Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lower Your Cookprint with These Tips...

Cool kitchen: Tools of the trade

My mother is right, again! She’s always telling me, “Use the Crock Pot.” She knows Betty is too busy saving the planet and doesn't have the energy to cook after work. Turns out, she’s the Betty. Crock pot cooking is eco-smart cooking!

This month’s recipe is for energy-efficient cooking.

Woks, electric frypans, slow cookers, and pressure cookers are all more energy-efficient than stovetop burners. Actually, modern pressure cookers use one-third of the energy!

Put a lid on it!

Lids on pots and pans reduce energy use and time for boiling/cooking by 50 percent. (EPA)

Also, pots and pans should be about 1” larger in diameter than the range burner, so you’re not heating the air around it. A 6” pot or pan on an 8” element can waste nearly 40 percent of its heat.

Did you know that using glass and ceramic pans will retain heat more fully than metals, allowing you to turn the oven temperature down by 25 degrees? (Food Service Technology Center and APS)

Respect the convection

Convection ovens, which use fans to circulate air, are about 23 percent more energy efficient than conventional ovens. (DOE) Using a combo microwave/convection is even more efficient. Do you use the self-cleaning feature? It may be convenient but it’s really energy-intensive. Could you opt for a little elbow grease instead?

Hope that helps lower your cookprint!