How can I reduce electricity wastage in the kitchen?

Our “how can I reduce this?” questions are often about how to reduce physical waste but it’s important to stop wasting power too – and I’ll like to hear your tips & helpful hints on this: how can I reduce electricity wastage in the kitchen?

Everyone knows not to boil too much water in the kettle – just what’s needed – and most people know to keep their fridge coils free from dust to make them more efficient. We’ve also touched on this topic in the past when talking about using ovens efficiently when baking and about reducing energy usage in the house in general – and we’ve had some great advice. For example:

  • Bellen, Rob and chicgeek all recommended using spare oven space to bake potatoes or other root veg for future use; Bellen also suggested roast chicken parts for lunches & chicgeek stews.
  • damnthebroccoli suggested planning baking to coincide with other run-of-the-mill oven usage so it’s only on once.
  • Bobbie urged us to put lids on a pot, use crock pots/slow cookers and in winter, open the oven door after baking so the warm air escapes into the house rather than being “extracted” outside.
  • kittykat advocated using “ice boxes” in the winter – allowing you to turn off your fridge for weeks at a time.
  • And Alice has said that if she does accidentally boil a bit too much water, she puts it in a thermos flask to keep it warm so it doesn’t require as much energy to boil again.

All great ideas – do you have anything else to add?

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6 Responses to “How can I reduce electricity wastage in the kitchen?”

  1. Dani says:

    If you’re cooking dinner and it’s ready, but the family isn’t, put the food in a hot box / hay box instead of leaving it simmering on the stove.

    Also, whenever I roasted a chicken for dinner (now I always cook them in my solar oven – I haven’t used my electric oven for about 8 months) I would always cook two – one would be had as a cold meal / base for soup on another night.

  2. Alice says:

    “most people know to keep their fridge coils free from dust to make them more efficient”

    Ooh, I didn’t! I imagine the cat probably cleans the back of the fridge a bit when she’s looking for mice back there, but I expect she can’t reach up very high. I’ll have to either get her a long handled brush or do it myself.

    Also this is the only place I’ve ever seen anyone else mention a really wasteful habit that I’m trying to break. When I’m giving anything a quick rinse for a few seconds, I often automatically use the hot tap, I guess because I think of it as the “cleaning stuff” tap.

    My boiler responds by beginning to send hot water through the pipes, but it doesn’t reach the tap in just those few seconds so the thing gets rinsed in cold water and the heating energy is wasted just sitting in the pipes.

    I really need to re-train myself to use the cold tap if I’m only going to run it for a few seconds!

  3. Melinda says:

    As an addition to the suggestion for an icebox, we bring out the cooler and fill it with milk and keep it on the back porch. We feel freer to buy more milk and juice tostockpile in the winter as long as the weather helps us take care of it. The cooler regulates the temperature. I think sometimes it keeps things warmer than it is outside. It also nicely cools the chicken stock and beans that were in the slow cooker.

  4. bookstorebabe says:

    It helps to keep the refrigerator and freezer fuller, too. For some reason that’s more energy efficient.
    I always keep a jug or pitcher of plain water in the refrigerator-if I want a cool refreshing drink when it’s hot outside, it’s the perfect temperature. I don’t need to add ice.
    I add lots of vegetables to my spagetti sauce-carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, what have you-and I either saute them first, or cook them in a tiny amount of liquid in the microwave, before adding them to the sauce. If I just dump them in without doing that, the sauce takes twice as long to cook before the veggies are tender.
    Same thing when I make bean soup-I saute the diced celery, carrot, and onion before I add all the rest and let it simmer.
    Saves time cooking and saves a bit of energy.
    Hmm…and if one needs to thaw something out for supper, try to remember to let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours, instead of trying to rapidly thaw it in the microwave? Not always possible if plans change suddenly, but every little bit helps.
    And using the residual heat from the. oven to toast bread for making breadcrumbs I’ve tried to do that to dry apples, since I don’t have a dehydrator, but gave up, as the apples tend to stick to the baking sheet. Maybe if I tried a metal cooling rack instead…hmm…

  5. Cindy says:

    Unplug you appliances when you’re not using them. When they’re plugged in, they still draw electricity. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when you have a toaster, microwave, coffee maker, blender…it adds up!

  6. Su says:

    Not really a ‘reduce your electricity consumption’ more a ‘make the most use of it’. If you have an electric cooker, the rings stay warm for a very long time after switching off, so utilise this by turning the ring off earlier, allowing the residual heat to continue cooking. Or, put a small amount of water, no more than 1cm into the used pan, maybe a drop of washing up liquid, put the lid back onto the pan and the pan back onto the ring. The water will boil and the steam it creates will help to clean the pan, and the now hot water can go into the washing up water.

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