Lots of baking and cooking most likely ensued this past week and more is sure to come with cookie baking and holiday preparations commencing. But did you know that your oven is one of the most energy-consuming appliances in your whole house? Luckily, there are a couple of simple ways you can cut back on energy consumption and optimize your oven’s efficiency.
The easiest thing you can do is to start cooking your food while your oven is preheating. So much energy is just wasted waiting for the oven to reach it’s destined temperature and heat up a small amount of air. Too often we let the oven preheat while we’re preparing food and the preparations take longer than expected, so the oven sits hot for 20-30 minutes while we’re finishing getting the dish together – so nonsensical! You will have to pay more attention to your cooking time, especially with more sensitive foods like baked goods, but for heartier dishes, let them roast.
Also, avoid opening the oven door periodically during cooking to check on the food – this allows the heat to escape out the door and the temperatures drops 25-75 degrees every time you do that. You can also try turning off the oven a few minutes before the food is done and letting it coast along. As long as you don’t open the door, the oven will maintain the current temperature long enough to finish baking.