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Cooking

  • Use pots and pans with flat bottoms that are the same size as the burners. This prevents heat from escaping.
  • Cook with small appliances like a toaster oven or electric skillet. On average, they use half the energy of a full-size oven.
  • If you use a glass or ceramic pan, set the oven 25 degrees lower since glass and ceramic retain heat. Also, heavy gauge, flat, smooth-bottom metal pans with straight sides and tight-fitting lids allow you to cook with less energy.
  • Covered pots or pans will boil or steam faster so you can cook at a lower temperature.
  • Don’t peek into the oven. Each time the door is opened, the temperature drops 25 to 50 degrees.
  • Turn off the surface element or oven a few minutes before cooking time is up. Electric stoves stay hot for a few minutes after they’re turned off.
  • Don’t line oven racks with foil. It blocks heat flow and makes the oven work harder to cook food.
  • When cooking in your oven, cook as many dishes as possible at one time. Foods with cooking temperatures within 25 degrees can be cooked simultaneously at the same temperature.
  • Prepare double portions of food, such as stews, soups and other foods that need long cooking times, and freeze half for another meal. It takes less energy to reheat food than to cook it.
  • Cook outdoors, use a microwave oven or prepare cold meals to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding moisture to the air. Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook food in about one-fourth the time.
  • Don't preheat your oven longer than necessary. Ten minutes is sufficient. (And it's not necessary to preheat if you're roasting, broiling or preparing foods with a cooking time of over an hour.)
  • Clean your cooking equipment regularly as specified by the manufacturer. Also, take advantage of residual heat by using the self-cleaning feature in your oven right after you have used the oven for cooking.
  • Make sure reflector pans beneath the stove’s heating elements are bright and clean. They reflect heat onto the bottom of the cookware.
  • Check oven doors for a tight fit, and ensure gaskets are in good condition. Adjust and/or replace door seals and gaskets as necessary.