Keep your cool in the kitchen this summer with these 8 warm-weather tips

Keep your cool in the kitchen this summer with these 8 warm-weather tips

As bakers, we’ve never been too fond of the old adage “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” We’re passionate about baking, and we’re not about to let summer heat shut us out of our happy place.

That’s why, during the course of our years of experience, we’ve discovered the best ways to keep our kitchens as cool as possible so we can keep baking all summer long. If you’re set on baking through heat just like we are, use these handy tips to keep your kitchen cool this summer.

Use the microwave.

If you’re warming water, softening butter or tempering chocolate, you’ll be better off making use of your microwave instead of the stovetop. That’s because your microwave heats only the food, not the cookware or the air around the stove, so it won’t affect the temperature of your kitchen.

Wait to heat your oven.

Every minute your oven is on, it’s releasing heat into your kitchen. By waiting as long as possible to preheat it, you’ll spare your kitchen — and yourself — from sweltering temps. Before you fire up the oven, assemble your ingredients, premix anything that’s not time-sensitive and get everything ready to pop into the oven as soon as it’s preheated and ready to bake.

Invest in a portable convection oven.

Unless you’re baking up a huge cake or have several pies to load into your oven all at once, you can dial back on the heat in your kitchen by baking in a small, portable convection oven. Not only will the smaller oven preheat faster, but it will also shave a few minutes off of baking cookies, cobblers and pies because the temperature inside the small space is easier to keep even. As a bonus, it will offer some extra oven space when the busy winter holiday season rolls around.

Keep the oven door closed.

Every time you open the oven, you release its heat into the kitchen and add to your baking time. Keep the oven door closed until it’s necessary to open it. And if you need to peek in on your creation’s progress, stick to looking through the oven window.

Bake early or late.

If you turn on the oven right in the middle of a hot summer day, you’re almost asking for an overheated kitchen. By simply getting your baking done early in the morning or waiting until late in the evening, you’ll avoid putting yourself and your air conditioner through the stress of the hottest part of the day.

Set up a fan.

It’s a simple appliance, but a fan can work miracles for helping you to keep your cool in a hot kitchen. Direct the airflow to your prep area, and not toward the oven or your stove.

Block the sun.

Westward-facing windows in a kitchen can make for an intense environment if you bake on a summer afternoon. Block the heat by closing the blinds or drawing your curtains to keep the sun’s rays at bay.

Drink plenty of water.

Nothing helps you keep your cool like staying hydrated. Drink water throughout your summertime baking sessions and you’ll be far more capable of handling the stifling heat. Colas, alcoholic drinks and tea will only dehydrate you, so keep your glass full of ice-cold water.