Be energy-effecient in holiday cooking

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CHARLOTTE n The menu may be set for Thanksgiving, but cooks should remember that using energy efficiently can pay holiday dividends.
Duke Energy encourages customers to remember these energy tips when preparing holiday meals:
– When cooking, keep pans covered as much as possible. Foods heat quicker when covered n keeping cooking time to a minimum.
– Make sure to use similar-sized range units and posts. Using too large a surface unit can waste energy and will not cook food quicker.
– Turn the oven and surface units off a few minutes before cooking time is up. An electric oven or surface unit will remain hot for a few minutes after it is turned off.
– Use no more water than you need when cooking. Heating extra water takes additional time and energy.
– Turn off your exhaust fan as quickly as possible during cold autumn days. This will keep the warmth in your house.
– Use a pressure cooker when possible. Cooking in a regular pot takes three times as long.
– Plan meals so you can use the oven to cook several dishes at the same time.
– Don’t forget your microwave oven. It uses less than half the power of a regular oven and food cooks in one-forth the time.
– Don’t open the oven door frequently to look at your food. Every time you open the oven door, the temperature in your oven drops 25-50 degrees.
– Let hot food cool before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer. The warmth from the food will make your appliance work harder to cool.