If you are trying to reduce the amount of power that you use in your kitchen, you’ve probably already looked at the big power drains like the refrigerator and washing machine. Did you know, however, that using energy efficient cookware can save a significant amount of power? Here are some tips on how to use your cookware to its best effect to keep your energy usage at a minimum.
Choose the Right Cookware for the Job
By selecting the right cookware for each meal that you cook, you can prevent unnecessary energy waste while you’re cooking. Some of the things to consider include:
- Size. If you are using a larger pot than you need, you will be wasting energy to heat a lot of empty space. Use cookware that is appropriate for the meal you are making.
- Materials. Some materials, such as cast iron, retain heat better than others. Others, such as copper, reach the cooking point more quickly with less energy. Select the cookware you use based on the type of meal you are making so that you have to apply as little energy as possible.
Maximize the Effect of Your Heat
When cooking on a stovetop, heat is transferred from the burners to the parts of the cookware that are touching the stove. The most efficient way of using energy to heat your stove is if as much of the pan as possible is touching as much of the burner as it can. There are two ways that you can maximize the heat that your oven is generating:
- The Shape of the Cookware. The most energy-efficient cookware has a flat or slightly convex bottom, which allows it to efficiently use the heat from the burner. Convex bottoms allow much heat to be lost.
- The Size of the Cookware Relative to the Burner. If your burner is larger than the pan, you are using energy to do nothing more than heat up the air surrounding the cookware. Smaller burners need less energy, so use them when you are cooking with smaller pans.
Energy-Efficient Cooking Techniques
Certain appliances and cooking techniques also allow you to save a large amount of energy with your cookware. Three examples include:
- Light Ovens. These ovens have all of the energy-saving properties of microwaves (which use 50% or less energy to heat food), but they can also brown and roast like a regular oven.
- Induction Cooking. Induction cookware uses magnetic forces to keep food hot while the outer surfaces stay cool. This is very energy-efficient because all of the heat goes exactly where it’s needed – into the food.
- Solar Cookers. Solar cookware uses the heat of the sun to power slow-cooking. The energy used is absolutely free and clean, making it a truly environmentally-friendly cooking method.
Being mindful of the ways that you use your cookware can help you save money on energy while also contributing to a healthier, more stable environment.