When baking in the kitchen we don’t realise how much energy we in fact lose, reducing these losses can translate to significant cost savings on your energy bill.
Lets start with your oven. Just because your recipe may say preheat the oven, this doesn’t mean you need to do it before you are ready. Please take into account that opening the door to check on your food can lead to several degrees heat loss. In order to reduce the need to open the oven door ensure that your oven window is clean, this way you can easily see the progress of your baked goods inside.
When baking a loaf of bread in an electric oven it uses around 1.6kWh per use and a gas oven uses around 1.5kWh per use. In order to use your oven more efficiently it can be effective to cook in batches or ensure that when baking certain foods it coincides with other dishes such as cakes, roasts and pies. In order not to waste any food you can always freeze your leftovers or your extra breads and cakes and enjoy at a later date. Even if your separate dishes require different temperatures adjust the oven to the lower temperature, you will save more energy cooking your loaves for longer as opposed to re heating the oven from cold.
Equally if you turn off your oven several minutes before removing food and leave the door open, this allows the residual heat to complete the cooking time. This is a good tip for winter as it allows the produced heat to warm your kitchen.
Another major energy loss in the kitchen is through heating water. When boiling a kettle to make a cup of tea or coffee to enjoy with a slice of cake, try and use the amount of water you need for your desired amount of cups. Heating unnecessary water uses a lot more energy than you expect, 40% of us boil the kettle at least four times a day but the UK could save £68 million per year if we only boiled what we actually needed. When cooking vegetables there is no need to overfill your pans and try to keep the lid on, this not just saves energy but can decrease cooking time.
When baking there are certain appliances and utensils you could use. For example a food processor will do many jobs for you, it chops, blends and whisks but in doing so wastes unnecessary electricity and energy compared to the traditional manual methods. Instead of combining your cake mixture in a food processor or using an electric whisk, do it by hand.
Being energy efficient in the kitchen can not only reduce costs but also save you money.