Cooking and conserving in the kitchen

I cook some meal from scratch nearly every day with a few exceptions when I am working very late and have no intention even having a cooked meal at that time of the day.

While cooking your daily meals there are also some very simple ways to cook up some conservation too not over-consuming energy and resources. At first glance it may not seem like much, but it adds up over time and you have also cooked up some conservation.

Here are some simple tips to dome some conservation in the kitchen:

Do not bother preheating the oven – if you are roasting, broiling or baking for an hour or more, do not preheat. It simply is not necessary and is a waste of energy. You can also shut off the oven 5 minutes before your cook time is complete… the oven still holds the heat and keeps on cooking.

If you use electric stove top then the same is true for the hobs. Electric hobs can be turned off several minutes before you want to finish cooking as they carry on cooking even if turned off.

Another good way is to change from using the oven for some cooking of oven dishes to using a crock pot, a so-called slow cooker, and also, if you bake your own bread, and you definitely should, use a bread machine instead of the oven. It is cheaper by miles.

Use the right size pots and pans – small pots and pans on large burners or electric hobs waste energy and resources.

Use lids: A covered pot of water reaches boiling point much quicker than one that is not covered. And crank it up (as long as the flames aren’t escaping the sides). Water does not need to slowly reach a boil, so get it to a rolling boil fast.

Use the microwave: Whenever the microwave can be used for cooking or to do the early steps, then use it. Microwaves use 4-5 times less energy than does your oven and despite many concerns microwave ovens are safe. It is not dangerous nuclear radiation but the same that is used on microwave transmission antennas.

Prepare only what you need (unless you are cooking for a day or more ahead as well): While cooking up a tremendous batch of whatever you are serving may sound like a good idea at the time but if it is not actually all getting eaten it will end up in the garbage and that means the food and the resources to cook it have all been wasted.

With a little forethought you can cook great meals and at the same time conserve energy in the kitchen.

© 2010