We’re all used to the comfort of labour saving appliances in the kitchen to help with daily household chores. From hobs to microwaves, fridge freezers and dishwashers, who would want to be without these kitchen essentials? That said, they do eat up a lot of electricity, don’t they?
When utility bills only ever seem to go up and natural resources are scarce, shouldn’t we all be a bit more mindful and do our bit to save on gas and electricity wherever possible? The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference. A few clever kitchen tricks and you could save yourself a pretty penny on your electricity bills.
Here are 10 easy energy saving tips that you may not have thought of:
1. Pressure Cooker
Instead of roasting your joint in the oven, why not use a pressure cooker? Rediscover Mum’s old cookware favourite and cut the cooking time by half, then enjoy tender, succulent meat that just falls off the bone.
2. Steaming Vegetables
There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that steaming vegetables is healthier than boiling. What’s more, if you use a multi-tiered steamer you can prepare two or three lots of veg on the same hob ring. Genius!
3. Cast Iron Saucepans
Cook with cast iron saucepans if you can. They retain heat more efficiently than aluminium or stainless steel pans, so you can keep the hob temperature lower. And did you know that you can actually boost your iron intake from eating food cooked in cast iron cookware?
4. Ovenproof Glass
If you’re going to use the oven, you might like to know that ovenproof glass and ceramic cookware dishes are most heat efficient to use, meaning you can set the oven to a lower temperature.
5. Stainless Steel Skewers
Here’s a clever trick that will help speed up the oven cooking process even further. Get some stainless steel skewers and insert them into your lamb roast, or baked potatoes, or cakes. Who knew?
6. Batch Cooking
You may as well make the most of the oven while it’s on and save time as well as energy. Have you considered batch baking? Or roasting two chickens at once – one for today and one to keep in the fridge to have later in the week?
7. Oven Central Heating
When you’ve finished cooking, baking or roasting in the oven, switch it off but leave the door open. At no extra cost to you, why not let the heat warm the kitchen as well as the cockles of your heart?
8. Cool Down Hot Food First
Don’t put your hot food straight in the fridge or freezer – wait for it to cool down first so that the fridge doesn’t have to work so hard. And were you aware that you should never place your fridge in direct sunlight or next to your hob or oven?
9. Loads of Cool Washing
When it comes to doing the laundry, a full wash load is always more efficient than doing lots of little loads, so think weekly rather than daily. Interestingly, according to British Gas, you can save 1/3 by setting your washing machine to 30°C rather than at 40°C, so it really pays to keep the temperature down.
10. Rack Dry Your Washing
Drying your washing on radiators is not a good idea, as this will make your boiler have to work harder – try and hang the laundry outside if you can, or get an inexpensive clothes drying rack. Tumble dryers, in case you’re wondering, are very energy intensive.