There are a number of ways to make the most of your oven so it operates efficiently and you can keep costs down in terms of natural gas or electricity used.
1. Skip the pre-heating
In most cases, it’s not needed. Modern ovens also heat up so quickly, it’s really a non-issue.
2. Hang on to the heat
There are a number of ways to hang on to the heat once you’ve turned on the oven, and to make the most of the energy used.
One of the best ways is to check the door seal so no heat will escape. Keep it clean with a gentle detergent.
3. Don’t use foil on your racks
This might help with easier clean-ups, but the truth is it blocks the air from circulating around the oven and keeping it working at peak efficiency.
4. Consider convection
Convection ovens can save you about 20% to 40% of energy by circulating the heat more efficiently.
5. Keep the kitchen door closed
A lot of people try to heat the house in colder months by putting on the oven, but the truth is that it’s better to have one warm oven and room than use up a lot of fuel trying to get your oven to do too many jobs.
In the summer, keep the door closed so it doesn’t heat up the whole house.
6. Use the heat in winter
Once the food is cooked, open the door to let the warmth out into the room. Just be careful of children and pets.
7. Check your oven temperature
Use an oven thermometer to determine whether your oven is at the correct temperature. This will improve the results of your cooking and ensure you’re not using more energy than needed. Some ovens can be 75 degrees off in either direction.
8. Use glassware
It cooks more efficiently, especially for baking.
9. Use enameled cookware
It cooks faster than metal pans.
10. Cover your food
This keeps heat and moisture in, so food will cook faster. If the pan doesn’t have a lid, use foil and remove before the recipe is finished if it needs to be browned on top.
11. Don’t peek
Peeking lets out heat and wastes energy.
12. Adjust your racks
The higher the rack, the hotter the food. The racks will also help the air circulate.
13. Fill the oven
Many ovens have a large capacity. Plan recipes that need the same temperature and similar cook times to make the most of putting on the oven.
14. Thaw your foods
Don’t try to cook them from frozen.
15. Keep the oven clean
This will save energy.
16. Try greener cookware
There is a whole new generation of safe, healthy and green cookware designed to prevent chemicals from getting leached into your food. It is also energy efficient, durable and versatile. Ceramic and silicone are two good examples. They can go from oven to table to freezer and even microwave. They re-circulate heat and are easy to clean, with no nicks, pores or scratches that might allow bacteria to lurk.