Monday, February 18, 2008

Cooking with Less Energy

I've always used my toaster oven instead of my full size oven to cook things if they fit because it's more convenient. It doesn't need time to heat up and it usually cooks things a little more quickly than the large oven. I can cook chicken nuggets in ten minutes flat for the boys if I need to.

I never gave much thought, though, to the fact that using the toaster oven uses a lot less energy than the large oven, but it does. 

There are lots of little ways that you can use less energy when you cook - every little bit you save helps.

  • Use the toaster oven instead of the regular oven.
  • Use a slow cooker (Crockpot) - even if it's plugged in all day, a newer model can use less energy than an oven uses in one hour.
  • Cook on the stove top with the lid on when possible - things will heat up more quickly and you will have the time the stove is on will be reduced.
  • If you're cooking something that freezes well, double the amount that you cook. It will take less energy to defrost and reheat the frozen meal than cooking it all from scratch.
  • Remember to unplug small appliances when you are done using them. Toaster ovens, microwaves, coffee makers, slow cookers and other small appliances use a small amount of energy if they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. 
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4 comments:

Allie said...

I am addicted to my Crockpot. It's so nice to make dinner in the morning and not worry about it all day. And the energy savings make it that much sweeter.

These are great tips!

Robin Shreeves said...

Let me share my favorite Crockpot recipe. It's for French dip sandwiches.

1 4pd rump roast
1 can french onion soup
1 can beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 bottle beer (I prefer dark)

Put in the Crockpot on low for 7-8 hours.

Slice beef as thin as possible. Place on toasted rolls (Portuguese rolls work great if you can find them). I also melt swiss cheese on the rolls.

Serve with juice from the pot for dipping.

Really yummy and makes four or five dinners for my family of four. Also freezes really well.

Fran said...

Hi, What type of Toaster Oven do you have? I'm looking for one to purchase.

Robin Shreeves said...

Fran,

I have an older black and decker model. It's very basic without any bells or whistles. My mom has one that also doubles as a convection oven, and she cooks almost everything in it - of course, she's no longer cooking for a big family.

Sorry I don't have a specific one to recommend, but try looking at the convection ones.