the reasons are environmentally- or economically-based, people across
the country are trying to reduce their energy consumption. One place
that leaves a great amount of room for improvement is the kitchen.
Every day, we go through our cooking routines much in the same way
that we have been for our whole lives – usually without
second-guessing our actions. These routines that we inherited from
our parents or developed on our own are often not as
environmentally-friendly as they could be. Here are four quick, easy,
and free ways to reduce the amount of energy that you and your
pans on the stove top.
cooking on the stove top, use a burner that is the same size of the
pot or pan you will be using. Placing a 6” pan on a 8” burner may
sound harmless, but the truth is that almost 50% of the heat
generated by your stove top will be wasted. Keeping lids on these
will further increase heat retention, and thus save energy. You can
also turn the heat down when your water reaches a boil.
If you are cooking a meal in the oven for 25 minutes at 400°, you
can turn the oven off after 20 and let the existing heat cook your
food for the remainder of the period. This works even better if you
refrain from opening the oven door to check on your food and instead
look through the glass with the oven light on. This lesson can also
be applied to boiling pasta on the stove top – just make sure you
have a lid on the pot.
cooking food which requires you to boil water – such as potatoes,
pasta, or eggs – use only as much water as you will need. Many of
us put in much more water than is necessary just to “be safe”,
but that hurts the energy-efficiency of your appliances. Simple
physics will tell you that more time and energy is required to boil
one gallon of water on your stove than one pint.
trying to save energy, think small. This is especially true in the
kitchen. When making a personal-sized meal, opt for the microwave or
toaster oven over your conventional oven. Is the food processor
really necessary, or will the blender suffice? These are the kinds of
decisions you should be making in your daily life to cut down on
energy consumption around the house.
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