Saving energy in the kitchen

If holidays or big family events are right around the corner, it might hard to think about being energy efficient between all the shopping, decorating, planning and cooking. But our recipe for energy-efficiency in the kitchen is an easy one to follow.

1. Keep a lid on it

Keeping lids tightly on pots and pans means that less heat escapes and your stove will use less energy cooking your famous mashed potatoes or dad’s favorite meatballs. Water will boil faster, flavors will build in stir-fry quicker and you’ll save time and energy at every meal. 


2. Get smart about defrosting

If your food is frozen, it will take longer to cook in your oven or on your stove. Make sure your food, like meat, is completely defrosted before cooking by putting it in the fridge a day or so before you plan to use it. Shorter cooking time means less energy used. 


3. Keep oven door closed

We know how tempting it is to sneak a peek at those brownies when they’re baking. If you’re concerned about things being burnt or overdone, set the timer for a minute less than the recommended cook time and let the residual heat of the container finish the cooking when you take it out. If you have to baste your turkey or check on your pot roast, act fast and don’t over-open the oven door. 


4. Use glass or ceramic pans when cooking in the oven

Glass and ceramic conduct heat very well. Whether you want to roast potatoes, cook a casserole or bake a bread pudding, glass and ceramic warm up well and hold heat to keep you from wasting energy in your oven. Just make sure your container says “oven safe” before you start baking.


5. Wait for a full load and don't run the water

Whether it’s a cozy family dinner or big celebration, when it comes to cleaning up, make sure you wait until you have a full load in the dishwasher before you hit start. More dishes cleaned per load means fewer loads and less energy heating up the water. If you’re handwashing dishes, don’t run the water while you scrub; you can fill up the sink with hot water for rinsing or turn the water on a few times to get everything rinsed off. 


Now is the perfect time to start cooking up new ways to save energy. Try one of these at every festive gathering and you’ll see the savings stack up.