Top Energy Saving Cooking Tips

20. September 2022

[Translate to Englisch (UK):]

Our biggest energy use comes from cooking food so focusing on how we prepare and cook food to use less energy can make a meaningful difference to our energy consumption. Whether we need to save energy for budgetary reasons or we’re conscious of doing our bit for the planet there are some easy to make changes we can all try today. Here are some ways to get started.

What’s your single biggest cooking tip for energy saving?

At Kikkoman we recommend as much batch cooking as possible within the confines of your budget and freezer space. If you can cook food so you’re using both shelves of the oven at the same time this will save on your gas or electricity use. And if you have plenty of space in your freezer then it not only saves you money in energy use, but it saves you time too and means you have delicious home cooked meals at your convenience. So simple and effective.

Should I use my slow cooker more often to help with energy saving?

Slow cooking has come into its own in recent years. Designed not only for meal planning, but slow cooking can also save on energy too! Pop meat, veg and seasoning into the slow cooker in the morning and go about the day in the knowledge that dinner is sorted. And in addition, compared to an average electric oven it is cheaper to use, even over an eight-hour period.
Give this easy Slow Cooker Soy-Braised Chicken a try!

Is using a microwave to re-heat food good for energy saving?

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. If you have small amounts of food to heat up, it’s lots more efficient to use a microwave then heating the oven or turning on the hob.

Should I boil the kettle over using the hob to heat water?

A very good tip when cooking vegetables is to use the kettle to boil the water, rather than boiling water on the hob. It takes far less time and uses less energy. Also, it sounds obvious but if you’re making a cuppa just for yourself or for a couple of people don’t fill the kettle right up. Get into the habit of only boiling the amount of water that you need at the time.

How can I use my traditional oven less to save on gas and electric?

It’s a good idea to plan your meals for the week ahead. Be conscious of the length of time a dish takes to cook in a traditional oven. You can’t always choose quick cook meals, but you can introduce more into your meal planning. So, when choosing your meals ahead try for at least half that don’t use a traditional oven.
Stir fries are brilliant as they can be made in a flash on the hob, like this prawn and vegetable stir fry noodles which is cooked in 10 minutes!

Should I dust off my steamer to save money on energy?

Absolutely! Adding a steamer saves bags of energy and keeps valuable nutrients in so start using your steamer routinely. Don’t forget to keep the lid on it to seal in the heat.

What other simple tips can I introduce to my cooking to save on energy costs?

Here are a few quick and easy things to try and keep energy bills down:

  • Don’t use energy to defrost food – take things out of the freezer in good time and defrost in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Use the correct cookware - sounds obvious but don’t heat a large saucepan full of water to cook vegetables that just cover the bottom.
  • Keep the lid on your cookware – so much heat is lost if you don’t use the lids to seal in the heat. Not only will it cook quicker but will seal in the flavour too!
  • Switch the oven off early – set your oven timer to about 10 minutes and switch off the oven but leave the food in to finish cooking. Generally, ovens will keep their heat for up to 10 mins after switching off and the same applies to electric hobs. Make sure you check that the food is cooked through before you serve.
  • Use the second shelf of the oven when you can – maximise the oven when it’s on by routinely using the second shelf of the oven as well as the top shelf. So, whether you cook a pudding or another savoury dish, take advantage as the whole oven is hot anyway and a good way to save on energy.

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