We’re up to tip number 8 of my Save Energy With One Simple Step series. That’s a whole lot of potential energy savings to be made without doing an awful lot!
Today’s tip is about saving energy in the kitchen. Which, whatever form of energy you’re talking about, then I am all for!
So, tip number 8:
I don’t know how you feel about microwaves. Growing up we never had one as my parents worried about “rays”, and I never had one myself until my mid-twenties. Then, when I worked in my first proper job I treated myself to one, and I’ve never been without one since. I still don’t know about the “rays” (high-frequency radio waves) but what I do know is that modern microwaves can use around 50 to 65% less energy than an oven to cook your food, depending on what you’re cooking (according to the Consumer Energy Centre).
You see, microwaves work by using those high-frequency radio waves to heat water molecules inside the food. This makes them ideal for cooking small quantities of food, very quickly. With small quantities of food, not only do they cook in minutes (or less) but you’re also saving energy through the fact that you don’t need to preheat your oven. My electric oven takes an age to heat up (15 minutes or so to 200 degrees C) so for every portion of food I cook in the microwave, I’m saving at least 25 minutes of oven electricity.
For large quantities of food, then it’s always more efficient to use your hob or oven, due to the larger content of water molecules and the differing way that hobs and ovens cook food. In terms of energy efficiency – microwaves are the most energy efficient, followed by hobs, followed by ovens. So look to cook your food on the hob first, before the oven, if you can.
So there you have it: for large portions of food – use your oven or hob. For small portions of food – microwave it. Apart from a baked potato – I hate microwaved baked potatos so I’ll give you that one exception!
And today, as I’m in a good mood, I’ll give you two tips for the price of one: remember to switch your microwave off at the wall when you’re done so you’re not wasting energy powering the microwave’s clock!
AND as I feel like spoiling you even more, here’s a link to some surprising uses for microwaves, including sterilising sponges without the use of bleach, and sterilising garden soil to make it fit for planting seedlings in. Don’t say I’m not good to you!
See you next Thursday for the next tip, in the meantime keep your eye out for my next post, coming up shortly!