Summer can often make it difficult in the kitchen; if the heat hasn’t spoiled your appetite, then it’s likely that using the oven or hob can make cooking healthy meals too hot to handle.
However, you don’t have to decide between cooking and staying cool this summer, we have some strategies for preparing delicious summer dishes and keeping yourself fed without wilting in the kitchen.
1. Stay Hydrated
Keeping hydrated is the number one rule for summer, if not the entire year, and especially while cooking. If you’re slaving away in the kitchen, always have a glass of cold water with ice ready to drink as you go. Try water infusions for adding flavour and refreshment.
2. Don’t Cook
A simple way of avoiding heating up the kitchen is not to cook at all! But that doesn’t mean not eating. Focus on no-cook, fresh foods, summer salads, and sliced up fresh fruit and veggies like cucumbers and melons for refreshing and healthy summer snacks.
3. Cook Outside
Avoid the kitchen completely by taking the cooking outdoors. BBQ grilled chicken and steaks are classics for the grill, but you can also grill summer favourites such as corn on the cob. If you’re using a BBQ or smoker to cook foods outside in the summer heat, you can retreat to the cool of the kitchen.
4. Use Small Appliances
Instead of firing up the oven or hob, smaller appliances can cook food just as well, while also emitting less heat than larger kitchen appliances. Smaller appliances such as panini presses and slow cookers can be very versatile. And let’s not forget the microwave to zap rice, quinoa, vegetables and more while generating little heat to the surroundings.
5. Batch Cook
If you’re going to use the oven and heat the kitchen, then make it worth your while by making larger quantities than usual. By batch cooking you can use pre-cooked leftovers, giving you food ready to go without needing to heat up the kitchen again. For example, a whole roast chicken can give you leftovers to make tacos, chicken salads, sandwiches, etc.
6. Cook When It’s Cool
Cooking when it’s already hot in the kitchen means you’re just adding more heat. Plan ahead and consider the best cooking times for when it’s cooler in your home. Usually, that would mean in the morning or the evening. Maybe bake bread in the morning, or cook proteins or pasta with breakfast so it’s ready for lunch or dinner.
7. Use Fans
If there’s no airflow in the kitchen, it can become stifling very quickly. Use the range hood on your cooker, or place fans in the kitchen to keep the air circulating. You can use a fan to either expel warm air or draw in cool air with a cool wet towel.
There’s always the option to avoid cooking and preparing food altogether by using a catering company to provide your meals, especially if you are having a gathering, albeit socially distanced! Get in touch today if you need a catering company in Berkshire.