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10 top tips to save energy in the kitchen

Kleenheat staff have been getting a little hot under the collar recently – it may be winter but there was no chance of cooling off in the Kleenheat Kitchen at the Good Food and Wine Show!

Eva and Debra from My Kitchen Rules entertained the crowds with their sizzling Singapore chilli crabs and steamy red duck curry, the kitchen was in full swing as the girls cooked up a storm. We love cooking but we also love reduced energy bills, so we’d like to share 10 top tips to save energy in the kitchen.

 1.       Turn off the heat a few minutes early

Turn the oven off a few minutes early, and the heat will continue to cook the food as you plate up. This also applies to the stove when boiling food (just don’t make the mistake of leaving poached eggs in hot water – they will quickly become hard-boiled!).

2.       Dishwasher Tetris

Who likes playing Tetris with plates and bowls in the dishwasher? No one. It’s important to only run the dishwasher when full to reduce usage, but not to the point where you can’t get the door shut! Over stacking can prevent dishes getting clean and results in you having to wash them again, therefore using more energy and water.

3.       Energy conscious globes

When it comes to changing light bulbs, why go old-school? Use energy-efficient globes, it’s the way of the future!

4.       Seal the doors

Doors are used to trap the heat in an oven and the cold in a fridge or freezer. Yet many people neglect the seals, creating a sneaky escape route. But how do you know if your seals are effective? Simply place a piece of paper between the door seals and the door. If the paper moves in and out easily then the seal isn’t doing its job. Try adjusting the door first, otherwise you’ll need to replace the seals.

fridge-open-door

 5.       Love your appliances

Appliances tend to use less energy than the stove, so put the kettle on and let’s have a cup of tea.

6.       Defrost before cooking

Plan ahead and put your frozen food in the fridge to defrost, reducing the energy used by your microwave or oven.

7.        Dry your dishes the old-fashioned way

Forget about using the dry cycle, just open the dishwasher door and let your plates air-dry (just don’t let the dog lick them, they may burn their tongue).

 8.      Choose your burner

It may seem insignificant, but using a burner that is too large for your pan can waste a lot of energy. If you are restricted by the number of burners (maybe your household likes to cook separately), turn down the flame so that it does not escape around the edges.

 9.       Water waste

Do you really need to fill your saucepan or kettle to the top? Use the minimum amount of water when boiling food or preparing that cup of tea. The more water you use, the more energy is required to bring water to the boil. If you only need one cup of water, measure it out using a cup and add just a little extra due to evaporation or spillage.

boiling-water-gas-stove-top

10.      Portion control

No, we’re not saying you should go on a diet…

Chop your vegetables into smaller pieces when boiling to reduce cooking time. Simple but effective, especially when you have a hungry family waiting.

chopped-vegetables-chopping-board

There are heaps of ways to save energy in the home that can be incorporated into your daily life without any hassle. Not only are you being kind to the environment, you’ll also save money on your energy bills, it’s a win-win! We’d love to hear your tips, feel free to comment and share your energy-saving wisdom!

26 Responses to “10 top tips to save energy in the kitchen

  1. July 20, 2016 at 10:07 am
    Su McLeod said:

    when making only 1 cup of tea or coffee I heat the water in the microwave instead of using the kettle

  2. July 20, 2016 at 10:41 am
    Dorothy said:

    To cook rice you can use the absorption method. I bring my rice to the boil, making sure to stir it so none of the grains are glued to the bottom of the pan, then place the well fitted lid on and turn off the gas. It will continue to cook and if you can plan ahead and do this about 20 minutes before you need the rice it works a treat. I have been using this method for years. If you don”t leave yourself enough time you can turn off the heat for a while then turn back on a couple of minutes before you need to dish up.

    • Anja
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      July 20, 2016 at 10:47 am
      Anja said:

      Great idea Dorothy! You can do the same if you pre-soak pasta. It sounds weird, but it works! Soak the pasta in water in a sealed bag for a couple of hours or overnight. Then you can cook it in boiling water in 60 seconds or just add it straight to a hot sauce in a pan and let it finish cooking there.

  3. July 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm
    Nathan said:

    Another great tip to save energy is turn off everything at the wall. I.e. Microwave, as the standby function and time draws power you don”t need. I even turn my tv off at the PowerPoint at night so that the standby functions aren”t wasting power.

