Energy saving tips for the Kitchen!

I'm sure it will not be a surprise to anyone if I tell you that the kitchen uses up more energy then any other room in the house.

Most of today's focus is on 'Green-homes' worldwide, here is a list of tips that will trim some of the uses down, savings for both money and energy.

General tips!

* * Keep appliances, small and large clean and in good repair or working order.

  • Non-clean appliances will smoke (obviously) messing up your air.
  • It takes more energy to heat up an oven with an inch of caked on mess in the bottom
  • Old appliances also use up more energy. i.e. To run a fridge that's more then 18-20 years old (almost empty beer fridges in every second garage) you can use up over $250 worth of hydro per year.

* * Whenever possible instead of heating up the oven use small appliances; items such as toaster oven, small Microwave, electric fry-pan, slow cooker whenever possible.

  • Obviously small appliances will use up less energy, especially for smaller amount of foods.

* * Avoid recipes that require both surface and oven elements.

* * Prepare foods ahead if energy can be saved.

  • Soak beans, lentils etc. on the counter overnight
  • Cook meat, vegetable dishes and dessert together.

* * Finish cooking foods with 'stored' heat. Turn off electricity several minutes before end of cooking time.

  • A roast needs to sit for a good 10 minutes after its done so you can turn off the oven 15-18 minutes before the estimated finished time---the roast will still cook for 5-8 minutes then slightly open the oven door and it can rest for the extra ten out of the way in the oven.

* * Plan your meals around the seasons.

  • In the hot summer plan on recipes that need shorter cooking periods. First you're heating up the house by cooking lengthy meals then you need to use the air conditioner to cool the house down again. (salads and BBQ, subs, quick quiches etc.)
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast in a cold spell prepare a few days worth of meals ahead of time that can be frozen, de-frosted and just reheated.
  • Defrost foods in the fridge rather cook from frozen this will save a lot of energy.
  • Winter foods such as stews, roasts etc. are just perfect when done in a slow-cooker. Using an oven for two hours uses up more energy then using a slow-cooker for a full day. Slow-cooker bonus, you can add your carrots and potatoes with the roast and it's all done when you get home from work.
  • In the winter months leave the oven door slightly open after usage. The heat can be used to warm up the home.

* * Keep your freezer full at all times.

  • Keeping a freezer well stocked saves money in the long run too as all items frozen keep each other cold too.
  • A full freezer also also keeps freezer burn from foods longer, less air circulation and less temperature variations.

* * Food in fridges should be kept away from  the sides and rear so that a constant good air circulation is possible.

  • With air being able to circulate around individual food items the motor doesn't need to come on as often to keep things cold thus saving energy.
  • Also to retrieve items from an overcrowded fridge makes it harder to find wanted items therefore the door is open that much longer thus using more energy.

Stove top!

* * Choose cooking methods that take less then 1 hour or use only one element. 

  • Stir-fry
  • One-dish-meals

* * Use cookware made with the following features:

  • Metal heavy enough to conduct heat evenly
  • Flat bottoms
  • Straight sides
  • Tight fitting lids

* * Try to keep the lid on as long as possible.

  • This is obvious, keeping the lid on keeps in the heat and steam therefore cooking faster and less energy is used.
  • For the same reason also try to use a saucepan or pot that's just the right size, too large too much space etc...

* * Choose saucepans and pots to fit the element.

  • If they extend more than an inch beyond the heated area, energy is wasted.

* * Cook food in the smallest amount of water possible.

  • Once the water comes to a boil, lower the temperature a couple of degrees, higher heat will not cook food any faster.

* * Use the element over the oven vent as a food warmer.

  • There is enough heat coming up from the oven vent to heat up a left over vegetable.
  • Place day-old dinner rolls or buttered garlic bread over vent for 10 minutes in a brown paper bag and they will taste almost freshly baked.


Oven.

* * Try not to preheat your oven if at all possible unless the broiler element comes on during the preheating cycle. This could burn the surface of the food.

* * Utilize all the oven space by baking the entire meal.

  • Main dish, vegetables and dessert can all be done by choosing foods which cook at the same temperature or can be cooked at the same temp but different lengths of time such as casseroles, vegetables, potatoes, muffins etc.

* * Prepare and bake larger quatities of food.

  • Baking a whole chicken at once then using the chicken breast for tonight's dinner and the rest of the chicken for tomorrow's chicken tetrazzini. (for food safety remove meat from bones before saving it in the fridge)
  • Freeze the extras for great lunches or home made TV dinners.

* * Thaw foods in the refrigerator before cooking.

  • Some foods let you cook it right from frozen state but it will take less energy to cook, bake or broil if its been de-frosted in the fridge before hand.

* * Use bake-wear that absorbs and retains heat.

  • Glass or pyrex wear.
  • Dark colored metal.

* * Allow enough space between dishes to permit good air-circulation.
* * Only open oven door when absolutely necessary.

  • Temperature can drop anywhere from 5 to 20 degrees each time it's opened.

* * Never use the oven for small items such as toasting bread , heating rolls or baking just one lone dish.
* * Don't set temperature control any higher then required.

  • Everything needs a certain amount of time to cook or bake 5 to 10 degrees lower temps will not slow down the cooking process anymore then 2-3 minutes but it will significantly save on energy. You could save anywhere to 6-7 dollars a year.

