With the Great British Bake Off coming back on our screens soon, our inner star baker will be itching to get in the kitchen. Watching endless cookery programmes never seems to bore us and with Masterchef, Saturday Kitchen and Come Dine With Me all leaving us hungry and inspired to try out our culinary skills, we need to be sure that we are not doubling our energy bills with all the added oven time.
The home efficiency specialists at Zenith Home offer some simple tips to help save money by being more energy efficient. Making these small changes will make sure that when you are in the kitchen, your energy bills won’t soar!
- Defrost food thoroughly before you start cooking to reduce your overall cooking time and try to keep oven pre-heating to a minimum. If you put frozen items in the fridge to defrost, this reduces the amount of energy it needs to use to maintain its low temperature.
- Cook clean, eat clean.The cleaner the surface, the more efficiently it can transfer heat, for both heating and cooling. The less liquid and fat you use also reduces cooking time as it is quicker to heat.
- Make sure you use the correct sized pan for the flame.You will need the pan to cover the whole flame, otherwise heat will be lost. For example, if you have a 6-inch pan, use the 6-inch heating element. If you can see the flame from the sides of the pan then you need a bigger pan!
- Cover pans while cooking to prevent heat loss. Keep the lid on to trap heat.
- Use the microwave oven where possible as this is the most energy-efficient cooking method, followed by the hob and lastly the oven. Remember to switch off your microwave at the wall so it isn’t left using electricity to power its clock.
- Try one-pot cooking, you can make delicious stews, soups and other great meals by using just one pot which considerably reduces the amount of energy consumption compared to using multiple cooking methods. And if you can, make more than you need so you can reduce cooking time throughout the week by heating up any left overs.
- Using a steamer to cook vegetables will help to save energy as the layered compartments will cook more while using only one pot or one flame.
- Alternative cookers use less energy, try a solar box cooker or a pressure cooker as they are a more energy-efficient option than the traditional oven. Slow cookers are a great way to save energy too and you can get on with other things whilst your dinner cooks throughout the day.
- If you are using the oven try to stagger pans and dishes and avoid using aluminium foil on the racks as this stops air flowing. Try to buy an oven with a window so that you don’t keep peeking in while you’re cooking as this wastes a lot of heat.
- Don’t put warm food in the fridge. If you have made enough food to cover a couple of days, make sure you let it sit on the side to cool to room temperate and then put it in the fridge as if takes extra energy to cool it.
These fantastic tips are brought to you by www.zenithhome.co.uk.