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Savor an Energy-Efficient Holiday Feast

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New electrical appliances use far less energy than older ones, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on energy-efficient behavior in the kitchen.
During the frantic holiday season, making the simplest changes while cooking can save some energy and money.
There’s usually no need to preheat the oven, especially if the food you’re cooking—like a turkey—will be in it for a long time.
Avoid opening the oven door to check on food. Instead, turn on the oven light and peer through the window to make sure your pumpkin pie isn’t burning. Opening the oven door—even for a second or two—can drop the temperature inside by 25 degrees.
Place several items in the oven at once. All food will cook thoroughly if you leave enough room around pies or casseroles for air to flow.
Electric ovens retain heat even after you turn them off, so it’s safe to turn them off several minutes before a recipe’s time is up. Electric stovetops work the same way: The metal element will keep cooking for several minutes after you turn it off.
Choose glass or ceramic pans for the oven. They let you set the temperature 25 degrees lower than metal pans do.
Match the pan size to the size of the stovetop burner so you don’t waste heat. Just a 2-inch difference between pan and burner can waste 40% of the generated heat.
Zap baked potatoes and vegetables in the microwave instead of simmering them on the stovetop. Microwaves use significantly less electricity than a stove or oven.
Involve everyone in cooking. Leave the electric mixer in the cupboard and let the kids stir the cake batter by hand and recruit someone to chop the veggies instead of tossing them into a food processor. The experience might save some electricity and make everyone proud of contributing to the meal.

Photo by Monkeybusinessimages | iStock.com

Posted: 11/1/2019 8:00:00 AM
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