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Use the Kitchen Efficiently While Cooking


Slow-cooked, hearty foods are fall and holiday favorites, yet the energy required to cook them can represent a significant portion of your monthly energy bill. The Department of Energy estimates that cooking alone generally accounts for 4%–5% of total home energy use, and this figure doesn’t include the energy costs associated with refrigeration, water heating and dishwashing. Added together, these costs mean that as much as 15% of the energy in the average American home is used in the kitchen.

However, it’s possible to cook all those great cold-weather favorites while saving energy and money by learning how to use the stove more energy efficiently. Here are some energysaving cooking tips from the DOE that can help:

Don't peek! When using the oven, it’s tempting to open the door to check on a dish’s progress. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, forcing it to work even harder (and use more energy) to get back to the proper cooking temperature. If you need to check on a dish, use the oven window instead.

Turn it down. For recipes that need to bake for longer than an hour, preheating the oven isn't necessary. If you’re baking in a ceramic or glass dish, you can typically set your oven for 25 degrees less than the recipe calls for because ceramic and glass hold heat better than metal pans.

Don’t neglect your slow cooker, microwave, toaster oven, air fryer or warming plate. Putting them to work more often for smaller meals instead of the oven or stovetop can mean significant energy savings.

Give your furnace the day off. If your next party involves a lot of work for your stove, think about turning down your furnace to compensate. The heat of the oven—and all those guests—will often keep the temperature comfortable, and your furnace won't have to work so hard.

Make contact. Warped and rounded pans that wobble when you set them on the stovetop will not work with electric stovetops. The less contact your pan has with the burner, the more energy the stovetop will have to expend to heat the pan and its contents.

Posted: 10/21/2022 4:36:32 PM
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