Submitted by: Alex Duthie
The price of electricity and gas is rising, and with the recession still in full swing, people will be attempting to stretch every last penny from their wages. With this post I will be giving a list of tips (some more obvious than others) on how to use your cooker more efficiently, and whilst some of my advice can be used by all to reduce their bills, most of it will only appeal to those who have relatively new cookers.
1. Use a minute minder when cooking; using one means that you can turn your mind to other things and not fret about burning both your dinner and a hole in your pocket.
2. One step further would be to get an oven with a programmable timer. These enable users to set specific times for the oven to turn off and on, again helping prevent your dinner from being burnt and energy being wasted.
3. Another rather simple piece of advice to follow is to only open your oven door when essential. Leaving the door open for 5 seconds can mean you lose about 10 C (25 F).
4. Continuing on from that last point, make sure that your oven door is clean and that you can see through it, then you will only have to open it when you take out your food.
5. Do not pre-heat your oven unless the recipe calls for it, you will have wasted all the energy that it takes to get up to the heat wanted.
6. Double ovens are another easy way to reduce your cooking costs. Having two different sized cavities enables you to cut down your energy usage depending on what you are cooking.
7. The different ways that your oven is cleaned also adds to your energy bill. Pyrolytic cleaning (a setting on the cooker that heats the oven up to 500 C to kill any germs) is less time consuming, but it uses between 2.4 – 6 kWh per cycle, whereas on average, an A energy efficiency rated oven uses 0.9 kWh per use.
8. Instead, a great alternative is to get a cooker which uses catalytic oven liners (where the oven absorbs grease and breaks it down). These can last for the lifetime of the oven, and use the heat from normal usage to clean.
9. Turning off your oven and hobs a few minutes earlier than you normally would, can also save you money. As long as the oven door stays closed and pan lids stay on, enough heat is kept in to finish off the cooking.
10. To add to that last point, always make sure to keep the lid on any pans that you are cooking with. Doing so can increase cooking times by up to 1/3.
11. Use a kettle to boil any water, and then transfer it to the pan, this is faster and more energy efficient than heating it up on the hob.
12. When cooking on a hob, use the smallest amount of water necessary, this will speed up the cooking process.
13. Alternatively, if you are cooking vegetables using a hob, get a steamer with a tier system. You can then use these different tiers to cook multiple pans worth of food on one hob.
14. Always use the right hob for the right pan, if the hob is too big energy will be wasted, if the pan is too big it will take longer to cook.
About the Author: Alex Duthie works for
the United Kingdom’s largest online kitchen appliances retailer