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keep the lid on to conserve energyI’ve been experimenting with the way I cook in order to try and save some carbon emissions.

This week I’ve been doing the simplest thing that MUST be saving a considerable amount of resources. (my electricity reading shows I’ve cut 20% off my normal usage this week).

If I cook rice or potatoes, I put the lidded pan on the hob ring, bring it to the boil and then turn the hob off off. I leave the pan without lifting the lid and in half an hour I have perfectly cooked food. I’ve only used electricity to bring the pan to the boil instead of having it simmering, like I have done on the past.perfectly cooked rice using minimal electricity

I’m going to try red lentils and pasta next week to see if that works too. I’ll let you know how I get on.

I have the best of intentions by cooking extra portions with the idea that I only need to reheat the next day, and this will save even more energy but I just pig out in the evenings, so I’m eating more food and probably INCREASING my overall carbon footprint. 😀

Ho hum; I’ve never claimed to be perfect……


  1. James on June 5, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Fascinating post Mrs Green. I’m tempted to give it a go.

    Do things take longer to cook this way? I notice you said the rice took 30mins, which seems long for white rice. Also, how did that pasta pan out?

    Thanks for the inspiration. You’ve got a great-looking site.

  2. Mrs Green on June 5, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Hey James – how are you today?
    Your blog looks GREAT; I’m so glad you dropped in to leave a comment! Did you find the eggshells worked for the slugs?

    I have to be honest about the rice cooking thing; I tend to be a person who is doing 100 things at once, so once the power is off on that cooker I kinda enter a timewarp, get distracted and I don’t think I’ve got back quick enough to see if its cooked after 15 minutes. I just leave it until I remember to eat later on 😀

    The pasta worked out just fine. It’s particularly good for us because we use a lot of corn pasta and that goes soggy if the water boils too quickly. I have to be more on the ball with pasta though; overcooked pasta is a big turnoff, but then, it just gets thrown into a pasta bake and is perfectly edible.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help; I’m not a very precise artist in the kitchen 😀

    Have a wonderful day,
    Mrs G x

  3. James on June 6, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Thanks for the compliment. Egg shells seem to be working around my pots, but are a little prone to being washed away on the allotment beds. Still, with the current rain the plants are quite big by the time they’re deployed, so hopefully tough enough to survive a slug storm.

    Thanks for the pasta info. I’ll give it a go.

    Have a good week.

  4. Cathy on May 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    great idea!I’m always looking for ideas to cook more efficiently. i’ve been using my crockpot more since it uses less energy and doesn’t heat up the house like my oven.

  5. Mrs Green on May 7, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Cathy, Oh I LOVE my crockpot (we call them slow cookers over here). I even use it to make porrage and rice pudding, so that we come down to a warm breakfast in the morning 🙂
    Do you have a favourite crockpot recipe to share?

  6. Greenbaby on May 7, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    What a wonderful and simple tip! If we all kept the lids on our pots while cooking we could save loads of money and emissions. It’s these kinds of small changes made by lots of people that end up making the biggest difference. Thanks for joining us this week or Thrifty Green Thursday!

  7. Mrs Green on May 11, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Hi Greenbaby; thank you for the comment. You’re right – these tiny changes can make a big difference; I like to keep a positive approach! I look forward to joining in next week.

  8. Wilson Pon on May 18, 2009 at 7:24 am

    You’re absolutely right about it, Mrs. Green. After all, it won’t cost us too many energy, by putting on the lid on the pot, isn’t it? Honestly, I don’t know why there are still many people that always ignored this simple step! Sigh…

  9. Mrs Green on May 23, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Hello Wilson; simple steps are often overlooked and deemed ‘unecessary’, but I like to keep things achievable for all so that overwhelm doesn’t set in.

    If some of the other tips on this site seem to big, then ones like this are things that all people can manage 🙂

  10. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on May 23, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Wow what a wonderful tip. I am cooking potatoes tomorrow so it will be a great time to try this out!!

  11. Mrs Green on May 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    @[email protected] eco friendly homemaking: well I hope it worked out for you – please report back and let me know!

  12. Small Footprints on January 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I really like this idea. I have a tendency to overcook some veggies (potatoes in particular). Using this method means that they are always cooked perfectly (and not mushy). So … not only does it save energy, it make a dish more enjoyable. I was given a cast iron pot recently with a good, tight-fitting lid. And wow … that’s kicked up the energy-savings as well. It seems to heat up faster, holds the heat longer and cooks perfectly. Who knew! Thanks, Mrs. Green!

  13. Mrs Green on January 31, 2012 at 10:57 am

    @Small Footprints: Loving the sound of that cast iron pot SF, you could use it for hay box cooking in the summer 😉

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