* * Use retained stored heat to -

  • Bake individual meringues overnight.
  • Make home made croutons by cubing stale bread placing them onto a cookie sheet sprinkling with olive oil and garlic powder.
  • Dry herbs by placing them onto a paper towel on a cookie sheet, wait for oven to be less then 200 degrees otherwise the herbs will cook instead of dry.
  • Warm rolls and desserts.
  • Warm plates. While the roast is taking that 10 minute rest on the counter before being carved the plates can get nice and toasty warm. (handle with care)
  • It's also great to use the left-over heat to dry the kid's dough art projects.


By following these steps you will be able to save significantly on your energy bill. Each item individually will save only a little amount but we all know; a lot of small will accumulate to a big.

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Comments 33 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Danareva, I used to be nosey too all the time, wanting to know how things are progressing in the oven... It took a while to break the habit.

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Danareva profile image

Danareva 4 years ago from Miami

This helps me a lot...I have a bad habit of obsessively opening the oven door! Thanks for a helpful hub, it will be useful when I make my next paella!


hi 5 years ago

this is awsome for school with energy tips thanks sossosososososososososososososososososososososoososososososomuchmuchmuchmuchcmucncmcucn


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

rainmist, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


rainmist profile image

rainmist 5 years ago from Las Vegas

good hub,like it very much


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for reading and commenting ochiboy84.

regards Zsuzsy


ochiboy84 profile image

ochiboy84 5 years ago

This was a really fantastic post that I really do appreciate. This is something that is really amazing and interesting to me to say the least.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

The_Idea_Gal, thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


The_Idea_Gal 5 years ago

Great kitchen energy tips - lots of good info!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Mandeeadair, thanks for stopping by and for commenting. kindest regards Zsuzsy


Mandeeadair profile image

Mandeeadair 5 years ago from California

Great tips, thank you! I love your writing. :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

lindsays5624 thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


lindsays5624 profile image

lindsays5624 5 years ago

Some very practical ideas here I like them, especially the points about using the appliances sensibly in the kitchen. I have got an aga so we have converted to wood from gas and I only have it turned on in the winter. Otherwise Agas are very uneconomical.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Peg, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. My slow cooker is a piece of equipment that is in constant use too.

regards Zsuzsy


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

These are such wonderful ideas for conserving energy. Everyone can cut costs by using even a few of these. Thanks ZsuzsyBee for sharing your secrets.

I love slow cooking a roast in the crock pot - slow cooker. And it keeps from heating up the whole kitchen needlessly. Comes out really tender too.

Cheers! and Thanks again for the energy saving ideas.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you stars439 for coming be and commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very useful hub. Thank you for all the good advice. GBY Dear Heart.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Nikipa so glad you came by for a visit. Thanks for the comment to.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


nikipa profile image

nikipa 6 years ago from Eastern Europe

Zsuzsy, thank you for sharing with us these nice tips!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Dolores, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. Using the big stove in the winter at least the heat it makes doesn't go to waste but in the summer....

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

What a lot of great ideas, lots of times those little things really add up. We used to have one of those little apartment stoves (when we lived in a little apartment) and it did the job perffectly. I roasted a 23 pound turkey in it, baked Christmans cookies, and pizza. There is really no reason (for me) to have one of those huge stoves and ovens. It drives me crazy to have to heat up that whole big space.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

C.S. always glad when you pop in for a visit. As I always say "many small will amass to a big". If we all work together we will be able to reverse all the damage the past few generations have caused.

take care regards Zsuzsy


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

Zsuzsy,

glad you put these tips in to writing to share. Each measure we each take helps the entire population....good job


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

CGull thanks for taking a look and for commenting. I always say a lot of little savings will amass to a big one. And saving energy is one of the most important things we can do for our over-stressed world.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

Nice tips Zsuzy, I have bookmarked it, everyone should read it. We waste so much energy for nothing.

* Finish cooking foods with 'stored' heat. Turn off electricity several minutes before end of cooking time.

I try to do this when boiling water in Kettle, eggs and pancakes in the end.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Raven, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards


Raven King profile image

Raven King 7 years ago from Cabin Fever

Hi Zsuzsy Bee. Good informative hub!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Sally always glad when you come over for a visit. Our Hydro company had a drive last fall offering free pick up for old fridges. The dollar amount of savings by getting rid of the old fridge is true.

The appliances being built now too have more energy saving features then before.

Hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Ivorwen thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I use my toaster oven almost everytime when I need to reheat leftovers. It makes so much sense.

regards Zsuzsy


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Smart tips, Zsuzsy. I can attest from personal experience that replacing your old appliances with the newer energy-saving models can save a bundle. My electric bill went down and stayed down by nearly 15 percent when I replaced my stove and refrigerator two years ago. In another 6 months, the stove will have paid for itself in energy savings. Thumbs up!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Being frugal, I have long used most of these tips; however, I had never considered using the oven vent to warm bread. I really like that idea. Thanks!

My husband thought I was crazy when I insisted on having a toaster oven for reheating leftovers, when we were first married, but he soon found out how convenient it was. Now, with a family of seven, thinking ahead and using the oven to the utmost is imperative, just to get them fed.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Jerilee! Always glad when you come for a visit. Hope you're well regards Zsuzsy


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

I enjoyed some of these tips that I probably knew but had gotten lazy and forgotten. Great hub!

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