Whether you want to protect the environment, or you want to save some dollars on your energy bill, saving energy while cooking is always a smart choice. You might be surprised to find in how many ways you can actually become green and use your home appliances correctly. In fact, you don’t need to fill your kitchen with a lot of electronics, thinking that they will make the difference in your energy bill. Use this article to learn how much energy you can save with the appliances you already have.
5 ways how you can save energy while cooking
1. Match your pot size with that of your stove top element
When you are using a small pot to cook your meal, you can also use the smallest burner. You probably think that if you put a small pot on a larger burner, you will cook your food faster. This is completely false. By doing so, you will make your kitchen hotter than before, but your food won’t cook faster.
Studies on energy efficiency show that, in general, if you put a 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner, you will waste 40% of the energy produced by that burner. A simple calculation shows that if you match your pot size with your burner, you can save $36 per year on energy and around $18 on gas. Also, by using lids on your pots, you can keep the heat in better and prepare your recipes faster.
2. Plan your quantities
Spending less time in the kitchen means less energy spent. Planning your quantities and meal schedule ahead will help you keep a balance between the time and energy spent while cooking. For instance, you can save energy by boiling the exact amount of water you want to use. If you prepare pasta, it is easy to estimate the quantity of boiling water you need. By boiling more water than necessary, it will take more time to reach the boiling point and thus more energy spent.
Moreover, you can use the boiling water for more than pasta. You can put a colander on top of your pan and prepare some steamed veggies in the meantime. This is how you will prepare two dishes at a time and save a lot of energy also.
3. Use the oven only when necessary
There are many recipes that don’t require a stove or oven. You can use the microwave or crockpot instead. However, when you prepare a recipe that requires an oven, you need to let curiosity aside. You don’t need to open the oven door every 10 minutes to check on your food. By opening the oven door, you let a lot of heat to escape. So, your oven will use more energy and time to re-establish the correct temperature.
4. Preparation is important
Before you start cooking, there are many actions that need to be done. For example, you might need to peel and chop some vegetables and season the meat. All this preparation should be done before you put your pan on the stove. In case you need to defrost some ingredients, this should be also planned ahead. To save even more energy, you can cover the frozen food and put it in the refrigerator to defrost. Even though it may take longer than leaving it on the counter, your refrigerator will save a lot of energy.
5. Keep your pans and stovetop clean
Apart from looking good, the metal pans will also help you save more. When your pans are blackened and greasy, they will absorb more energy to heat up and prepare your food. What is more, you should clean your stovetop after every use. Thus, it will need less energy and time to transfer the heat to your food.
You will see that by following the simple steps above, you will cook more efficiently and spend less time in the kitchen. What is more, you are contributing to the environmental protection by spending less energy while cooking. So, you can start slow and invest each penny saved in buying energy-efficient appliances that will add more money in your pockets on the long term.