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Green Gourmet: Easy Ways to Save Energy while Whipping Up Good Eats

June 10, 2010

by Ashley Akin

Today the S.U. blog has decided to lend a culinary hand to those of you planning to get your Martha Stewart on in the kitchen this summer (in the cooking sense, not the insider-trading, make-your-own-curtains-in-jail sense). When most of us fire up the stove to cook our Flintstones Mac ‘N Cheese, all we’re thinking about is whether or not we should go full Fat-Girl-Special and add hot dogs. (The answer is Yes.) But the kitchen is actually a great place to save energy easily with a few simple tricks.

Care2.com provides a great list of 10 Cooking Tips that will save you energy without costing you a dime. Here are some of our favorites:

  • “Cover pans while cooking to prevent heat loss.”
    • Yes, this is as obvious as Tyra Banks’ obsession with herself (“Smile with your eyes, ladies”), but it is a valid tactic. You’ll capture all of the energy you need, and your food will cook faster. Fat-Girl-Special seal of approval: Granted.
  • “Make sure your pan covers the coil of your range. If you can see coil peeping out from the sides of your pan, you are losing energy and you need a bigger pan!”
    • Let’s take a moment to show a little love for the author’s enthusiasm for coil coverage – EXCLAMATION POINT! Really, though, while this is a pretty intuitive concept, most people probably never consider the energy they’re wasting by leaving the eye exposed. Not to mention that this is a MASSIVE safety hazard to the apron strings you’ll be wearing as you flit around the kitchen getting dinner ready for Darrin. (I fell asleep with Nick at Nite on last night, and now everything’s all Bewitched. I would like to make clear this shout out is for Dick York, not Dick Sargent. Darrin #1 could have wiped the floor with Darrin #2. Kisses to Endora!)
  • “Just before your food is cooked completely, turn off the oven or burner and allow the heat in the pot or pan to continue the cooking process for you.”
    • Again, obvious to the point of remedial, but few people think to do it. It will also guard against the chef burning her tongue as she makes the final taste-testing adjustments. Sidenote: I taste while I cook. If you are averse to double dipping, you can see yourself out. Costanza is always welcome at my house.

So, Smallest Chefs, take a look at the tips and implement a few the next time you “get a hair” for something homemade (That is a disgusting phrase, and I’m sorry, but I’m sticking with it for alliteration’s sake). Or take it upon yourselves to Google “energy saving cooking tips” on your own time and send us your favorites. I’m sure there are a few more of you out there who have ridiculous typing abilities due to the 8 years of piano lessons your mother said you HAD to have in order to get into college. Thanks, Mom – UT never would have taken me if I couldn’t rock Handel’s Sonata No. 3.

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