With ovens, it’s all about the way you use them and using them right can save a lot of energy and money. If you’re prepared to switch up your cooking routine small habits will decrease those energy bills. Start by planning your meals and embrace batch cooking because warming up meals uses less energy and cooking larger quantities saves energy.
Ensure you take out any accessories that aren’t needed — like trays and grids — that use up heat. This can save up to 20% of the energy
Avoiding preheating the oven can save another 20%, in fact most dishes like roasts and casseroles can be placed in the cold oven, especially a fan-assisted one.
Use your oven tech to your advantage. Thermometers, timers, automatic cooking programmes or sensor-controlled processes all help to control the cooking time and avoid wasted energy, as well as overcooked food.
Preparing several dishes at the same time can save up to 45% of the energy so load your dishes in side by side.
Getting into the habit of checking the food through the glass door, rather than opening it, can save you up to 25% in lost energy.
Being canny with your residual heat saves up to 10% of the energy. For example, for a roast with one hour cooking time, turn off the oven after 50 minutes and use that 10 minutes of free heat!
Embrace your small cooking appliances
Use special appliances such as egg cookers, coffee machines and microwave ovens for small quantities and short cooking times to save money.
It costs just 4p to cook a baked potato in the microwave compared to the £1.04 in the oven. Combi microwaves with built-in convection ovens are even more versatile. Cooking a roast chicken with one will cost you 48p compared to the 71p you would spend cooking one in the oven.
These inexpensive appliances are also pretty cheap to run and can make healthy meals from budget-friendly cuts of meat and cheaper varieties of vegetables (hard, good-value roots like carrots, shallots, celeriac, swede) so cut down on your grocery bill. Average cook time is a long 8 hours, however flavours are not lost as nothing really evaporates if you make sure to not lift the lid. It can cost you just 36p a meal.
Whipping up pasta for your kids twice a week? Use your kettle to boil the water first, it will cost you £11 over a year on the hob but only £2 a year using your trusty kettle. But remember to descale it regularly, especially if you live in a hard water area, a kettle full of limescale will take longer and use more energy to boil the same amount.
An air fryer can make tasty fried food with less oil and less energy because the space it’s heating up is smaller. Cook fried chicken quickly and healthily, for just 15 minutes, and only consume 0.35kwh, costing just 11p – half the price of using an electric, fan-assisted oven. You can also use it to bake sweet treats like brownies and biscuits.
Unlock your savings [hyperlink to page] shows you how induction hobs save you money but here are more tips from our experts to help you save money whatever hob you’re cooking on.
Hob power: It uses less energy than your oven so perhaps prepare small roasts on the hob rather than the oven.
Think small: Cutting food into smaller pieces before cooking could save you energy as it may cook more quickly.
Keep a lid on it! Cooking with lid on saves up to 25 % energy. Glass lidded pans help you supervise without having to lift the lid. Make sure that lid is well fitted.
Waterwise. Being economical with the water used in a pan can save you up 20% energy. It takes a lot to heat up water.
It’s all in a pan. Using the correct size pan for the amount of food you’re cooking can save up to 20 % energy. Ensure you use pans that are made of heat conducting materials; for example steel or enamelled cast-iron pans and pots will heat up more quickly and consume less energy than glass and ceramic cookware.