Conserving Energy While Cooking

You wouldn’t think that you could save much money by altering the way you cook, but every little thing you do adds up. Making a few easy changes can lower your gas or electric bill.

  • Your stove top has different size burners. Use the burner that fits your pan. Putting a small pan on a larger burner wastes energy. By the same token, putting a large pan on a small burner means the heat won’t circulate as well, and cooking times will be longer.
  • Use the correct size pan for the item you are cooking, so that you are not heating up more than is necessary.
  • Use the lid, at least when first heating up your food. Even if you’re only heating water, it will take less time to boil.
  • When boiling water for coffee or tea, measure the amount of water you need beforehand.
  • If you have a choice, use ceramic or glass dishes. They conduct heat better, and you can a use a lower oven temperature.
  • Thaw meat in the refrigerator ahead of time instead of thawing it in the oven.
  • If you’re planning on cleaning your self-cleaning oven, do it after you’ve been using your oven for cooking so it will already be partially heated up.
  • Don’t preheat your oven. It’s usually not necessary unless you’re baking.
  • Try turning off your oven 10 minutes early when doing cooking other than baking. It retains the heat, and will keep cooking during that time.
  • Keep the oven door closed and the lids on whenever possible to keep heat from escaping.
  • Try to plan one dish meals, or meals in which all courses can be cooked together in the oven at the same time.
  • Throw out pans that are warped on the bottom, as they don’t distribute heat evenly.
  • Keep your oven and stove top clean for maximum efficiency.
  • Use other small appliances instead of your kitchen stove when possible. Toaster ovens, microwaves, crock pots and electric kettles all use less energy.