Five ways to reduce energy whilst cooking

Reducing waste in the kitchen isn’t just about saving food; the energy that it takes to cook our food also contributes to our environmental foodprint.

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If you can, swap to a renewable energy tariff as burning fossil fuels is the number one cause of climate change. The best way to save energy, besides reducing waste, is by cooking more efficiently, but before we all rush out and buy the latest airfryer or top of the range, super energy efficient oven, there are simpler more cost-effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of your kitchen.

Being more aware of cooking processes can significantly reduce the amount of energy we use and reduce our energy bills at the same time.

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1. Eat raw

A balance of raw and cooked food is a nutritious way to eat, so swap out a cooked element of your meal for a raw dish or salad. Save any leftover potatoes for a cold potato salad and any leftover pasta or rice can be turned into a side dish by adding other seasonal ingredients and herbs.

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2. Favour the stove top

A microwave is generally the most efficient way to heat up and cook food but not always the easiest or most practical if you are cooking various elements. In that case, favour the stove top over the oven and use the right sized pot with a lid. You can also turn down the level of the ring or burner once up to temperature as most dishes need to simmer rather than boil.

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3. Use a pressure cooker and slow cooker

If possible, invest in a pressure cooker and slow cooker which use less energy. According to USwitch, slow cookers use just a little more energy than a traditional light bulb, and have the benefit of cooking slowly throughout the day while you’re at work or when you need to get on with other things.

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4. Batch cook

Batch cook dishes and store in the fridge or freezer. Dishes such as a chilli can be batch cooked easily, as can seasonal soups, making them a great way of using up your veg. And you can make use of the microwave to heat them up. Try doubling up and batch cooking every time you cook to save time and money.

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5. Use your oven wisely

When using the oven, make sure it is full and avoid opening it unnecessarily. Each time you open the oven door, it loses heat and needs more energy to bring it back to temperature. On a similar note, try to keep the oven door clean so you can look in, rather than having to open it to see how your food is doing.

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