Bake, broil efficiently to save energy

Buying appliances with the federal government’s Energy Star label is a smart way to find devices that are energy-efficient and could help you cut your electric bill. But Energy Star doesn’t rate ovens, microwaves or ranges.

That means it’s up to you to conserve energy as you prepare your meals. Here are few tips:

  • Microwaves use about half as much energy as a conventional oven and cook food faster. Use the microwave whenever you can.
  • If you’re cooking for one or two, consider preparing your meal in a portable appliance like an electric frying pan, grill or toaster oven. Those small appliances eat up about two-thirds less electricity than an oven’s broiler.
  • Cooking a big meal? Cram as many of the baked dishes into the oven at once, even if the recipes call for varying cooking temperatures. Variations in heat of 25 degrees in either direction will still brown your food nicely.
  • Skip the preheating, especially when broiling or roasting.
  • Resist the urge to peek at your food as it bakes or broils. Every time you open the door of a hot oven, you waste heat.
  • Clean your oven after every use so you won’t have to use its energy-inefficient self-cleaning features.