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Practice energy efficient cooking and baking

Wednesday, December 01, 2010 by: Fleur Hupston
Tags: cooking, baking, health news

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(NewsTarget) Cooking in winter often calls for dishes to be slow cooked for hours in the oven. Reduce consumption of electricity or gas by using household appliances more effectively and creatively. Many people think nothing of roasting a head of garlic or a few vegetables in the oven for an hour or more or keeping a giant refrigerator running for one or two people. Take action to reduce energy, particularly when cooking with these few simple tips.

Energy Saving Tips for Ovens and Stoves:

Avoid cooking at all - eat raw vegetables whenever possible, or cook minimally to retain nutrients.

Save energy by making sure that appliances function properly, for example, ensure that oven doors seal properly. Keep cooking equipment clean; it will last longer and use less electricity if well maintained.

Follow the manufacturer's guidelines when it comes to cooking equipment. Learn how to use your oven's thermostat and timer in order to avoid the continual opening of the oven door while food is cooking. Look for energy star ratings and invest in quality equipment that is more energy efficient. Heavy based pots and pans last longer and retain heat more effectively and evenly, leading to less energy usage.

Heat equipment to the highest temperature needed - do not heat higher to pre-heat quicker or to cook food faster, it will only waste energy.

Draw up a cooking schedule. In this way, your oven can be filled to capacity and time and electricity can be saved.

Harness energy by placing a few bricks or terracotta tiles at the bottom shelf of the oven. The tiles and bricks retain heat which stabilizes the heat inside the oven when opening and closing the door.

When cooking, heat can be switched off early, and the pot/s will finish cooking the meal slowly.

Be sure pots and pans completely cover the stove plates.

Use a pressure cooker to conserve energy when cooking foods that usually take a long time.

Do not use the grilling compartment of an oven to make toast or use an oven to heat the kitchen - this is expensive and wastes energy.

Keep oven doors completely closed until food is cooked. Every time the door is opened, the oven temperature drops, and the heat must be replaced.

Allow free circulation of heat within the oven. Place pans and containers so that they do not touch each other or the sides of the oven.

An indoor fire can do more than heat up the room. Consider cooking a meal at the same time, using a cast iron pot around the edges of the fire. This is also great for toasting bread.

Consider slow cooking with an insulated hotbox. A hotbox is basically a super-insulated container into which a pot is placed, after initially heating up food. Using a hotbox you can boil rice, for example, for just a few minutes and then let the captured heat do the rest over the remainder of the day. A hotbox is cheap and simple to make, using a cardboard box and insulating materials such as towels, paper, straw and/or old bedding.



About the author

Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.

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