Ready to take the party outside?
No one wants to hang over a stove on a hot day. When fresh produce beckons but you don't have the energy to respond, these recipes help you settle into a more relaxed kind of cooking designed to keep you and your kitchen cool. Untether yourself from the oven with make-ahead meals best served cold (or at room temp), such as poached salmon with cucumber-tomato salad and tzatziki. Fix-and-forget recipes like pulled pork made in an electric pressure cooker or slow cooker won't steam up the kitchen. Equally easy are dinner salads; we have enough recipes to keep them interesting and varied, from Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Garlic Toasts to Grilled Caesar Salad. Requiring barely more effort are fresh summer recipes requiring the briefest stint in a pan, such as Beet and Carrot Noodle Salad with Pan-Seared Chicken or Braised Sea Bass with Zucchini and Tomatoes.
You'll find all you need for casual patio meals prepared entirely on the grill (from meat to veggies, even pizza). Throw a fantastic cookout with easy starters, frosty drinks, and new twists on picnic must-haves such as Spice-Rubbed Picnic Chicken, Texas Potato Salad, and Lemony Buttermilk Coleslaw. Visited the farmers' market? Find ideas for main dishes as well as sides inspired by the seasonal bounty, plus the best fruit desserts worth turning the oven on for. To end your meal on a cooler note, turn to a chapter of icebox desserts and no-bake sweets.
Unique focus on ease and keeping the kitchen cool
The romance of summer foods is often at odds with the reality of a hot kitchen. These recipes use smart strategies to minimize both heat and effort. (Those sour cherries might taste great in a pie, but a clafouti is equally delicious and is ready in a fraction of the time.)
Taps into the rise of small cooking appliances
It used to be the grill was the main alternative to the heat of the oven. But these days we have more appliances that won't steam up the kitchen, from slow cookers to Instant Pots. This opens doors to a new style of hands-off recipes perfect for the summer.
Perfect recipes for grilling, smoking, preserving
Plenty of cooking techniques come into play during summer, from grilling juicy burgers to smoking perfect ribs and simmering the sweetest fresh tomato sauce. Here the test kitchen excels with a wealth of guidance and foolproof recipes.