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Stoves & Ovens: Use & Care

Use & Care

Efficient Cooking Skills 

You can save energy in the kitchen by adjusting how you use your cooking appliances. Focus on stove and oven use, choose the proper cookware, and take advantage of energy-efficient cooking appliances and techniques.

Put a Lid on It

You can decrease energy use with your stove by up 66% by using pot lids, allowing you to set lower temperatures on the stove while cooking.

Match Burner & Pot Sizes

Match pot size to burner size, using the smallest possible pot. If using gas, make sure the flame doesn't reach around the cookware.

Keep Burners Bright

Keep your burners’ grease plates clean or line them with aluminum foil. This helps to increase energy efficiency by reflecting heat upward.

Save Water, Save Energy

It takes a lot of energy to heat water, so use just enough to get the job done.

Cookware: The Right Stuff

Use the proper cooking tools for the kind and amount of food you are cooking. Toaster ovens, crock pots, pressure cookers, and electric kettles may be a better choice than your oven or stove. This table shows cost and energy use by appliance.

 

Cost of Various Cooking Methods for the Same Meal
Appliance Temperature (°F) Appliance Capacity/Rating Cooking Time Energy Used Per Meal Energy Cost ($)*
Electric Oven 350 2000 watts 1 hr. 2 kWh 0.34
Convection Oven (electric) 325 1853 watts 45 min. 1.39 kWh 0.24
Gas Oven 350 122 Btu/hr 1 hr. 0.122 therm 0.08
Frying Pan 420 900 watts 1 hr. 0.9 kWh 0.15
Toaster Oven 425 1140 watts 50 min. 0.95 kWh 0.16
Crockpot 200 100 watts 7 hrs. 0.7 kWh 0.12
Microwave Oven “High” 1440 watts 15 min. 0.36 kWh 0.06

Energy cost based on a rate of $0.17/kWh electricity and $1.002/therm gas

Source: Alex Wilson, et al. Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, 8th ed. (2003).  American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Electricity rate source: Average SCE Residential Rate Gas rate source: Southern California Gas Company, Baseline Residential GR Rate effective July 1, 2012

 

Best Bakeware

Use glass or ceramic pans when appropriate. They enable you to decrease your oven’s temperature by 25°F.1 

Defrost First

Defrost food in the fridge before cooking in the oven.

Make Multiples

If possible, cook multiple dishes at once. Reheating food in the microwave or toaster oven is more efficient than heating your oven multiple times.2 

End Early

Turn off the oven or stove heat a few minutes before the designated time. Your cooking appliance will retain the same temperature without investing more energy into heating itself, and food will continue to cook until the unit cools down.

Don’t Peek

Your oven’s temperature drops about 25° F every time you open the door while cooking.3 Save energy on oven heating and air conditioning by not peeking.

Savvy Self-Cleaning

Start your oven’s self-cleaning function immediately after baking something—so you don’t have to heat up a cold oven. You also save energy by not using the self-cleaning function more than once a month.

Precise Preheating

With a conventional oven, only preheat for the designated time.

 

Buyer’s Guide

Before you shop for efficiency upgrades, visit the Stoves & Ovens Buyer's Guide for easy facts and figures that can help you choose the best appliances for your home, needs and budget.

Overview

If you’re thinking about making efficiency improvements, the Stoves & Ovens Overview is a great place to get acquainted with the basics and your options, before you buy or install new cooking appliances in your home. Return to Kitchen Appliances.

1Goorskey, Sarah, Wang, K., Smith, A. (2004). Home Energy Briefs: #8 Kitchen Appliances.  Snowmass, CO: Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from rmi.org  (p. 6).
2Goorskey, Sarah, Wang, K., Smith, A. (2004).  Home Energy Briefs: #8 Kitchen Appliances.  Snowmass, CO: Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from rmi.org (p. 6).
3California Energy Commission. (2012). Consumer Energy Center: Appliances: Stoves, Ranges, and Ovens. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from consumerenergycenter.org

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

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