It’s officially summer! And boy does the thermometer show it. I’ve found some tips for you to help keep your kitchen – and your energy bill – cool. The average family cooks 1.5 meals a day and each takes about 30 minutes of energy to prepare. Think about this when you’re cooking and do what you can to reduce that time and/or energy.
• When choosing a new stove, choose a smaller size. The smaller space will require less energy to heat and keep heated.
• Try not to peek in the oven when baking. It will lose heat and use more energy to reheat.
• Don’t put foil on your oven racks, it will reduce airflow and increase cooking time.
• Using glass or ceramic pans when cooking in the oven allows you to reduce cooking temperature by 25 degrees.
• When cooking on the stovetop, use the smallest pan on the smallest burner as possible.
• Keep the lids on your pots and pans so the heat does not escape and cooking takes less time.
• Keep your drip pans under your burners clean so they reflect more heat.
• Use the least amount of water in a pan as possible
• Defrost in the refrigerator before cooking to reduce cooking time.
• Microwaves use less energy when they are clean. Bits of food stuck to the inside will absorb energy just like the food you’re cooking.
• Consider a pressure cooker. They will cook at a higher temperature using steam so it will reduce cooking time and energy.
Maybe it doesn’t even need to be cooked? Cold veggies and fruits are refreshing in the summer. Opt for the raw versions when possible to save your energy as well as mother earth’s.
Cooking outside will keep your kitchen cool. This article explains the environmental advantages of using gas grills versus charcoal and this page explains how a solar oven works.
I found the information for this article from a couple of great sources. Check them out for more energy efficient cooking tips. http://www.aceee.org/consumer/cooking
Photo courtesy of Microsoft images.