Editor’s Note: To view the 500+ different energy and water conservation tips for the home we have collected, simply access our Un-Official Guide To Home Energy & Water Conservation, 2nd Edition
Yesterday, in this two part series of our cooking related energy conservation and money saving tips, we looked at the first collection of cooking related energy conservation suggestionswhich cost absolutely nothing to do yet can reduce the amount of energy (electricity for an electric stove / oven or natural gas for a gas ‘powered’ stove / oven). Today we complete our review of the ideas on our Un-Official Guide list; some cost nothing to do, some cost a little and some cost more than that.
Remember to use the vertical scroll bar on the right of the listing below to see the remaining suggestions listed for you.
Number 31, Use Crock Pot vs Oven. This one is an energy conservation, money saving and a time saving tip all rolled into one. Use crock pots to cook your meal. Turn it on the morning on slow / low and put in your small roast with all the fixin’s (potatoes, carrots, etc.) and return in the evening and your dinner is done for you. We tend to use it more in the winter but no reason why it cannot be used year round.
Number 32, Use Flat-Bottom Pans. Some of our site’s visitors states that the flatter the bottom of the pan or pot the greater the amount of surface which will actually be in contact with the stove’s heating element which, in turn, will cause a greater and faster transference of the heat from the heating element to the food / liquid inside the pot / pan. Makes sense to me.
Number 33, Use Lids on Pots To Reduce Cooking Time. Absolutely. Why boil water in a pot with the lid off? It will take more time and consume more energy. Same thing when simmering food in a pot. Keep the lid on to reduce the amount of energy needed to cook the food (as well as how long it will take in some cases.
Number 34, Keep Oven & Stove Burners Clean. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. Cleaning the stove is not the most exciting or pleasant of household chores, is it? Although those with a self cleaning oven would be more likely to do this more often. However, that self cleaning action does consume energy, right? In any case, a clean heating elements for the oven as well as clean burners for the oven will allow the heat to reach it’s intended target (the food) faster and more efficiently if they are clean and thus consume less energy.
Number 35, Use Microwave vs Stove for Hot Water for Tea. One of our site’s visitors said she used this approach vs the kettle to save energy and, I would think, time as a microwave should be able to bring water to a boil faster than an electric kettle or one placed on top of the stove.
Number 36, Use Smaller Cooking Appliances. Why use an oven when a small toaster oven or crock pot will cook the same meal at a fraction of the energy consumption? Always try and right size the appliance for the task vs oversizing.
Number 37, Use Electric Kettle To Boil Water. Another of our site’s visitors claims this uses less energy than placing a kettle on top of stove’s burner to heat the water inside. I believe this to be correct, however, again, I could not find any supporting evidence. We have always used an electric kettle to boil hot water for our tea.
Number 38, Use Oven Broiler (Faster). One of our site’s visitors claims this will conserve energy because the food will cook faster. I’m not so sure. While the meal will cook faster, will the broiler setting of an oven consume more energy than the regular bake setting? I couldn’t find any information on this when I looked. As well, be careful as not all meals cooked in the oven are meant to be cooked by using the broiler setting.
Number 39, Double Recipe & Freeze Balance for Later. When I make my world famous home made tomato and meat sauce, I always make sufficient for two or three meals, freezing the excess for another time. Cooking more than just for one meal does use more energy than cooking just enough for the single meal. However, the amount of energy used to double the recipe is less (at least in the opinion of myself and others) than the combined energy consumed by cooking two meals at two different times. Plus, it will save you a lot of time as well.
Number 40, T-FAL Frying Pans. The idea here is that different frying pans heat to food faster and use the heat from the stove top’s burners better than others. This was evident to me when I changed to a T-FAL frying pan one day in the not to distant past to cook my morning breakfast of eggs. The eggs cooked much more quickly, thus allowing me to use the stove’s burner less and thus reduce the amount of energy (in my case electricity) used to cook my meal. So, the next time you are looking to purchase frying pans, see if you can find out how they compare in their energy efficiency vs another set you are also looking to purchase.
Number 41, Microwave cooking (vs stove / oven). Sure. Microwaves a great time saver in cooking and re-heating food and beverages as we all know. They also use less energy than a stove or oven. Not every meal or food is best cooked in a microwave. However, for those that can be, why not to save you time and money (from reduced energy consumption).
Number 42, Use Camping Stove On Top of Wood Stove. The idea here, submitted by one of the visitors to our site, DailyHomeRenoTips.com, is to use the heat from a wood stove to help cook food places in a camping stove. I don’t have a wood or camping stove myself, so it is not something I have or are likely to try. However, it works for the person who submitted this suggestion to us and it might be useful to you.
Number 43, Solar Cooker in Summer. This is something I have not tried yet, but would like to. Use the sun’s energy to cook your meals outside. It should be even better than using a BBQ to cook outside in the summer. While using an outdoor BBQ does keep the heat from cooking out of the home, it still consumes non-renewable resources (e.g. Natural Gas). I’m hoping next spring to investigate this new-ish type of products for ourselves!
And there you have it, the rest of our cooking related home energy conservation and money saving tips.
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