The summer heat can be oppressive. I find it is a big help saving money and sanity by thinking through cooking to make what we need without overheating the house. Cooking can lead to a high cooling bill but you can’t really go three months without cooking. The good news is you have options to cook without heating the house up. Being mindful of how cooking heats your home is a great way to lower your power bill.
Cook on the grill
Odds are when you think about cooking without heating the house up the grill comes to mind. The grill is the perfect way to whip up some of your favorite foods from burgers to pizza without heating up the house. Yes, you read that right. You can bake in the grill to keep your house cool while enjoying all of your favorite baked goods. The trick to this is good pans and a thermometer so you know how hot your grill is.
Worst case on a hot day anyone can toss hot dogs on the grill. If you want more verity? Get a gas grill with a side burner that allows you to cook just like you would on your stove top. This is great for stir fries, sauces, and side dishes to your home grilled meals.
Pull out the slow cooker
I love using the slow cooker for easy meals. The slow cooker produces a small amount of heat allowing you to keep your home cooler but you can take it a step further and take the slow cooker outside to cook your meal without adding any heat to your home. I love to take the slow cooker out to the porch to let dinner cook. I cover it with a milk crate and a few heavy bricks to keep neighborhood critters out of our dinner. My neighbors go crazy over the smell of my pot roast, three bean chili, and many other great meals that carry a strong savory aroma.
If you haven’t invested in an instant pot yet maybe you should
I was reluctant to try the Instant Pot. the cost seemed a bit high to me but once we gave it a try I was sold. I am so amazed that this device can cook a cheap roast as savory and tender as spending 10 hours in my slow cooker. Tender and packed with juicy flavor despite being a cheap clearance roast. We can even whip up a batch of Chicken Fajitas in just moments using the Instant Pot. All of that saved cooking time means you are putting less heat into your home compared to the heat produced in traditional cooking.
Give no cook meals a chance to shine
A good old fashioned salad and sandwich dinner goes a long way to making meal time easy and keep from heating your home. Many families overlook this simple meal in favor of hot meals but the light fair is truly perfect for a hot summer day. Summer cooking without heating the house sometimes means no cooking at all. A simple bit of prep the children can help with and a picnic in the back yard with a big batch of Sun Sweet Tea is just the ticket for a relaxing evening.