There are several ways in which we can save electricity and energy in the kitchen. One way is to see if we can reduce the cooking times. Another way is to see if a different appliance does the same job and yet uses less energy. Yet another way is to see if we can reduce wastage. Here are some tips.
1. Defrost food first before cooking it. You can do it in a fridge overnight or in a microwave if you want the defrosting done quickly.
2. Put a lid on the pan when you're cooking. When a pan is covered, heat loss is reduced. That means you can set the stove on low to keep the content simmering. The cooking time will also be reduced.
3. Use a pressure cooker to cook foods. Since it operates at a higher pressure, water therefore boils at a higher temperature. The higher temperature of the water and steam causes the food to be cooked much faster, using less energy.
4. Don't use a small pan on a large burner. Match the sizes of the pan and of the heating element.
5. Use flat-bottomed pans instead of warped-bottom ones, particularly when cooking on electric stove.
6. Stir fry meat and vegetables. It takes more time to chop up the meat, but the meat then cooks much quicker.
7. Use a kettle to boil water instead of using a stove top burner. Boil only the amount of water that is needed, whether it is for making tea or for cooking.
8. When baking in the oven, experiment to see if preheating time can be kept to a minimum or done away all together.
9. Try not to open the oven door to check on cooking progress as a lot of heat escapes otherwise. It can be helpful having an oven thermometer or an oven-safe meat thermometer.
10. Where possible, use a microwave oven. Microwaves uses a considerable amount of energy when in use but it more than makes up for it by the much reduced cooking times. It draws much less electricity than an electric oven for the same job.
11. Use a toaster oven to do small baking jobs instead of an oven. Using a toaster oven decreases the area to be heated and in so doing saves energy. Use it for things like baking potatoes, fish sticks, chicken nuggets etc.
12. Use a convection microwave that offers, within the same unit, microwave, convection oven and grill features. Some of these microwave ovens can cook food using both convection and microwave at the same time, providing crisp brown exteriors and retaining juiciness for meats and chickens.
13. Use a steamer for cooking meals like fish and vegetables. It cannot burn the food and has a relatively low power consumption.
14. Use a crock pot (slow cooker) instead of a stove top burner to cook soups and stews that typically take a long time. It will let these dishes simmer gently.
15. Use a thermal cooker for things like soups and stews. A thermal cooker has 2 parts: an inner pan and an outer container. The inner pan is used to bring foods to a boil on a stove. It is then placed inside the insulated outer container and sealed until cooked.
16. Use an induction cooker. It uses magnetic induction to transfer heat from the cooker to the pan on the surface. The cooktop surface also stays relatively cool while the food in the pan is cooking. Induction cookers have a very high energy efficiency, much higher than traditional stoves.
17. Use an electricity monitor to measure the electrical usage of various electrical appliances in the kitchen.
The last point is worth mentioning in a little more detail. Some electricity monitors not only measure the electricity consumption but also work out the actual cost. All you have to do is to input the electric rate found on the utility bill and the monitor does the calculation for you.
Using an electricity monitor, you can find out the usage costs of your kitchen electrical appliances and then come up with your own list of energy saving tips and ideas.
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