The busy holiday season is here, and that means quite a bit of cooking going on throughout the area.
As you begin preparing your favorite holiday menu, we offer you these energy-saving tips for the kitchen:
- Use pans that fit the surface units on the range to avoid wasting heat. Use tight-fitting lids on pans to reduce cooking time.
- When baking, plan to make the most efficient use of the heat. Cook a complete meal by choosing foods that cook at the same temperature.
- In surface cooking, bring foods to a boil on high, then switch to the lowest heat that will keep the liquid simmering. The lower heat setting will save electricity.
- Keep the oven door closed when baking. Opening the door causes heat loss and extends cooking time.
- Reduce the cooking time for frozen meats by thawing them properly before cooking.
- When you’re through cooking, make sure all units are turned off.
- Use smaller appliances when possible for cooking; they are more efficient for some cooking chores.
- Make sure the refrigerator is airtight. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Refrigerators account for over 20 percent of the energy used in the home.
- Use a thermometer to assist you in attaining a temperature setting of between 35 and 40 degrees, which is considered best for refrigerators. Settings below these temperatures for extended periods could be a waste of electricity and cause unnecessary wear on the appliance.
- Try to develop the habit of opening the refrigerator or freezer door only when it’s really necessary, then take out as many items as you can at one time to save on your energy costs.
- Run the dishwasher only when you have a full load. Don’t leave the water running when washing dishes by hand.
- Leave the kitchen exhaust fan on for just a few minutes after you finish cooking to remove food odors and excess heat. Don’t leave it on too long, or you’ll remove cooled or heated air from your home.
These tips from SWEPCO can help you use electricity more efficiently in the kitchen during the holiday season and throughout the year.