24 old-school ways to keep your kitchen cool when it’s hot outside

Old-school ways to keep your kitchen cool when it's hot outside

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Be a cool and cook-less cook: Tips from the ’50s & ’60s

It’s never too hot to eat: Especially in these modern days of the delectable salad and long, cool drink — prepared in a cool kitchen and served in an attractive setting.


1. A wide variety of salads are yours for the making. Using lettuce or shredded cabbage as a base, you can prepare an ever-changing fare of salads the family will love.

Unexpected dashes of pungent cheeses, crunchy nuts, anchovies, a pinch of oregano will all give new zip to vegetable salads.

Cool vintage kitchens from the 50s and 60s (2)

2. Fresh fruit salads pep up with a little beer seasoning or a light spread of mayonnaise and paprika.

Both fruit and vegetable salads will keep in the refrigerator for hours — but don’t add the dressing until just before serving.

3. Avoid heating the oven by making top-stove “casseroles” — make the casserole mixtures in a skillet, and sprinkle with crushed potato chips or browned buttered crumbs.

4. Exciting summer drinks are ready to be stirred by your imagination. Root beer, poured over mint ice cream, is a summer delight. Iced tea achieves new distinction with the addition of crushed lime.

Iced coffee perks up with a dash of pulverized chocolate. These drinks and many more will replace needed water content in your body.

Summer salad ideas from 1955

13 ways to serve an old favorite: Hot dogs (1955)


5. If you plan a roast or some baking for dinner, arrange it so that you can be out of the kitchen while the oven is on.

6. Use your pressure cooker often to prepare hot meals quickly. Schedule salads for many of your meals. As often as possible, have meals that are simple to prepare.

7. Don’t peel potatoes if you’re serving them boiled. You’ll save work, vitamins, and minerals.

8. Don’t cut up or snap green beans. After breaking off the ends, cook the beans whole. They take just a little longer to cook, but not much.

9. Don’t bother to cut tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and lettuce for picnic eating. Provide a paring knife for making wedges or chunks to be eaten by hand.

MORE: 4 retro taco salad recipes that are perfect for summer (1987)

Cool vintage kitchens from the 50s and 60s (4)

10. Cook several vegetables together in one pot or skillet.

11. Don’t make sandwiches for a picnic lunch. Take along the makings, and let everyone create his own.

12. Serve whole fruit, with or without cheese, for a good cookless dessert.

13. Enjoy the sunshine if you have an outside spot where you can do such jobs as shell peas and lima beans, husk corn, hull berries, and grind things in the food chopper. It keeps you and the clutter out of the kitchen.

14. Don’t heat oven for frozen French-fried potatoes, shrimp, fish sticks and fillets. Use covered skillet instead.

15. You’ll do well to stock up on frozen foods during the summer months. They’ll keep almost indefinitely in your freezer, cutting down your shopping trips on too-hot days.

16. Bought or homemade ice creams and sherbets make welcome summer desserts. Cups, bars, sandwiches, and ice cream sticks save dishing up and dishwashing.

24 old-school ways to keep your kitchen cool when it's hot outside - Hot weather meals


Stay emotionally air-conditioned this summer! For homemakers, that means, above all things, keeping cool in the kitchen. That’s the place where most summer discomfort is caused by hot ranges, lack of proper ventilation, awkward work areas, and — yes — the wrong colors on walls, floor and countertops.

17. Keep dishwashing to a minimum. On sweltering days, use paper plates. Serve lots of picnic meals and barbecues in the backyard.

18. Don’t do unnecessary utensil washing. Cook and serve in the same skillet, pot, double boiler, or baking dish. The food stays hotter, too.

19. Make every step pay. Use trays or baskets to carry dishes, food, etc, to and from the indoor or outdoor table, the cook-out grill, freezer, or such.

20. Stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. To avoid lengthy cleaning after preparing a meal, have splashbacks and countertops made of stain-proof, sanitary material like ceramic tile, which comes clean with just a wet cloth.

Cool vintage kitchens from the 50s and 60s (3)

21. Why not install an exhaust fan over the range? It will keep temperatures down and draw away cooking odors.

22. Get the most out of your meals by serving them in the most attractive settings possible, relying on cool greens and blues for your table settings. Your choice of icy colors will put the family in the mood.

MORE: This ’70s Jell-O Celery Nut Circle gelatin mold combines lime jello with sour cream, nuts and celery

23. Decorate for coolness. Use blues and greens. You’re lucky if your walls, floors and countertops are surfaced with a cool-appearing material such a scramble tile, which is easy to keep clean and durable. Never underestimate the psychological benefit of cool colors and fresh, clean materials.

24. Lighting is important, too. Use less intense bulbs for the hot summer months, and block off direct rays of the sun with an outside awning over the kitchen window.

Famioly eating dinner outside in the summer - Hot weather meals (1)

MORE: 8 vintage sixties kitchens with Flair ranges: Pull-out electric stoves & glass oven doors that opened upwards

Cool summer “smorgasbord” – 4 smart new party ideas

It’s so easy (no cooking)… such fun for your guests (they serve themselves)… and so tempting with these quick dressings made with smooth, creamy Hellmann’s Mayonnaise.

1. For fruit… tantalizing Hawaiian Dressing! Stir grated cheese and crushed pineapple into smooth mayonnaise. You’ll have a fluffy, delicately flavored dressing that’s just about perfect with any fruit you serve.

Cool summer recipes from 1955 - For fruit tantalizing Hawaiian Dressing

MORE: Cool drinks: 10 retro sippers for summer (1977)

2. Fish is a must on any Smorgasbord table… and here’s a special Piquant Dressing to add to its popularity. It calls for lemon juice and well-chopped cucumber blended into creamy whole-egg mayonnaise. Delicious!

Cool summer recipes from 1955 - Fish is a must on any Smorgasbord table

3. A zesty dressing for meats and cold cuts. Start with mildly flavored whole-egg mayonnaise, stir in chili sauce and chopped chives. It’s ready in seconds, beautiful, creamy and as tempting to see as to taste.

Cool summer recipes from 1955 - A zesty dressing for meats and cold cuts

4. For vegetables… combine Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise with chopped stuffed olives, cream or milk and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Notice how whole-egg mayonnaise stands up even when thinned.

Cool summer recipes from 1955 - For vegetables

MORE: 26 ways to serve an old favorite: Hot dogs

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