30 October 2017

Saving Energy In The Kitchen

Hate or love it, cooking is one part of life that we cannot do without, and even lovers of fine dining or ardent take away fans will find themselves in a kitchen at one point. However, the costs involved in preparing a meal extend beyond the ingredients one buys from the shop - microwaves, ovens and the different gadgets that make food preparation easier consume energy.

A whopping 30 percent and about 4 percent of the average cost of electricity and gas bills can be attributed to cooking alone! However, these percentages will depend on your cooking practices. Here are a couple of tips that if followed will help you ensure that you are not wasting energy and money needlessly as you prepare meals.

Saving money in the kitchen

Select your cooking methods carefully

Microwaves are among the most energy-efficient cooking appliances available, trailed by slow cookers, hobs, and ovens. So, consider using your microwave as often as possible - and always remember to switch it off at the socket once done to conserve energy taking into account that no one uses their clocks anyways.

Cooking using a microwave for just 10 minutes every day will cost you about £3/year

Cooking using a slow cooker for 8 hours will cost you about £14/year

Cooking using an electric hob for just 30 minutes will cost you about £90/year

Use lids on pans and pots

Covering pans and pots helps trap heat, making it possible for food to cook much faster, or to achieve the same level of frying or boiling without having your hob turned up high. Doing this could save you about 3 percent in energy costs, depending on the pan.

Use right-sized pans

There is no point in boiling a small portion of potatoes in a large pot - you will just be wasting precious energy trying to heat the excess water. Similarly, you should ensure that your pan is on the correct electric hob. If you've placed your pot on the hob and can see some areas peeking out, then you are wasting energy.

Compare Energy

Different energy providers charge more than others and the best way around this is to change your provider regularly. Go to Simply Switch to compare energy prices.

Keep your oven's door closed

Every time your oven door is open, the oven loses heat. As a result, it has to work two times as hard to get back to the correct temperature again. You should also make sure that your oven door is always clean so that you can spy in on your food; this way, you can check your food without having to open the door.

Cook in batches

Consider cooking as much food as you can in one go - there is no point in having the oven on for one hour to cook two separate dishes when both could be prepared within 30 minutes! This is particularly useful if you are sharing your kitchen with other people or are cooking a big meal.

Defrost naturally

Try not to defrost food in your microwave; instead, consider leaving it your fridge overnight, or in the morning. Doing this could halve the cooking time.

Keep your stove and oven top clean

Bits of grease or burnt food absorb heat - particularly on electric cookers - making your appliances less efficient.

Use proper cookware

Ceramic and glass dishes are the best to use in ovens, while copper-bottomed pans heat faster than those with stainless steel bottoms. Cast iron pans retain heat quite well too. Such options are great since you don't have to turn your hobs on high.

Use steamers to cook vegetables

Alternatively, you could just place a metal colander on the top of a pan that is already boiling and use it as a lid instead. This is a great option since you won't have to use another hob to prepare your veggies. The result - super healthy, super tasty veggies that haven't lost their highly water-soluble vitamins and minerals to boiling water.

Switch off your oven early

Decent ovens retain the set temperature for up to 10 minutes after they have been switched off - that is a whole 10 minutes of energy saved without any compromises to the food you are preparing.

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.


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