Saving energy in the kitchen is about so much more than making sure the fridge door is closed after you grab one more piece of cheese and turning off the lights before you go to bed. With a few simple kitchen hacks, you can cut down on energy usage, and even save a few dollarydoos on your next bill.
1. Use the right-sized pot
If you’re heating up leftovers for lunch or cooking dinner for two, you probably don’t need to do it in your Le Creusset casserole. Instead, use the smallest pan possible. It’ll cook more quickly and use less energy.
2. Put a lid on it
On your pots, that is. Popping a lid on your curries, stews, sauces, and boiling water means you can cook them on a lower heat, plus they’ll cook faster. Unless the recipe states otherwise, it’s fine to cover dishes while you’re cooking. Also, that rule you’ve heard about not covering pasta? Not true. Put a lid on that too.
3. Match the pot to the right burner
We all have a favourite burner on the stove, but that doesn’t mean you should use it for ALL your cooking. Using a tiny saucepan to heat up some milk for your morning hot chocolate? Pop it on that tiny burner at the back. Cooking a stir fry in a great big wok? Pop that one on your biggest burner. Matching your pots to the right burner means that they’ll heat more efficiently, and you won’t have those precious flames escaping out the sides (and burning your pans).
4. Boil just the right amount of water
There’s no need to completely fill your kettle with water unless you’re making three litres of tea. If you’ve got a hankering for a cuppa, boil a little more than a cup (to account for condensation and evaporation) – you’ll get a tea in your hands lickety-split and, yup, save energy while you’re at it.
5. Add more stir-fries to your cooking repertoire
The great thing about stir-fries is that they’re easy, healthy, yum and they cook quickly. Throw in meat and veggies that take longer to cook first, then chuck in broccoli, snow peas, cabbage, whatever takes your fancy, give it a quick fry on a high heat, and voila – a speedy, healthy, energy-efficient dinner.
6. HODOR! (The oven door, that is)
As tempting as it might be, don’t keep opening the oven door to check on your cake, roast chook, or cheesy lasagne. Do as Hodor says and HODOR that door shut. The more times the door is opened, the more heat escapes, the harder the oven has to work to get the temperature back up, and the longer things take to cook.
7. Turn it off
The recipe says to cook your dish for 45 minutes? Turn off your oven or hob a few minutes early. The residual heat will keep it cooking.
8. Defrost in the fridge
Got some snags in the freezer that you want for dinner tomorrow night? Take them out now and defrost them overnight in the fridge. While it can be super convenient to whack frozen foods in the microwave to defrost, you can save on your bills by doing it in the fridge instead.
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