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The Green Life: Daily Tip : September 26, 2007

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September 26, 2007

Daily Tip : September 26, 2007

Reheating that leftover Chinese food from last night? You probably have several appliances available in your kitchen that you can use, but which one you choose -- and how you use it -- can have a significant impact on your energy consumption.

To reduce your kitchen energy consumption you can:

  • Think small
    Ovens: In general, the smaller the oven, the less energy used in cooking, so choose the smallest appliance suited to the task.
    Stovetops: With an electric stovetop, make sure your pan completely covers the heating element. With gas burners, make sure the flame is fully below the pan; otherwise, you’re paying to heat the air around the pan, not just the pan itself. Also, use the appropriate size pan for your meal.
  • Take advantage of residual heat. Turn off the oven or electric stovetop several minutes before the recipe indicates. Both will stay hot enough to complete the cooking process.
  • Don't preheat the oven unless a recipe requires it.
  • Use the right cookware. Glass and ceramic cookware conducts and retains heat better than metal. If a recipe calls for a metal baking pan, switching to glass or ceramic allows you to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Don't peek. Opening the oven door can lower the internal temperature as much as 25 degrees. Use a timer to set the cooking time, and be sure your oven window is clean enough for you to see how your dish is progressing.

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