When the temperature in front of a grill can top at 45 degrees Celsius, it is no wonder that kitchens are notorious heat traps!
Due to the combination of hot air, flames and busy bodies there is only one combination to really beat the sweltering heat.
What is the magic combination?
Ventilation, circulation and hydration.
Ventilation = the supply of fresh air into your kitchen.
Circulation = how the air moves around your kitchen.
Hydration = the absorption of water. Specifically related to drinking plenty of water.
An efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system provides a solid foundation for cooling your kitchen.
A great way to enhance kitchen airflow and circualtion is through the use of fans for spot cooling, general ventilation or perhaps an evaporative cooling system (aka a swamp cooler).
What about those of us that don’t have a lot of $$ to fork out, and need a quick solution?
5 Top Tips For Keeping Your Kitchen Cool Without Breaking The Bank!
1. Cooling Accessories
I used to play cricket in the hot Australian summer every weekend, so heat exhaustion and heat strokes were a big concern. This is where I learnt the wet and freeze a cloth trick. Just place it around your neck and it works great to help cool down your core body temperature. A few years later and I was working at a local KFC in summer and I was still using the trick to help keep me cool whilst making burgers and wraps.
We used to use those blue kitchen cloths, but we have come a long way in terms of technology. Here are some amazing products out there that are pretty cost effective and easy to get.
Number one on my list are these cooling strips. Yes they are for migraines, but they are amazing little strips of coolness that DON’T drip!
You can find them at Priceline for sure, but I’m sure other chemists and pharmacies would carry this product.
Some other awesome products that I have seen are from the brands Mission and Coolcore. They have a bunch of towels and other cooling accessories like cooling arm sleeves, bandana’s and caps. Their fabrics instantly cool when you soak it with water, wring it out, and then ‘snap’ it in the air to activate the cooling properties.
I’ve never personally tried any of the products by Mission or Coolcare, so hit me up with reviews! In any case, the products are pretty affordable starting at $20 for the smaller towels.
Another product I’ve seen but not tried is this cooling vest.
An interesting idea, but I’m not sure how practical they are for wearing in a kitchen! If you are interested in having a look here are the product details.
2. Walk-in Meeting Room
Another cool tip! Use your Coolroom to host your meetings! You probably discovered this without my help, but it is 100% worth a mention. Just make sure there is no open/exposed food and always adhere to food and work safety regulations.
3. Bat Cave It!
In summer, and especially in Australia, light = heat. So block out the light coming in through your windows. Use blockout curtains, blinds or shutters to help keep the heat out and make yourself a little bat cave! You can even make it a bit fun for your staff and make a bit of a novelty.
4. Fans! Fans! Fans!
Remember what I said about the magic combination? Well fans help with circulating the air. So experiment with the placement of the fans in your kitchen. Placing fans close to the ground will help to circulate air around your ankles, keeping you cool. Alternatively placing a fan near a door way to help stream cool air in, or hot air out could be another useful way to use them.
**Special notes when using fans:
- Always keep the fan blades, box and guard clean from dust and debris
- Aim fans away from prep areas and hot food pick-up areas to avoid cooling hot food and blowing ingredients around the kitchen.
5. The Hydration Station
Last but not least, keep hydrated and drink lots of water! Try cutting down or cutting out caffeine in the hot weather, or if you just can’t go without your morning coffee make sure to drink a couple of extra glasses of water. A fun way to remind your staff to keep hydrated is to make it a bit fun and create a little Hydration Station. It doesn’t have to be much, it could just be a poster that says “The Hydration Station” next to a sink or the Coolroom. Be creative and encourage good health and wellbeing in your workplace, your staff will be healthier, happier and well hydrated!
So that is it for my 5 tops tips for staying cool in the kitchen during summer.
If you are thinking about re-fitting your kitchen, it pays to speak to a specialist in kitchen design, such as Protech Hospitality Hub.
Specialists like Protech have many years of experience in the design and fitout of hospitality establishments and can advise on the installation of equipment and assist with designing a kitchen that maximises airflow, keeping your kitchen cool.
Do you have any other tips? Share them in the comments below!