Friday, 12 September 2008

Energy Saving In The Kitchen

The most important first step in making this place is greener world is energy effiency. Whether it be heating, cooling or any other form of power the secret is either to avoid using it or make sure it is not wasted. With many energy efficiency technologies now about, ranging from insulation to more efficient electrical devices, sometimes we still need to look closer at home to compliment this trend. The kitchen is an ideal place to start and finding energy efficiency solutions that you can achieve and save you money of course is a good incentive.

Cooking nowadays doesn't take up much time, but when it happens it is one of those things you can easily adjust to saving energy. It’s not difficult to forget how much energy you waste when you’re cooking.

The first step is to ask yourself whether you in fact need to cook, what about eating more salads and foods that don't need heating up?

Just boil as much water as you need, don't fill the kettle up to the brim each time.

Don't defrost things in the microwave, put them in the fridge the night before this will also help reduce the fridge power consumption.

Onto actual cooking and a simple method of putting a lid on the pan when you’re cooking it means your meals will cook faster. Easy isn't it. I do it all the time plus it helps to keep your food at the right temperature. Your hob will need to be turned down to a much lower level and heat loss is minimised.

Another habit of mine is not to preheat your oven. It doesn't take long reach the correct temperature and all that energy under normal circumstances will be totally wasted. Most foods can cope quite easily from being cooked in an oven that starts off cold. Bread and cakes are an exception but even then I usually cook something else alongside in order to not waste the heating up energy.

A pressure cooker went out of fashion a number of years ago but nowadays is would be considered the most economical forms of cooking. It is well worth investing in one, as not only is it economical, but cooks many meals quicker than a microwave oven!

On the other side of the coin is the slow cooker; it can use less energy than most ovens and like ovens, more than one course can be cooked in one go.

The Chinese are clever, not only in their healthy diets but in the way they use very little energy to cook. Stir-fry is a classic example. It may take a little longer preparing with finely chopped ingredients but they smaller they are the quicker they cook and to make it even more economical and prevent burning, turn the heat down and as already mentionedm put the lid on.

A microwave has its uses in energy saving in the kitchen, but for reheating leftovers or giving vegetables a burst of steam, the use in mainstream cooking with a microwave is a false economy.

Cooking habits an the use of energy in a more efficient way in the kitchen just takes a little thought and planning, but over time you will see that you are doing something that saves you both money and time.

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