In the kitchen, your bad habits could cost you a lot of money in energy waste without you even realizing it. Let’s look at some energy conservation tips for cooking today.

None of them are difficult, nor are they complicated. But simple cooking energy conservation tips can make a big difference both on your utility bill and your impact on the environment.

Get the right appliances.

Don’t buy the biggest fridge you can handle.

If your refrigerator is half-full, then your fridge will be running a lot more often - just to keep the empty space cool. That’s money and energy completely wasted. Buying a fridge that is more appropriately-sized for the amount of food you normally keep will save a lot of energy waste. This is also true of freezers.

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And the easiest tip? Look for Energy Star-rated fridges - and appliances in general. These appliances have been developed and confirmed to use energy as efficiently as possible.

Don’t make your appliances work harder than they need to.

Often, without realizing it, we force the biggest and most common appliances in our kitchen to burn a excessive energy wastefully.

Let’s start with the stove. For proper cooking energy conservation, avoid filling up that pot or kettle with more water than you’re going to use. How often do we boil water for tea or to cook noodles and we fill it all the way to the top? You don’t need all of that water, and now you’re wasting energy to make that burner cook the whole pot instead of just the amount that you need. Boil water in the proper amounts and you can cut out a lot of wasted energy.

What about the fridge? Obviously, just as we learned as kids, keep the door shut. The more often you open the fridge door, the more cool air is lost. As warm air rushes into the fridge, the appliance has to kick in and cool it off. Preserving cool air is much more energy-efficient compared to cooling off warm air. And don’t put hot food straight into the fridge! Let it cool on the counter for a little bit before putting it in the fridge or the freezer. Otherwise, the heat the food throws off will fill the fridge or freezer, and then the appliance has to work harder to cool it off.

Finally, we have the dishwasher. This is a simple one, but it requires you to adjust your timing. Many of us run the dishwasher on the default settings, and let the dishwasher pump heat onto the dishes to dry them. Instead, you can cut the whole dry cycle entirely and just open the door when it’s done washing. Let the air dry the dishes for you. It takes a little more time - but it’s free.

Cook smarter.

All it takes is a few simple changes to your cooking activities to really rack up big savings both on energy and money:

  • Use the lids on your pots and pans when cooking. Whenever possible, you can use this to trap heat into the pot. Your food will cook faster and you won’t lose so much to the air.
  • Need to boil water in a pan? Start it in the kettle. Boil the water in the kettle first and you can save a lot of energy because the kettle is designed to bring water to a boil as quickly as possible.
  • Turn off the heat a few minutes before you’re done cooking - especially if you use electric appliances. The heat that is already in the pan will be enough to finish the cooking, especially if you have a lid on it. It doesn’t sound like you would save much energy, but those ten minutes add up over and over again.
  • Close the oven door. Just like the fridge, you lose that conditioned air when you let it escape. Keep that heat in the oven and use the window on the front of the oven to watch your food bake instead.
  • Finally, can you double-up that boiled water? While cooking pasta, for example, slide a colander on top of the pan and put your vegetables in it. Now the steam from the boiling water will cook the vegetables for you at the same time.

As you can see, it doesn’t take more than a few tweaks to your kitchen habits to conserve energy while cooking. If you’d like to take it one step further, sign up for clean energy today. It costs nothing to sign up, and it allows you to feel good about the energy you do use on a daily basis.