As we prepare to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends, it’s important to remember that extra cooking and baking can cause electric bills to go up. Here’s are a few simple cooking tips to help keep your energy costs down during the holiday season:
- Clean stove burners and reflectors provide better heating, while saving energy. If you need new reflectors, buy quality ones. The best on the market can save as much as one-third of the energy used when cooking on top of the stove.
- Use a microwave or toaster oven for those small holiday cooking tasks. A microwave uses about 50 percent less energy than a conventional oven and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. Use a slow cooker (Crock-Pot) to cook meals, too. It can cook a whole meal for about 17 cents worth of electricity.
- Use ceramic or glass pans for your holiday cooking—you can turn down the oven’s temperature by up to 25 degrees and get the same results. These materials retain heat so well, they’ll continue cooking food even after being removed from the oven.
- Allow hot foods and liquids to cool before putting them in the refrigerator. Uncovered, hot food ad liquids give off vapors that make the refrigerator work harder. Use a lid or plastic wrap to cover the food and place in the refrigerator after cooling.
- Plan side dishes that cook simultaneously with the turkey. If you cook dishes at the same temperature at the same time, you’ll reduce the amount of time the oven has to be running—it’s easier for the cook and saves energy, too.