Summertime Cooking Essentials

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Here we are, deep into summer, and there are just certain cooking essentials I must have every summer. These are my go-to ways for cooking and enjoying our warm summer days.

While moving this spring has brought its share of struggles, one thing we really realized was that there are certain things that we need to make our kitchen work for us. There are still one or two boxes of kitchen things hiding somewhere in our storage unit, and it seemed like many of those things were things I needed. There has been a lot of replacements going on in my home.

These are the essentials that we cannot do without in our home.

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Air Fryer

I am lost without this appliance! This is probably the most used small appliance I own. We don’t have a microwave, so for us, this is what we use for cooking and reheating leftovers. There is so much I can make in the air fryer. I even tag team it with my instant pot (see next) for things like wings, chicken, and anything that I need to crisp up.

I love running the air fryer during the summer for things. It saves so much from having to heat the oven up. The air fryer is my best friend. When my last one burned up I went without one for a month and it was the longest month of cooking.

I love that I can just throw some nuggets and fries in for a quick lunch, or I can make something bigger like pork chops for the whole family.

I even bought one small enough for a single person for my grandma. It is the perfect size for a burger, or leftover fries from a restaurant (and they stay crispy in there). She wasn’t too sure, but has used it a few times and likes it.

Instant Pot

Who doesn’t love their instant pot? I don’t have the name brand one, but I have the CrockPot version that I absolutely love. We chose this one because of availability in the store we were shopping, and that it has a slow cooking option built in.

I have a traditional pressure cooker that I barely use, so I wasn’t completely sold on the whole instant pot idea. Somehow, my husband talked me into it, not sure how since he doesn’t cook ever, but he did. After the first use I was hooked. All of a sudden I realized what everyone was hyping up.

This device makes pressure cooking so much easier than using a traditional one. There isn’t any guesswork to how much pressure is building up. There isn’t a weight to lose in a drawer, which happens all too often for me. It’s a 5* review for me!

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Slow Cooker

Who doesn’t love their slow cooker? It is perfect for all year cooking. The dish to mine was broken in the move (insert sobbing now), which is why I opted for the Crock-Pot cooker. I love that it has the crockpot functionality that meant I only needed one appliance.

There isn’t a whole lot to say here. It is a classic for a reason. Perfect to get those home cooked, long cooked meals that everyone loves.

KitchenAid Mixer

My KitchenAid mixer is my best friend (in the kitchen, I don’t need my husband or BFF to get jealous here).

From all of my baking, to shredding up chicken for dinner. I use my mixer nearly every day. I love to use it for all the things. I love that there are so many attachments that I can buy for it, and one day I will have them all.

I am a girl who loves to bake though, and with my daughters birthday in summer, that means the baking happens in the summer, even if I don’t want to heat my kitchen up. I love to go all out for her birthday, make the big cakes and cupcakes, including homemade buttercream for her.

Ice Cream Maker

Who couldn’t use an ice cream maker in the heat of summer?! We are a family who loves desserts, and while me baking all summer does happen, it’s not always practical to run the oven. Having fresh made ice cream is a fun treat, especially with little miss.

It is always fun to watch how Little Miss reacts to making ice cream. Even if we just do the ziploc bag method it is exciting to her.

You can mix in so many different toppings in and make it really fun for the little ones.

Pit Boss Pellet Grill

One of the best fathers day gifts my husband has ever bought himself. Especially since he barely cooks.

All summer long we spend weekends smoking different meats. We do it all, brisket & ribs, to burgers & hot dogs. It’s a way for my husband to contribute, but by contributing, it’s usually starting the grill & choosing the meat. All the real cooking is on me.

This grill is so versatile. I love using to to grill pizza, bake cornbread, smoke deviled eggs, smoke queso. We love to experiment with what the grill is capable of doing.

Blackstone Griddle

I feel like this is everyone’s new favorite, and definitely the newest addition to our home. It seems a little crazy to me that we need another grill, but this does have some different capabilities than the pit boss. The pit boss has to be plugged into power, which, where we live now, means running an extension cord a good distance.

The Blackstone is versatile in its own way. Because it’s a griddle, you have the option to do basically anything you’d do on your in home griddle. We have used it for every meal. Perfect for breakfast foods, clean it off and cook lunch or dinner. It’s just a great tool to have.

What are your summertime cooking essentials?

Here are a couple other posts I’ve done with summer essentials & boating essentials.

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