With energy prices only ever heading upwards, we'd all love to cut our energy bills. Here at 10 ways you can use your cooker for less energy expenditure (and be a bit greener at the same time!):
On the hob:
1. Use the smallest ring possibleOnce something is boiling move the pan to the smallest ring and lowest setting to maintain the desired temperature. Never put a small pan on a large ring, you’re just wasting energy.
2. Boil only what you needWhen boiling water in the kettle or in a pan, only boil the amount you actually need.
3. Pan lids ONUnless the recipe expressly says not to, always cook with the lid on.
4. One pot mealsLook to cook one pot meals where the whole dish is on one ring eg stews and make use of a steamer.
In the oven
5. Oven pre-heatingWhen cooking something like a roast and other dishes that are in the oven for a long time, there is no need to pre-heat the oven. Exceptions to this rule are breads, cakes and pastries that need to be at the correct temperature to start cooking.
6. Switching off the ovenSwitch the oven off 10mins before the end of cooking time and it will retain the necessary heat (But don’t open the door until the 10mins are up). Electric rings can also be turned off a few minutes before the end of cooking time.
7. Keep the oven door shutDon't open the oven door to take a peek at what's cooking inside. Instead, keep the oven window clean and look through it to check on progress. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside - by as much as 25 degrees - which increases cooking time and is not energy efficient.
8. Fill up that ovenIf the oven is on for one dish but there is space for more inside, bung something else in to fill the gap. Either cook 2 of the same dish and freeze one for later or add something different i.e. a main course and a pudding both cooked in the oven at the same time.
9. Quick cooking recipesLook for quick cooking recipes – a search on the web will give lots of inspiration but if you still prefer to leaf through a book your local library should have a suitable book.
10. Raw Food and SaladsTry including more raw foods in your diet. Lots of vegetables and fruits need no cooking and Summer is the perfect time for more salads.
Have you got any tricks to help reduce the amount of energy you use when cooking? We can always include them in a later post! And why not head over to the Thrifty Thursday linky and see what other money saving tips people have this week.