Energy Efficient Cooking – 5 tips

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family-time-cookingOne of the more creative aspects of green living and a natural lifestyle is preparing meals from scratch at home.

It not only costs less, but it’s healthier (you know exactly what you are eating) and you reduce the need for plastic packaging.

The trouble is, using fuel for cooking can be expensive, and with energy prices increasing all the time, many of us are looking for ways to make our homes more energy efficient.

Here are my top tips for eating well whilst keeping fuel costs to a minimum.

Batch bake

I never turn the oven on for just one meal, one loaf of bread or one tray of biscuits. When the oven is turned on I make the most of the electricity being used and batch bake.

It’s a great way to fill up the freezer with homemade ‘convenience meals’ and top up the cake tins. When the oven is turned off I still use the residual heat – it’s perfect for rice pudding or softening onions and garlic for using in sauces later in the week.

Slow Cookers

Slow cookers, or crock pots as they are known to our friends across the pond, are brilliant inventions. They are so simple to use and mean you can come home after a hard day to a perfectly cooked meal.

They use the minimum amount of power, require little washing up and can be used for breakfast too – put the ingredients for porridge into your slow cooker before going to bed and use a time switch so you wake up to a hot breakfast.

Choose the right size

Matching the size of the saucepan to the hob ring you are using is an important step in reducing the amount of fuel you use in the kitchen.

If the saucepan is too small, heat will be wasted around the sides and you’ll be heating the air not your food! In addition, gas flames licking up the sides of your saucepans can reduce their lifespan.

Choose the right supplier

According to a survey, around 40 per cent of the British public are clueless about how much they spend on their energy bills and around 20 per cent don’t know how to read their bills.

In addition, we’re collectively wasting around 4 billion pounds a year by not making the switch to another more competitive energy supplier. It pays to spend some time every few months using a price comparison site to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Put a lid on it!

As well as matching the saucepan size to the hob size, remember to put a lid on your pans. If you’re cooking something like rice, pasta or potatoes you can even turn your hob OFF once the liquid comes to the boil and allow the residual heat to continue cooking your food.

It’s a simple tip that can make a big difference!

What about you? What tips do you have for us all to make our cooking more energy efficient?


  1. chris levey on March 22, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I use a Remoska. This is a small saucepan shaped oven which cooks at 180C. They are expensive to buy but they only use about 1/5th of the electricity and only use 4 amps if cooking on a campsite. I can cook bread, cakes, pies, casseroles and it cooks the best roast chicken I have ever eaten.
    If you don,t have a slow cooker how about a home made Wonder Box see I have not tried it as yet but I will.

  2. nadine sellers on March 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    my simple routine at the cook stove is to fold a terry cloth towel or two plain linen kitchen towels and put them atop the pan lid as soon as the liquid comes to a boil. then turn off the heat.

    most vegetables cook well that way, but for pasta to avoid foam spill, i first wait till the boil calms down a bit..then leave the noodles or grains to simmer under the insulated lid.

    i make sure not to leave any cloth hanging over the hot elements(rings) i have singed the corners of a nice towel to learn to fold it only to cover the top…this also applies to the crock pot (slow cooker) it saves a lot of energy over time.

  3. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on March 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    These are such great tips.

  4. Mrs Green on April 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    @chris levey: Hi Chris; I’ve heard great reports about the Ramosa and am tempted to get one. I would love to build a solar oven sometime – thanks for that link; I’ll go and take a look 🙂

    @nadine sellers: I’d never thought about insulating the lid – thanks for that Nadine.

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