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A recipe for energy efficiency - keeping costs down in your kitchen

Winter is the time for hearty stews, delicious roasts and decadent desserts - but there’s no denying that whipping up a storm in the kitchen can use a lot of electricity. Power hungry appliances and excessive hot water usage can take their toll on your household’s energy usage and leave a sour taste in your mouth when it comes time to pay the bills.

Thankfully, whether you’re an instant noodle superstar or a veritable gastronomic whizz, there are a number of things you can do to make the heart of the home more energy efficient. We’ve rounded up a few energy efficiency cooking tips to help you stay on top of the power bills this winter.

The magic of slow cookers

Slow cookers are further proof that slow and steady wins the race. These fantastic little gizmos work by retaining and recycling heat, which slowly cooks your food over the course of a few hours. Not only are slow cookers incredibly energy efficient (they use roughly half the electricity of a conventional oven), they also allow even the most culinarily challenged to create a delicious meal that’s sure to impress guests. Simply chuck in the ingredients before work, switch the cooker on and let it work its magic. When you come home, you’ll have an amazing meal ready and waiting to be devoured. Best of all, slow cookers are wonderfully affordable, with prices starting at under $50 for entry level models.

What ingredients should you use? It doesn’t really matter! Slow cookers turn even the toughest cuts of meat into delectable, melt-off-the-bone goodness, so you can save some serious coin in the butchery department. Looking for some specific recipes? The team at Pulse Energy personally recommend this Spanish chicken with lentils recipe, as well as these Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in Red Wine.

Do you have a delicious slow cooker recipe you think the world should know about? Let us know in the comment section below!

Microwaves: not just for lasagne toppers

Microwaves work by channelling heat energy directly into your food, making them significantly more efficient than a conventional oven (up to 80 percent more efficient, depending on the model).

Now, when you think of microwave cooking, you might conjure up images of soggy supermarket pies and mushy frozen veges. Admittedly, you probably aren’t going to be creating any Michelin star meals in the microwave, but it is possible to create some surprisingly great dishes. This classic microwave brownie or these microwave scrambled eggs are great starting points for all budding microwave chefs.

Getting more out of your oven

The oven is probably your most used cooking appliance, but it’s also the least energy efficient. In fact, in a conventional oven, only about 10 percent of the energy used goes toward cooking your food, according to Smarter Homes. The remaining 90 percent is used to heat the air. Fan ovens are able to distribute heat more evenly, making them about 25 percent more efficient than conventional ovens.

Get more out of your oven by keeping the door closed as much as possible to prevent heat from escaping. You can also check how well your oven is insulated by slipping a piece of paper in the door (while the oven is switched off!). If the paper falls out, it’s a sign that you’re losing heat, and you may need to consider replacing the seals on your oven.

Wherever possible, try to cook large meals and save some for leftovers as reheating food requires a lot less energy than cooking it from scratch. You can also turn your oven off completely about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Provided you keep the door closed, the temperature will more or less stay the same, allowing you to finish cooking without consuming any more power.

Cooking on the stovetop

When it comes to stovetops, induction elements are the most efficient, followed by halogen elements, ceramic glass stoves and exposed coil elements. Regardless of which type of stovetop you have, be sure to always use the smallest pot or pan you can for the food you’re cooking. Remember to keep the lid on at all times to retain heat and improve energy efficiency.

Get cosy this winter with Pulse Energy

As you can see, there are many ways to keep energy costs down in the kitchen this winter - all it requires is a bit of thought about which appliance is best suited to the job.

Are you thinking about switching to a new energy provider? We’d love to hear from you. Contact the team at Pulse Energy today on 0800 785 733 or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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