When the weather outside heats up, the kitchen can be a dreadful place to be. There are many things you can do however, when it comes to cooking a nice home made meal that does not necessitate traditional stove top or oven cooking.
Learn to utilize some of the less heat-creating equipment in your kitchen, such as the crock pot, in order to truly beat the summer heat and keep your cool while making a nice hot meal for friends and family.
So, how does crock pot cooking actually help beat the heat? Simply put, the crock pot in and of itself gives off far less heat when cooking than an oven or stove top. This is the first and perhaps the best reason to utilize the crock pot in your summer meal planning.
You should also take into account the fact that by not heating the house by using your stove top or oven you are also reducing the load on your air conditioning (or other cooling methods) so you are not requiring it to work overtime in order to make up for the additional heat that other cooking methods introduce.
This makes crock pot cooking a win-win situation as the costs involved in using a crock pot are far less than the costs involved in operating a stove or oven. Whether electric or gas, your stove and oven are serious energy users. Add to that the fact that you are not increasing the temperature in your home by traditional means of cooking and you are using even less electricity.
Regrettably, the general consensus has been that crock pots are intended for comfort foods and hearty winter meals. The truth is that the crock pot should be one of your best loved and most often utilized cooking techniques. When it comes to cooking with a crock pot, the options are almost boundless. Almost anything that can be baked can be cooked in the crock pot and many, many more wonderful and enticing meals and treats as well.
Benefits of Crock Pot Cooking
In addition to the cost advantages written above, when it comes to crock pot cooking there are many other advantages that are worth talking about. For a start the bulk of the work involved in crock pot cooking takes place early in the day when you are fresh rather than at the end of a hectic work or play day.
This means that you are less likely to forget an ingredient or make some other slip-up, which can undoubtedly happen when trying to cook after a hectic day.
Second, many great crock pot recipes include the vegetables that ensure that we get the vitamins we need. So often, when preparing a meal at the last minute, vegetables and other side dishes are left out for the sake of speed. Crock pot cooking, on the other hand, is a meal in one dish.
Another great reason to use a crock pot for your summertime cooking is the ease of washing up. Unlike traditional cooking with a couple of pots and pans, most crock pot meals are completed in one pot. This obviously reduces the hardware required to be washed up or loaded into the dishwasher (or if you are the same as me – both) afterwards.
So, you spend less time cleaning up, just as you spent less time slaving over a hot stove. Well, make that no time slaving over a hot stove and once the washing up is done, you can get back to making the most of the sun set, playing with the dog or kids, or just waiting for the first stars.
While there will never be a way of cooking that suits everyone, crock pot cooking comes very close. So, if you have a crock pot collecting dust somewhere in the back of your pantry it is time to get it out, dust if off, and dig up some great summertime crock pot cooking recipes.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with the 2 quart crock pot. If you have an interest in cooking or crock pots, please go over to our website now at Large Crock Pots