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Summer Cooking: How to Keep Cool in the Kitchen

kira86 于2011-07-12发布 l 已有人浏览
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There's an old saying that perfectly sums up summer cooking: "If you can't stand the heat-get out
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There's an old saying that perfectly sums up summer cooking: "If you can't stand the heat-get out of the kitchen!" Sizzling summer temperatures can make cooking very unpleasant. After all, who wants to heat up the house with an oven when the air conditioning is struggling just to keep indoor temperatures manageable?
However, we must feed our families and ourselves. So after everyone has had their fill of salads and no-bake meals, here are five ways to cook while minimizing heat output. 1. Use the toaster oven.
There are some things like bread, cookies, and casseroles that must be baked using an oven. To minimize the amount of energy consumed and heat generated, bake with a toaster oven. Use smaller baking dishes, and be prepared for slight changes in cooking time and temperature. Before long, you will know exactly how to cook your favorite things in a toaster oven without heating up the house!
2. Reduce boiling time.
When boiling pasta or vegetables, most recipes tell you to boil the food until it is completely done. However, you can drastically cut down on the amount of heat your stove puts out by turning off the stove before the food is fully cooked. Pasta and vegetables will continue cooking in the warm water for quite some time even when no additional heat is applied. Just remember to keep a lid on the pot to keep the heat contained.
3. Skip the preheating.
Almost all baked recipes tell you to preheat the oven. What a waste! Instead, just pop your creation in the oven as you turn it on. When it is almost finished cooking, turn the oven off. The inside of the oven will stay very hot for quite some time-as long as you don't open the oven door. By being very conservative about oven usage, sometimes you may only have to use half as much energy as you normally would. This translates to a cooler kitchen and a more comfortable cook!
4. Use a crock pot.
Crock pots (some call them "slow cookers") are the most energy efficient cooking appliances. Not only are they good for wintertime soups and chili, but they can also be used in the summer to cook an entire meal of chicken and vegetables, or to make a great dip for your outdoor party. Just be sure to plan your meal ahead of time, because crock pot cooking does take several hours.
5. Grill!
Lastly, the best way to keep cool in the kitchen is just like that old saying says-get out of it! Grilling is a great way to cook meats and vegetables when you just can't stand to heat up the kitchen at all. You can make kabobs, burgers, steaks, fish, or use a grill basket to make a medley of grilled summer vegetables. Another popular grilling trick is to put entire ears of corn on the grill-husks and all! Just remember to soak the corn for about 15 min in a bowl of water to make sure that the husks don't dry out and catch fire.
 
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