Preparing a holiday meal for your family and friends this year? We’re here to teach you how to cook up savings in the kitchen! There are many ways to save energy, from cooking preparations to clean up – just check out these tips below:
- Utilize your microwave. Your microwave is the most efficient (and fastest) means of cooking. Learn to use it for as many cooking tasks as possible.
- Keep the refrigerator doors closed, and tell the kids too! Plan accordingly and think about what you need to get out of the refrigerator before you open it.
- Always cover pots and pans. Cooking without a cover on pots and pans allows heat energy to escape. By trapping the heat inside the pot or pan with a cover, temperatures will increase and cooking times can be reduced and energy saved.
- Use the right size pot on stove burners. When cooking on the stove top match the size of the burner to the size of the pot being used, so that there isn’t any wasted energy. (For example, using a 6-inch pan on an 8 inch burner will waste 40% of the heat generated by the burner.)
- Refrain from opening the oven door, except when necessary. Every time the door is opened, heat escapes. That means no peeking at your Thanksgiving turkey roasting in the oven, use the oven light instead!
When the cooking and eating is done, it’s time to clean up before the tryptophan kicks in. Here are some helpful cleaning tips:
- Wash full loads in the dishwasher. A dishwasher uses the same amount of water and energy, no matter how large the load is – so be sure to run full loads to use energy most efficiently. Plus washing a full load of dishes in the dishwasher can actually save more energy than washing dishes by hand!
- Use the energy-saving “no heat air dry” feature if it’s available on your dishwasher. A dishwasher that dries dishes with an electric heating element draws a significant amount of power.
- Scrape dirty dishes, don’t rinse, before loading the dishwasher. Many dishwashers are able to thoroughly clean dishes that have had the food scraped, rather than rinsed, off. The high water temperature and detergent in the dishwasher does the rest.
Even if you only consider a few of these holiday cooking tips, the environment will thank you! Have a happy (and energy efficient) holiday!
- For additional information on ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers.
- For additional information on ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators.