Defrost foods before baking or roasting to save up to 50% of the total cooking time. Defrosting foods in the refrigerator is ideal – the cooling frozen air goes into refrigeration rather than escaping into your kitchen.
Rely on your oven thermostat and recipe time rather than checking on your cooking food. Opening the oven door can lose up to 20% of the heat.
Bake in glass or ceramic pans, allowing you to bake at a temperature 25 degrees lower than your recipe recommends.
Use lids. Foods in covered cookware retain heat better and will cook at a lower temperature on your range. To save a little extra energy, turn elements on the range off a few minutes ahead of schedule and allow retained heat to cook.
Use flat bottom pans to ensure efficient heat transfer from the burner to the pan. Match the size of your pot or pan to the size of the burner.
Consider using a microwave or pressure-cooker. By cooking food at a higher temperature and pressure, cooking time is reduced dramatically and energy use is cut by at least 50%.
Check to make sure the gasket on your oven door is keeping the door shut tightly. Adjust or replace the gasket if it is not providing a good seal.
Keep the burners on your range clean, allowing for more efficient heat transfer. Also be sure the reflective pans under the element are clean and shiny. A shiny surface reflects back heat more effectively.
Clean the inside walls of your microwave to improve efficiency.
Look for an oven with increased insulation and a good gasket to ensure a tight-fitting door. Self-cleaning ovens typically come with more insulation and are a good bet, as long as you don’t use the self-cleaning feature too often.
Consider the size of your oven when shopping. A small oven may fit your needs as well as a larger one that requires more energy.
If you like to check on your food as it bakes, buy an oven with a window and light so you won’t have to open the door during cooking.
Though pricey, consider efficient induction elements. They are significantly more efficient than conventional electric coil elements. Note: Induction elements require you use only iron or steel pots and pans but do save energy. Aluminum pans will not work with these newer elements.