There are many ways you can save on energy – and therefore save money – while cooking. There’s a lot more detail available online, such as this BBC article, but here’s a few ideas:
- Do you need to use your oven? Microwaves, slow cookers, electric pressure cookers and air fryers all consume significantly less energy than a standard oven.
- Using a combination of appliances to reduce the time your oven is on can save you money without affecting the quality of your finished dish. Vegetables (especially whole potatoes in their skins) can be par-cooked in the microwave and then transferred to the oven or air fryer, or placed under the grill, to finish and crisp up.
- Filling your oven, not just roasting or baking a single item, makes maximum use of the energy it consumes, so cook in bulk to save money. Portions you don’t eat straightaway can be chilled or frozen, and reheated in the microwave.
- Cooking in a pan with the lid on traps the heat, which means food cooks more quickly, or without having the hob turned up so high, which uses less energy. Always choose the right size pan for what you’re cooking.
- If you don’t have an induction hob, it’s cheaper to boil the water for your vegetables or pasta in the kettle, then pour it into the pan.
Please don’t be tempted to dig out that old chip pan, as they can be really dangerous. A thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer is far safer, as it can’t overheat.
Toasters are more energy efficient than using the grill within your oven, but they can catch fire if not maintained properly. Please follow these top tips:
- Make sure toasters are clean and crumbs are emptied out regularly.
- Don’t insert anything metal into the toaster.
- Toasters should be placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls, and should never be used directly underneath an overhanging cupboard.
- Make sure that your toaster is not placed up against another appliance, as the heat build-up can lead to a fire.
Air fryers are a great way to cook in an energy-efficient way but, like all appliances, care should be taken to use them safely.
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. There is also a lot of good advice online on how best to use your air fryer.
- Always unplug your air fryer when it’s not in use. That way, it can’t be switched on accidentally.
- There are internal and external components of the air fryer that get really hot during cooking. Protect yourself by using oven gloves when handling the appliance, and protect your worktop by placing hot baskets and lids onto a trivet or heat safe board/mat.
- Don’t cook in a non-ventilated area or under over-counter cupboards. Pull the air fryer away from the wall and open windows if you don’t have an extraction fan.
- Don’t let the air fryer hot air ventilation openings blow into electrical outlets. You need to leave space around the air fryer for the vent to circulate.
There’s lots more advice on staying safe while cooking at www.dwfire.org.uk/kitchen-safety