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- Defrost foods before baking or roasting to save on cooking time. Defrosting foods in the refrigerator is ideal – the cooling frozen air goes into refrigeration rather than escaping into your kitchen.
- Rely on your oven thermostat and recipe time rather than checking on your cooking food. Opening the oven door can lose up to 20% of the heat.
- Bake in glass or ceramic pans, allowing you to bake at a temperature 25 degrees lower than your recipe recommends.
- Use lids. Foods in covered cookware retain heat better and will cook at a lower temperature on your range.
- Use flat bottom pans to ensure efficient heat transfer from the burner to the pan. Match the size of your pot or pan to the size of the burner.
- Consider using a microwave or pressure-cooker. By cooking food at a higher temperature and pressure, cooking time is reduced dramatically and energy use is cut by at least 50%.
- Check to make sure the gasket on your oven door is keeping the door shut tightly. Adjust or replace the gasket if it is not providing a good seal.
- Keep the burners on your range clean, allowing for more efficient heat transfer. Also be sure the reflective pans under the element are clean and shiny. A shiny surface reflects heat more effectively.
- Clean the inside walls of your microwave to improve efficiency.
- Look for an oven with increased insulation and a good gasket to ensure a tight-fitting door. Self-cleaning ovens typically come with more insulation and are a good bet, as long as you don’t use the self-cleaning feature too often.
- Consider the size of your oven when shopping. A small oven may fit your needs as well as a larger one that requires more energy.
- If you like to check on your food as it bakes, buy an oven with a window and light so you won’t have to open the door during cooking.
- Though pricey, consider efficient induction elements. They are significantly more efficient than conventional electric coil elements. Note: Induction elements require you use only iron or steel pots and pans. Aluminum pans will not work with these newer elements.