Energy Saving Advice for Holiday Cooking
by Kaymie Owen, CMP, Communications Manager
- Preheat with purpose
Five to eight minutes is ample time to reach your preferred oven temp. Remember, there is no need to preheat when broiling.
- Don’t peek
When cooking in your oven, use the oven window to check on food. Each time the oven door is opened, the interior temperature can drop by as much as 25 degrees. Also, remember your oven has different heat zones, the back of the oven is always the hottest spot so put dishes that need more heat in the back.
- Maximize your oven
Do you suffer from double oven envy? Stop it. You too can cook multiple dishes at once in one oven. Extend cooking times and cook dishes at lower temperatures. Check your recipes to see if the chef has specific oven temperature range settings for multiple dishes. This practice conserves energy and your piece of mind.
- Keep a lid on it
Use tightly fitted lids on pots and pans when cooking. This will allow you to lower the temperature settings, shorten cook times and cook more than one dish at a time.
- Go glass
Glass cooking pans are more heat efficient than metal and cook more evenly.
- Alternative Cooking
If the weather allows, try grilling some of your meal. Use the microwave instead of your regular oven, it draws less than half the power of your regular oven. Break out the crock pot.
- Is your refrigerator running efficiently?
Check the refrigerator and freezer doors to make sure they seal tightly. This will keep the cold air in and the warm air out. To test, close the refrigerator door on a dollar bill. If you can slip the bill out easily, you need to adjust your door or perhaps replace the entire gasket.
- Chill out dishes before storing in the frig
Allow hot foods or liquids to cool off before placing them in the refrigerator. The cooling-off period will not alter the flavor and cooled food will reduce the load on the refrigerator.
- People generate heat
If you expect a large group of people for dinner, lower the thermostat a degree or two before the guests arrive.