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Two quick ways to save on the stove

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Here are two related ways to save energy while you’re cooking on the stove, which is where a lot of the energy is used in my kitchen.

This first one comes from a Homefront pamphlet, and I was able to start doing it immediately, with visible results. Once something has started to boil (rice? potatoes? quinoa?), turn down the burner to as low as possible. The pot will usually keep right on boiling, and most grains actually respond better to lower boiling temperatures.

I can’t remember where the second tip came from, but it takes some practice to implement. In the last stages of cooking, turn off the burner. This works best if you cook with lids on, and is the only solution to not overcooking GF noodles. The pots and pans retain enough heat to finish off the last few minutes of cooking (say three ish, maybe five?), unless you are trying to do something specific, like caramelize. As an example, when I flip the last batch of pancakes on to the uncooked side, I turn off my burner. The pancakes finish off on their own from the residual heat, and I’ve save myself a bit of gas. This also works very well with pots of boiling grain and vegetables, as long as the lid is on.

I can’t tell you exactly how much energy would be saved by following these two tips, but every little bit helps, right?

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About Kara

I am what happens when you combine a WWII enthusiast, an environmentalist and a frugal celiac/coeliac.

2 responses »

  1. I’ll be trying that. I do something similar when boiling eggs. I bring the eggs to a boil, turn off the burner and wait 15 minutes, run cold water over them and then refrigerate. The lid is on the pan during the entire cooking process. These turn out great hard boiled eggs every time.

    Reply
    • Hi Nancy,
      Oh, that is a good idea with the eggs. I also bring them up to a boil and leave them on the stove until they are room temperature, but I still run them under cold water. I will have to try shoving them in the fridge (or on the porch in the winter). Clever!

      Reply

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