    • Anja
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      July 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm
      Anja said:

      More power to you Nathan! :)

  4. July 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm
    Ross Stidolph said:

    Change out the light bulbs on the lights that are either large (in watts) or on the most (kitchen, living etc) and then work your way through the rest as they fail. I also changed the dichromatic ones in children”s bedrooms as they always leave them on and as these can get hot are also implicated in causing house fires.

    • Anja
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      July 20, 2016 at 1:14 pm
      Anja said:

      I was notoriously known for leaving the lights on when I was a kid. Really great idea Ross!

  5. July 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm
    Jane said:

    Going to give that a go, Anja. Another trick: boil your breakfast egg, turn off the gas, take it out then put the second egg in the water to be soft boiled to perfection a few minutes later

    • Anja
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      July 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm
      Anja said:

      Thanks Jane! I’ll use the first egg (the one I tend to over-boil) for my lunch salad, and the second (the fail-proof soft-boiled one) for my breakfast. Yum!

  6. July 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm
    matthew said:

    With a large family of seven when I need to boil water for pasta or eggs, I boil a full kettle of water then pour into the big pan that has only enough water to reach boiling point by the time the kettle is finished. This is quicker and saves a lot of gas necessary to heat all the water by itself.

    • Anja
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      July 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm
      Anja said:

      My mum does this. Great trick :)

  7. July 20, 2016 at 1:21 pm
    Norma said:

    Thanks for all the great ideas

  8. July 20, 2016 at 3:20 pm
    Joan said:

    thank you for your tips, but my problem is that my husband is home and as it has been really really cold he has the gas heater on 24/7 (he suffers from pneumonia)

    • Eva
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      July 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm
      Eva said:

      Sorry to hear this, Joan. We wish your husband a complete and restful recovery.

  9. July 20, 2016 at 4:29 pm
    Annette said:

    Instead of using the heater, if your only watching TV or reading, snuggle under or in a sleeping bag. They are so warm and cosy!

  10. July 20, 2016 at 7:04 pm
    Erica said:

    To save gas on hot water, I only run the hot water tap in the morning in the kitchen (even though it”s really cold) as it takes many litres before the hot water finally runs through as the system is on the roof. Then I don”t need to wait for hot water for my shower as its already drawn through.

    • Anja
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      July 21, 2016 at 9:16 am
      Anja said:

      Another great tip Erica! Make sure you capture that kitchen water too and reuse to boil potatoes etc.

  11. July 20, 2016 at 11:16 pm
    Debbie Garside said:

    What type of bulbs are most energy efficient

    • Anja
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      July 21, 2016 at 9:13 am
      Anja said:

      Hi Debbie, LED lights are the way to go!

  12. July 21, 2016 at 10:05 am
    Steve said:

    Be extremely careful if heating a cup of water in the microwave because it is possible to heat it beyond 100 degrees. This is known as super-heating and, if it happens, the super-heated water will erupt out of the cup as soon as you move it. I don”t think this will happen if there is a tea bag in the water but take care all the same.

    • Anja
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      July 21, 2016 at 10:10 am
      Anja said:

      Thank you so much for writing this Steve. A very important safety tip!

  13. July 21, 2016 at 12:23 pm
    Asha said:

    I believe number 5 is wrong – although it depends on the situation and location. If you have a gas stove it is usually more efficient than an electric kettle to boil water. This is because less energy is wasted in the process which includes burning coal to generate steam to power the turbines to generate electricity to boil the water. Better to simply use natural gas to boil the water directly.

    More here http://www.simplethings.com.au/gas-kettle-vs-electric-jug

    • Anja
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      July 21, 2016 at 3:24 pm
      Anja said:

      Good point Asha, it all depends whether we are looking at the macro or micro picture!

  14. July 22, 2016 at 9:23 am
    Luke said:

    I have a weather station with inside and outside temperatures. When it”s warmer outside from 1100hrs to 1530hrs, I open the door on the south facing side and put the air cooler on vent and fan speed low to warm house during winter. Also I”m at home during this time and if it”s raining it defeats this purpose. So turn it I off.

  15. July 22, 2016 at 10:53 am
    Lyn said:

    Tip number 2.
    Who likes playing Tetris with plates and bowels in the dishwasher? Very tricky to do!!
    Perhaps you mean bowls???

    • Anja
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      July 22, 2016 at 11:18 am
      Anja said:

      How embarrassing… thanks Lyn. All fixed!