The summer is a scorcher and you just don’t want to turn on the oven when your air-conditioning is already working overtime. Instead of turning to a string of fast-food stops, pizza delivery and other expensive options consider how the tools you may already own can get you through the summer stretch.
- Grill: Everyone thinks of the grill this time of year for steaks, chicken and burgers, but what about the rest of dinner? Grill it too! You can grill potatoes, vegetables, watermelon, apples and even pizza! Invest in some aluminum cookware or grab a pack of foil pans to use on the grill for cooking your side dishes.
- Slow Cooker: Your crock-pot is your best friend in the winter for stews, roasts and chili. Don’t neglect it during the summer as it radiates much less heat than the oven or stove top. Use it to cook tacos, potatoes, “cold” soups and dessert.
- Toaster Oven: The toaster oven is great for freezer pastries and the occasional reheat, but you can cook smaller dishes in it as well to avoid the larger energy output of the oven. You can fit family-sized portions of meat, baked beans and small casseroles in even the tiniest toaster ovens.
- Microwave: It’s everyone’s favorite tool for reheating, but you can fix entire dishes in the microwave. A quick recipe search will even turn up dozens of cake recipes just for the microwave.
You may have to make a few slight changes in your recipe (such as making meatloaf patties for use on the grill) to use these ideas, but the result is a cool kitchen and a hot meal.