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    12 Ways To Keep Your Kitchen Cool When It's Hot Outside

    If you can't stand the heat, read these tips.

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    Cooking inside during summer can suck. Your kitchen gets hot, you start sweating, and it's just not fun.

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    But luckily there are a few things you can do to help prevent your kitchen from becoming a sauna. Here are 12 simple tips.

    1. Stick to recipes that don't use your oven or stove.

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    OK, so maybe this is an obvious one — but there are tons of delicious recipes that don't require any cooking. (Like this hummus, cucumber, and feta sandwich.) One of the best parts about summer is having access to delicious produce, so you don't need to do a lot to make them taste good. Instead of roasting those tomatoes you have, why not serve them raw in a salad?

    More: 43 No-Cook Dinners You Can Make Without Turning On Your Stove

    2. Embrace your microwave and start cooking entire meals in it.

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    Unlike stoves, microwaves don't give off a ton of heat when you use them, making them perfect for summer cooking. Sure, frozen meals can be good, but there are a ton of microwave recipes that use fresh ingredients in flavorful, unexpected ways.

    More: 8 Legitimately Delicious Meals You Can Make In A Microwave

    3. Run your slow cooker during the day to make dinner for later.

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    Just like microwaves, slow cookers don't heat up your kitchen, making them perfect for those hot summer months. In winter, you may have cooked hearty stews in them, but in summer why not try something lighter like a citrusy chicken recipe, stuffed peppers, or even salmon?

    More: 29 Summer Dinners You Can Make In The Crock Pot

    4. Batch cook only a few times a week instead of every day.

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    Meal prepping is not only a great way to save time during the week and promote healthy eating. It's also an easy way to keep your kitchen cool. Instead of cooking a small amount of something every day, why not cook your entire week's worth of rice all at once on Sunday? That way, you'll save yourself a few trips to the hot stove.

    5. Use the smallest pots you can.

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    Large pots carry more heat and take longer to cool down, thus making your kitchen hotter. So instead of reaching for a giant stock pot to cook rice in, grab the smallest pot that can do the job. That way, you can also use the smallest burner on your cooktop instead of blasting the large one — it's a win-win.

    6. If you have access to a grill, try to cook outside whenever possible.

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    Another obvious one, but assuming it's not a billion degrees out, cooking outside will allow the heat to escape instead of being trapped inside. If you have a grill, utilize it for the next few months whenever it's too hot to cook inside.

    More: 28 Clean Eating Recipes To Grill This Summer

    7. Make yourself some no-bake desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth without overheating.

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    No-bake desserts (like these Nutter Butter Rice Krispies) are the perfect way to satisfy a summer sweet tooth.They're quick, cool, and don't require you to turn on your oven.

    More: 23 No-Bake Desserts You Absolutely Have To Eat This Summer

    8. Stick to quick and simple recipes that don't require a ton of steps to make.

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    Stick to simple one-pot simple recipes that don't take forever to make. Not only will it save time, but it'll prevent you from using multiple pots and pans that radiate heat into your kitchen.

    More: 7 Easy Summer Dinners That You Can Actually Make

    9. Make salads that are both ~cool~ and exciting.

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    Listen, I know that salads can sometimes be a bit sad, but they don't have to be!

    If you jazz them up with flavorful fruits, veggies, and grains, you can turn them into dinners you'll actually want to eat — like this strawberry and spinach one. You can cook a big batch of grains or protein early in the week, then have it ready to go in the fridge whenever you need it.

    More: 25 Delicious Recipes That Will Make You Love Salad

    10. Draw the shades and turn on your vent fan.

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    As soon as you start cooking, draw the shades and turn on your hood vent if you have one. This way the sun isn't heating everything up, and all the heat from the stove is sucked out. If your oven doesn't have a fan, you can always place a regular circulating fan in your kitchen to get the air moving.

    11. Cook earlier or later in the day.

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    Before the sun has time to heat everything up (or after it has gone down) is the best time to do your cooking. Your kitchen will naturally be a few degrees cooler, and you might even be able to crack open a window to get a cool breeze. Sure, it'll require you to wake up early or go to bed a bit later, but it's so worth it.

    12. Make freezer meals.

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    The best way to prevent your kitchen from heating up is by not cooking at all — and freezer meals help you do just that! Prepare a large batch of a freezer-friendly recipe (such as rice, breakfast sandwiches, or chili) and thaw them in the fridge as needed. That way, all you have to do is heat them up in the microwave for an instant dinner that won't heat up your kitchen.

    More: 27 Make-Ahead Recipes That Freeze Well And Make Great Leftovers

    Let's get cooking (without sweating)!

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