eco friendly cooking – 10 tips

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saucepanWe take daily meter readings here at Chez Green and despite having an A rated cooker, our energy use from making meals is undoubtedly one of the biggest aspects of our energy usage.

There are many things you can do, however, to reduce the amount of energy you use.

Here are our tips; please add your own to the comments!

Microwave

If you don’t mind using them from a health point of view, a microwave oven uses a fraction of the energy of a conventional oven. Typically, a microwave will use 70% to 90% less energy than ovens.

Keep is slow

Using a slow cooker is a bit like using a candle to cook by! The energy usage is minimal, yet you get a warm, satisfying meal at the end of the day. Slow cookers are great for the time-poor cook too; simply prepare the meal in the morning, switch on the slow cooker and 8 hours later everything is cooked to perfection.

Keep the pressure high!

A pressure cooker is another way to reduce electricity usage. These cook foods in a fraction of the time and are great for batch cooking pulses.

Batch cook

If the oven is on, fill it! Don’t just cook one dish; add some cakes, biscuits, casseroles or soups – all of which can be frozen for later usage. The same with bread – don’t bake just one loaf, make four and freeze.

Bread

If you bake bread but don’t eat too much of it, then a breadmaker will pay for itself in no time. They use around 800 watts of power and you cook just the amount you want.

A tight fit

Make sure you use the right sized pan with a well fitting lid so that you retain the maximum amount of fuel where you need it most.

Keep it closed

Like lids on pans, keep the oven door closed as much as possible. Resist the urge to peep and your food will cook much quicker!

Hot and steamy

Unless you have a gas or induction hob, it’s probably more energy efficient to boil up cooking water in the kettle first, rather than on the hob.

Steamer

Another ‘must have’ gadget is the steamer. You can cook an entire meal in a steamer which means you only need to use one hob ring instead of two or three.

Maintenance

Ensure your oven is in good working order. Periodically check the temperature with an oven thermometer and make sure the seals around the doors are in good condition.

Further help

Find out how turning off the ring can reduce your carbon footprint, discover how to save 20% on your cooking bill with this one simple step, and find out whether gas or electricity is more eco friendly.

4 Comments

  1. [email protected] on April 23, 2010 at 9:31 am

    And to that I’d add that sometimes, the best way to save money on cooking energy is to just not cook at all. We don’t eat all raw foods, but we do mostly eat our produce raw (well, except for potatoes! lol).

    I do the batch cooking thing when I make bread…I put a bunch of loaves into the oven together so that I don’t have to bake a loaf every day.



  2. Mrs Green on April 24, 2010 at 6:42 am

    @[email protected]: Thanks for popping by, Kristen. Love your idea about eating more raw food; we’ve had exceptional weather here, so it’s definitely salad eating time!



  3. Small Footprints on April 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Wonderful tips. I have another to add … use a toaster oven rather than the regular oven. It uses far less energy and the toaster ovens of today can accommodate most anything … pizzas, casseroles of almost any size, etc. We love ours! And, with the new convection feature in newer toaster ovens, cooking is quick and efficient.



  4. Mrs Green on May 12, 2010 at 7:01 am

    @Small Footprints: Oh FABULOUS! You’re so right; Mr G is having a go at me about that all the time. I don’t want a toaster because I like my worksurface to be clear, but he is right. Glad it’s working out for you!



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