Home & Garden

Too hot to turn on your appliances? Use these 18 gadgets instead

Mother Nature isn't messing around—and neither are these items

Turn your major appliances off, and use these products instead. Credit: Vitamix / Surpahs

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The weather this summer has been extreme, to say the least. Here in New England, we’ve alternated between humid days with sweltering temperatures and weeks of straight rain and thunderstorms—delightful, right?

However, this is fairly mild compared to the rest of the country, where some locations are seeing record high temperatures and droughts.

If you’re currently experiencing these oh-so-hot spikes, you may find it pretty unbearable to turn on your oven, dryer, and any other appliances that gives off heat. No worries: There are plenty of ways you can avoid using these appliances, starting with these 18 energy-saving gadgets.

1. An Instant Pot for fast, easy meals

Instant Pot
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

An Instant Pot can cook meals 70% faster than your oven.

No one wants to slave over a hot oven during the summer—never mind during a heatwave!—and the Instant Pot will be your best friend on those sweltering days. The Instant Pot Ultra is the best pressure cooker we’ve tested, and it can cook your food up to 70% faster than traditional methods!

The 10-in-1 design can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker, steamer, and more, meaning you can whip up a whole meal without ever turning on your oven.

Get the Instant Pot Ultra 60 Ultra 6-Qt 10-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker from Amazon for $139.99

2. A retractable clothesline to capitalize on the sunshine

Clothes line
Credit: GorillaLine

Install this retractable clothesline on your patio to air dry laundry.

The one good thing about having temperatures in the 90s (or even 100s) is that there’s no need to turn on your clothes dryer. Instead, just set up a retractable clothesline like this one! The line is over 13 feet long, allowing you to hang up all sorts of clothes and linens to dry in the sunshine. It’s an energy-efficient way to dry your laundry, and as an added bonus, your clothes will have the crisp, clean smell of fresh air.

Get the GorillaLine Retractable Clothesline on Amazon for $29

3. Our all-time favorite grill for outdoor cooking

Weber grill
Credit: Weber

Keep your home cool by cooking outside on this Weber grill.

Grilling is my go-to on hot summer days, and the best gas grill we’ve tested is the Weber Spirit II E-310. This propane-powered grill has three burners and more than 500 square inches of cooking space, making it easy to fit more food at once.

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It’s incredibly sturdy in its construction, and the lid is actually designed to vent smoke away from your face, making it comfortable to cook on in hot weather.

Get the Weber Spirit II E-310 Gas Grill from Amazon for $519

4. An innovative sleep system that cools down your bed

Chili Sleep
Credit: ChiliSleep

This high-tech mattress pad uses water to keep you cool during the night.

If you don’t want to turn on your air conditioner (or simply don’t have one), you can sleep more comfortably during heatwaves with the ChiliSleep Cube Sleep System.

This unique mattress pad is hooked up to a water-based system, which regulates the surface temperature of your mattress by circulating water through small tubes. You can set it anywhere from 55 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, and it uses significantly less energy than an air conditioner. The ChiliSleep System is available for all mattress sizes, and queen and king models have individual units and controls for each side of the bed.

Get the ChiliSleep Cube Sleep System from Amazon for $675 with on-page coupon

5. This versatile pan that will whip up meals pronto

Always Pan
Credit: Our Place

The Always Pan heats up quickly, letting you get out of the kitchen faster.

Whether you’re hoping to steam dumplings or whip up a quick stir-fry, the Always Pan makes cooking quick and easy. This unique piece of cookware is designed to replace eight common kitchen essentials, including a fry pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest.

During testing, we found that it heats up quickly and truly is a jack-of-all-trades, making it an ideal solution for those hot days when you want to get out of the kitchen ASAP.

Get the Always Pan from Our Place for $145

6. A good microwave so you can just reheat leftovers

Microwave
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Too hot to cook? Heat up leftovers and call it a day.

On days that I don’t feel like cooking (which is quite often during the summer), I almost always find myself heating up leftovers in the microwave.

The Cuisinart CM-100 is the our favorite countertop microwave thanks to its reliable performance and spacious interior, and it’s ideal for nuking meals when you can’t bear to turn on the oven.

It offers 25 preprogrammed settings and 10 power levels, and the microwave will look sleek and modern on your kitchen counter, to boot.

Get the Cuisinart CM-100 Countertop Microwave from Amazon for $199.95

7. A fabric-freshening spray for your not-quite-dirty clothes

Laundry Spray
Credit: The Laundress

This spray refreshes and deodorizes your clothing, letting you wear it again.

For those times when your go-to Zoom meeting shirt isn’t quite clean but doesn’t smell so bad that it justifies running the washer, there’s The Laundress Fabric Fresh. This convenient spray deodorizes and freshens clothing, bedding, upholstery, shoes, and more, and it can even be used on many “dry clean only” materials! It’s the ultimate hack for reviving not-quite-dirty clothing when you don’t feel like doing laundry.

Get The Laundress Fabric Fresh, Fabric Spray Deodorizer from Amazon for $15.48

8. A powerful fan that can (almost) replace your AC

Vornado
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Vornado Fan may be small, but it can cool down a big room.

On those days when you don’t really need the air conditioning on but still need something to cool down your home, the Vornado 660 Fan will be your best friend.

Don’t be fooled by its small form—this fan delivers extremely impressive volume and air speed, and it beat out the competition in our best fan testing by a long shot. It has four speed settings and can move air up to 100 feet, making it ideal for use in rooms of all sizes.

Get the Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator Fan from Best Buy for $99

9. Our top-rated immersion circulator for hands-off cooking

Sous vide
Credit: Breville

Just put your meal into the water with the sous vide cooker, and in a few hours, dinner will be ready.

