5 Netflix Shows to Watch (and Cook to) When it's Too Hot to Go Outside

July 31, 2015

Go camping and travel the world—all from the comfort of your couch. 


After a long, hot week, sometimes all you want to do is hide in the comfort of your air-conditioned apartment and watch TV. That can come with some guilt though: Your brain is telling you to go out and enjoy the sun, but your body just can’t take the heat anymore. If you’re looking for that affirmation to be lazy, I’ve got your back—and the perfect indoor activity. Here are some of the movies Netflix will be adding this weekend—and what you should eat with them:

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1. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes

In this prequel, most of the original cast is back, plus some new campers. I’m personally looking forward to getting to know more about Gene, the camp chef and his talking can of vegetables. And what better way to reunite with your favorite counselors than camp food? Make sloppy Joes for dinner, s’mores for dessert, and some sweet & salty snack mix for later. Let the lazy weekend commence!


2. The Mind of a Chef, Season 1 

Bacon and Egg Ramen

Saturday is a whole new day and while you were sleeping off the s’mores, Season 3 of The Mind of a Chef went live on Netflix. If you haven’t watched seasons one and two of the PBS cooking and travel show, don’t worry: Each episode runs under 30 minutes and you’ve got the whole weekend, right?

Start your marathon with Season 1—but make some ramen before you start. Join Momofuku founder David Chang as he eats ramen and sushi in Japan, hangs out with the Torrisi brothers and Christina Tosi in New York, visits René Redzepi in Copenhagen, then eats regional barbecue in Tennessee.

More: Heading to Tennessee for your own barbecue? Here are 15 things you shouldn't miss.


3. The Mind of a Chef, Season 2

Sean Brock's Southern Grits

You’ve still got the rest of the day and dinner to eat—time for Season 2. The first half of the season follows Sean Brock as he explores the Southern heritage of rice, beans, and grains. In the second half, April Bloomfield keeps with the theme of simple classic cooking and even spends some time in the kitchen with the late, great Marcella Hazan. Make Sean's Southern grits to celebrate, with April's salad with lemon-caper dressing on the side for some crunch.

Alright, after 29 episodes that’s roughly 15 hours of binging—Season 3 can wait until Sunday. 


4. The Mind of a Chef, Season 3

Beef Tenderloin Grilled in CLoth

On Sunday morning, see what chef Edward Lee and Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson are up to. Both chefs explore new and old ingredients and techniques, like open-flame cooking in Argentina and Scandanavian preservation practices. Maybe you'll be inspired to try some traditional techniques like Colombian Lomo al Trapo.

More: Read Chef Lee's judgment of Fancy Desserts and Flavor Flours for The Piglet.


5. The Search for General Tso

If you're still hungry for more on Sunday and haven't been overly-depleted of Vitamin D yet (no judgment, just checking in), watch a documentary about the history of General Tso's chicken in Chinese-American cuisine, then whip up some spicy orange-ginger chicken.

When your co-workers ask what you were up to over the weekend, just say you went camping and traveled the world—I won’t tell. 

How do you plan to beat the heat this weekend? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Henry McFartingbottom
    Henry McFartingbottom
  • W
  • jane.coombs88
  • Mary Casella
    Mary Casella
Mary Casella

Written by: Mary Casella


Henry M. August 1, 2015
The title of this article lead me to believe I would be reading about five shows to watch when it's too hot to go outside. Instead, I got two shows and one documentary. PLEASE learn how to write!!!!! This was a waste of my time and quite frankly I'm stupid.
W July 31, 2015
Wasted two minutes.
jane.coombs88 July 31, 2015
What about Eat Drink Man Woman?
Mary C. July 31, 2015
Absolutely! The list could go on and on.