Your kitchen is a place where a lot of heat and steam is produced due to the varied cooking processes. In summers, the kitchen feels stuffy and performing the daily kitchen chores is extremely distressing. The heat levels in the kitchen are also determined by its size. A smaller kitchen heats up faster than a larger kitchen. If only we could avoid the excess heat generation in the kitchen, then we might get some respite while cooking.
Follow these simple steps and stay cool in your kitchen:
Time of Cooking: Morning is the best time to cook your food and also prevents your kitchen from heating up. The cooking process generates heat. Thus, cook in the morning, when it is relatively cool, as opposed to the afternoon when the sun is right above us.
Ventilation: Your kitchen windows and other outlets are extremely important for a cool kitchen. Leave your kitchen windows open for free air circulation. Plus, to get the strong smells and hot air out of the kitchen, you can also install an exhaust fan or a kitchen chimney.
Use oven infrequently: The oven is one of the main sources of heat generation. Frequent baking keeps the kitchen area hot. Opening the oven repeatedly while cooking releases hot air from within, thus instantly heating up the kitchen. Mornings and evening are the best times to bake as the ambient air is cooler than in the afternoons. If you have to bake multiple dishes, or in large quantities, then plan accordingly so that you can finish off the tasks within a set time. This helps save energy and time, simplifies your tasks and also helps minimize your stress levels.
Pressure cooking: The pressure cooker is one of the fastest methods of cooking. You can cook two or three different food items at a go. With innovative ways of cooking, you can use this pressure cooker in many more ways. For instance, you can use this miraculous machine to bake delicious cakes as well. Faster cooking time and low heat generation minimizes the heat levels in the kitchen.
Slow cooker cooking: This is one of the best and easiest methods of keeping your kitchen cool. Fill the cooker with food and it will be ready at the end of the day. What’s more, slow cooker cooking does not even require supervision. This slow cooking method is ideal for cooking pork, chicken and shrimps.
Solar cooking: Harness the powerful energy of the sun to cook healthy meals. Fill the solar cooker with dals, rice or any food that takes a long time to cook. Leave the cooker out in the sun early in the morning. By lunchtime your food will be ready.
Smart cooking appliances: Many new age energy-efficient counter-top cooking appliances, such as a smart toaster, griddle, grill, electric cooker, etc, help save on cooking time. One can make use of them frequently to cook food instead of a stove or oven. This not only makes your cooking an easier process but also is energy efficient.
Induction cooking: Induction cooktops and burners are powerful and efficient and help save on cooking time and energy, which means you have to spend less time in the kitchen. Plus, the induction appliances are low on heat production.
Cooking without fire: Fresh fruit and vegetable salads can be prepared without using fire. These are healthy, cooling to the body, quick and easy to prepare and also save on fuel, thus, helps keep the kitchen cool.
Heating appliances: Ensure that the oven and kitchen lights are off when not in use. Turn off all heating appliances, before you leave the kitchen. This not only keeps the kitchen cool, it also saves your money.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.