Updated: Oct 10
It's impossible to make budget saving choices without all the facts before you. The following tips are meant to help you understand the energy cost associated with various appliances in the kitchen, but cannot be perfectly accurate since cost also depends on your local utility rates and also the wattage and age of your appliances. Just use this as a guide to help you determine which appliance to use under certain circumstances.
A few tips:
· When you cook on the stove top always use a lid. When you use a lid you are able to cook faster and turn down the temperature, saving money.
· When cooking in the oven, fill it up. Prepare everything for one meal and place together in the oven to get the best bang for your energy buck.
· Prepare ahead. Consider fixing a second meal for the freezer when preparing casseroles. Save money now by filling that oven, and later when you have a meal you prepared in advance it just needs to be reheated.
· When using a crock pot in winter place it in the room you will be in to help heat the room. In Summer place it on an outside patio to keep heat out of the house.
· Only preheat if you are doing baked goods. If baking a cake or bread, it is important that the oven be hot when the product goes in. For everything else, the oven doesn’t need to be preheated if the cooking time is more than 15 minutes.
· Quit peeking! Every time you open the oven or crock pot, the temperature drops 25 to 50 degrees and more fuel needs to be used to bring it up to temperature, causing you to cook your item longer adding more cost.
· Use one oven unless it’s Thanksgiving or another day involving lots of food needing to be ready all at once. You may have double ovens but once an oven is hot keep using it. It is a waste of money to heat a second oven.
· When preparing for a family gathering or holidays bake all day. Don’t just bake pies one day and breads another, etc. Bake pies and stuffing and yams and breads all the same day while the oven is hot. Keeping an oven hot is much less expensive than bringing one up to temperature.
· Consider a counter top oven. They are much less expensive to operate. They heat up faster and do not needed added energy to run fans to cool down like an oven.
When you are finished using your oven keep the door open while it is cooling down to provide heat to the kitchen a little longer.
What does food prep really cost?
A small burner is 18 cents per hour, and a large burner double that amount.
An electric skillet takes only 14.4 cents per hour.
A microwave oven - between 24 and 29 cents per hour.
A slow cooker: 2.4 cents an hour.
A large oven: 43 cents per hour.
Toaster oven: 13 cents per hour.
Blender: 8.4 cents per hour
Coffee pot: 11 cents per hour
Dishwasher: 43 cents per hour
Toaster: 11 cents per hour
These are averages and your area may be less expensive, if in California the price will be much higher. Use these as a guideline and compare them to each other to understand the savings.
Think about it:
A small burner on your stove top costs 18 cents per hour, a large burner 36 cents per hour and an electric skillet only 14 cents per hour. A skillet is also usually larger and you can cook more food at the same time, further reducing the amount of time it would take to cook the same foods on a stove… so next time you prepare pancakes and eggs, make them at the same time on an electric skillet.
Again, a small burner, 18 cents, a large burner, 36 cents, and a microwave 24-29 cents per hour. It may seem logical to use the burner but consider the length of time you will need to prepare the food. It takes just a few seconds to melt chocolate in the microwave and several minutes using a double boiler on the stovetop. If the time is about the same or the microwave does not reduce the time by half, the stovetop is the better choice.
A slow cooker costs only 2.4 cents an hour. You will cook longer in the slow cooker, 6 to 8 hours. It would cost you 14.4 cents for 6 hours in a crock pot, while it would cost 18 cents for just a half hour on the range. If you were using more than one burner to cook the same foods as the crock pot, it would cost you 27-38 cents for a half hour on the stove.