitchen cool in the summer?

For other frugal ideas, visit Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom.


I've never thought about using my crockpot outside on a hot day!
Thanks for the tips!
Definitely the crock, and I like my George Foreman grill a lot. My husband promised me if I cleaned up the back yard, we could buy a real grill this summer, so I'm working on that too :)
Might need to get me a pressure cooker as well!
Also, a little toaster oven works great! I love my steamer too! And of the course the microwave! :)
I love using my grill. For some reason, I tend to use my slow cooker more often in winter months, but there's no reason not to use it in the summer. I love making shredded taco meat (pork, beef, or chicken) in the slow cooker - then I can just come home and chop up fixins! I used my grill exclusively yesterday for dinner - grilled some whole fresh sardines and a red pepper for a salad. Yum!
Great tips!. I agree, I use my slow cooker more in the summer than I do in the winter. We haven't fired up the grill yet because it needs a thorough cleaning first. Hopefully, we'll get to that next week.
How about solar cooking? You can find great instructions online to build your own.
Some great ideas, Linda! I do hate the AC running so I do most of these. And, yes, I put my crockpot on my screened porch at times. I also use my microwave for a number of quick meals.

Some great ideas, Linda! I do hate the AC running so I do most of these. And, yes, I put my crockpot on my screened porch at times. I also use my microwave for a number of quick meals.

Ooo, these are good tips! I definitely hope to be using my stove and oven less this summer.

~Aubree Cherie
Does anyone have a suggestion for a gas grill that has a side burner that you have been happy with? We are going to buy a new grill and I am hoping I can do my canning on it.

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