Energy Efficient Cooking Tips
- If possible, use a microwave
Microwave ovens are the most energy efficient means of cooking in our homes. Silver medals for efficiency goes to our slow cookers, with hobs picking up the bronze. Our relatively inefficient ovens come a distant fourth.
For example, cooking with a microwave for 10 minutes every day would cost you only £3 a year as opposed to £30 for a hob.
If you need to heat water, boil it in the electric kettle rather than leaving a pan to heat up. The kettle is much more efficient and will bring the water to the boil much quicker than your hob.
While we’re on the subject of the kettle, boil only the water you need. It’s a bit of a waste of money to heat a whole kettle full if you just want the one cuppa.
It’s estimated that using a lid on a pot or pan could save about 3% in energy costs per pan. This is because with a lid on you keep heat circulating in the pot rather than escaping into the atmosphere.
- The right pan for the job
Yes, you need a lid on that pan, but make sure you’re using the right pan in the first place. There’s no point using a large pan to cook only small quantities of food - you’ll be wasting energy. Similarly, if you can see the electric hob ring under your pan, you’re also letting energy go to waste.
Which materials of pan you use will also make a difference. Glass and ceramic dishes are best for use in the oven. On the hob, copper bottomed pans are much quicker to heat than their stainless steel counterparts. Cast iron pans are great at retaining heat so you won’t need as much energy to get them up to temperature.
How you use your oven could make a difference to your bills. As it’s a relatively large user of energy, make sure you cook what you can at the same time. When it’s cooking, try not to open the door too frequently. The more times you let the heat out, the more energy your oven will use getting back to temperature again.
Often cooking instructions are set for when your oven has reached temperature. Unless you’re cooking something that is strictly time and temperature controlled, put your food in while your oven pre-heats.
If you’ve a good oven it will retain the required temperature for a good few minutes after you switch it off, so you could switch off early without compromising on the quality of your dinner.
Follow these tips and hopefully you can still turn out great meals while saving some hard earned cash. For more energy saving tips, see our other energy saving pages. You can also compare providers through comparethemarket.com.