As the temperatures rise, many people wonder if it’s possible to make dinner and keep the kitchen cool at the same time. No one wants to put the oven on for an hour at 400 degrees when the temperatures outside are topping 90 degrees! That makes the kitchen, and often the rest of the house, unbearable.

Unfortunately, my family isn’t quite ready to accept a bowl of cereal or a turkey sandwich as dinner. That means I need to be a bit creative when it comes to making dinner during the hottest summer months. Here are a few tips I’ve discovered:

Microwave

I’m not a bit fan of how many meals turn out in the microwave, however, there are some pre-packed goods that are specifically microwave-friendly. You can keep a few of these in the freezer for your hottest nights. Just add a fresh garden salad or carrot and celery sticks to round out the meal.

Instant Pot

Not only is the Instant Pot a quick way to get dinner on the table, it doesn’t heat the house. You can do an entire meal (beef stew) or simply the main course (roast chicken or meatloaf). You can even use the Instant Pot for breakfast or dessert if you want to. There are tons of possibilities.

Crockpot or Slow cooker

Preparing a meal in your slow cooker can keep your kitchen cool all day long. Unlike the Instant Pot that makes dinner quickly, a slow cooker or Crockpot generally requires at least 5 and up to 10 hours to cook.

Mason Jar meals

By preparing your food ahead of time (when the kitchen is at its coolest), you can have a hearty dinner ready for your family each evening. One of my families’ favorite Mason Jar meals is a taco jar. You simply layer shredded lettuce, taco meat, chopped tomatoes, sliced onions, olives and shredded cheese in a Mason Jar. Then store it in the refrigerator. When it’s dinner time, just grab and go. No heat required and prep was done in the morning when the temperatures were lower.

Semi-homemade meals

When the temperatures are truly unbearable, it’s okay to get a little bit of outside help. Head to your local grocery store’s deli area and pick up a rotisseries chicken. Then, all you need to do is to provide a few side dishes for your family. We usually opt for coleslaw and a garden salad. The hard part of the meal has been taken care of and your kitchen stays cool.

Do you have any other suggestions to make dinner while keeping the kitchen cool?