Craving steak, but don’t want to stand over a hot pan? The ChefSteps Joule sous-vide cooker makes cooking meat, vegetables, and more a hands-off task.

This top-rated immersion circulator circulates water in a pot or pan, maintaining a precise temperature to perfectly cook your meal. All you have to do is set it and walk away—in a few hours, you’ll have a delicious steak waiting for you.

Get the ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide from Breville for $249.95

10. A misting fan to cool down your patio

Misting Fan
Credit: Frigidaire

This outdoor fan sprays a cooling mist as it oscillates back and forth.

You can enjoy your patio or deck, even on the hottest days, with the help of the Frigidaire Outdoor Misting Fan.

The pedestal-style fan has an 18-inch oscillating head and three fan speeds, and it hooks up to a garden hose, providing a cool mist that makes heatwaves more bearable. It can cool down up to 500 square feet, and you can tilt the angle of the fan and adjust the height to send the breeze exactly where it’s needed.

Get the Frigidaire Outdoor Misting Fan from Home Depot for $169.99

11. An extra-large air fryer for faster cooking

Air Fryer
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

This air fryer can handle large batches of food, cutting precious time off your dinner prep.

Air fryers do put off heat while cooking but not nearly as much as the oven, and they also get the job done faster. Our favorite air fryer is the Philips Premium XXL, which has a whopping 3-pounds capacity, saving you from having to cook in batches. It doesn’t require pre-heating and is extremely user-friendly. We found that it yields amazingly crunchy and delicious results.

Get the Philips Premium XXL Air Fryer from Amazon for $249.99

12. A clothes rack so you don’t have to turn on the dryer

Clothes rack
Credit: AmazonBasics

Air dry your clothes on this sturdy laundry rack.

Even if you don’t have space for a clothesline, you can air dry your laundry with the AmazonBasics Laundry Rack. Its accordion design folds flat for compact storage, and the rack can hold up to 32 pounds of laundry at a time. Its steel construction is durable yet lightweight, and you may find that you use it all year-round, not just during hot weather.

Get the AmazonBasics Foldable Clothes Drying Laundry Rack from Amazon for $30.31

13. This super-powerful blender that can actually make hot soup

Vitamix
Credit: Vitamix

This powerful blender can heat up ingredients on its own.

You probably know that Vitamix blenders are powerful, but did you know that these bad boys spin fast enough to make hot soup? Really. The Vitamix 5200 is one of our favorite high-end blenders, has a high-speed motor, and its blades reach speeds fast enough to bring cold ingredients to steaming hot in just 6 minutes. Then, all you have to do is pour it into bowls and serve—no need to break out a pan and heat up the stove. Cool, right?

Get the Vitamix 5200 Blender from Amazon for $410.80

14. A container that cooks pasta in the microwave

Fasta Pasta
Credit: Fasta Pasta

On hot summer days, you can cook al dente pasta in the microwave.

You can make a serving of pasta in a matter of minutes with the Fasta Pasta Cooker—no water boiling required!

This cool gadget is designed to cook pasta in the microwave, and it yields perfectly al dente spaghetti every time with no sticking or boiling over. The cover of the container has measuring holes to help you get the perfect serving size, and one serving of spaghetti is ready in around 12 minutes.

Get the Fasta Pasta Microwave Pasta Cooker from Amazon for $16.99

15. A cute wash bin for cleaning small items of clothing

Wash bin
Credit: Ohisu

This cheery bin makes it easy to wash small pieces of laundry in the sink.

Instead of turning on the washing machine, you can quickly clean your go-to hot weather clothing in this washboard basin. The budget-friendly bin fits in most kitchen sinks, and it has a ramp with ridges that make it easy to scrub dirt out of your clothing. The bin can hold up to 4 quarts of water, and it’s ideal for lightweight garments, underwear, and more.

Get the Ohisu Blue Washboard Basin from Amazon for $10.95

16. A portable fan that you wear around your neck

Neck Fan
Credit: JISULIFE

You can take this battery-powered neck fan just about anywhere.

It’s easy to stay cool—even when the air conditioning is off—with this portable neck fan. The U-shaped design fits comfortably around your neck, and it has 78 wind outlets that blow a cooling breeze up toward your face.

The battery-powered design lasts for up to 16 hours on its lowest setting, allowing you to take it on the go, and it comes in several colors to match your style.

Get the JISULIFE Portable Neck Fan on Amazon for $28.79

17. A toaster oven for small-serving meals

Toaster Oven
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

This toaster oven can do all the same things as your full-size oven.

If you’re only cooking for one or two people, you can toast, roast, and bake in the Breville Smart Oven Pro, which is the best toaster oven we’ve tested. It works wonderfully for heating up frozen pizza, cooking chicken breasts, and so much more, and it has lots of preset cooking options that make it easy to use.

The Smart Oven Pro is truly only limited by its size, making it a great alternative to a full-size oven on hot days.

Get the Breville Smart Oven Pro from Amazon for $279.99

18. A dish-drying rack to save you from running the dishwasher

Dish rack
Credit: Surpahs

Let your dinnerware drip dry instead of running the dishwasher.

My dishwasher creates quite a bit of steam during it’s cycle, which is a big no-no for me on humid days. I’d much rather just hand wash my dishes, and this dish-drying rack is an incredibly convenient way to let them drip dry.

It comes in two sizes, and it’s designed to be unrolled over your sink, where you can rest freshly cleaned plates, pans, and more. Plus, it can also be used as a trivet, thanks to its heat-resistant silicone exterior.

Get the Surpahs Over The Sink Multipurpose Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack from Amazon for $23.98

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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