Green in the Kitchen: Let’s heat it up!

Between your stove top, oven, microwave and toaster oven, the possibilities for heating up food are endless!  For those of you wondering which is the most cheap, energy efficient and green way to prepare a meal, I’ve compiled the statistics on the relative effectiveness of these cooking appliances. Here they are, in order of least to most energy efficient!

photo from flickr / Chris Peplin

  1. Oven: Your oven costs you over $130 dollars per year to run, and consumes 2,300 watts. This makes it your most energy intensive choice when it comes to preparing food, and you should really only use it on a large scale (making a pie, making dinner for 5).
  2. Stove top or Cooking Range: Your stove top costs you over $50 dollars a year to run in electricity costs, and consumes about 1,000 watts per year. Although the stove top is more efficient than the oven, not everything can be cooked on the range, and you have to make sure you’re using the right size pan so that it will  completely cover the heat source.

    photo from flickr / Daniel Bogan

  3. Toaster Oven: A toaster oven uses around 1200-1700 watts of energy, and costs you about $18 dollars per year in electricity costs. Although a toaster oven does only use about half the energy of a conventional oven, it is still not as efficient as microwave, which uses about one third of the energy.
  4. Microwave: Your microwave heats up food faster, and more efficiently than a toaster oven. However, microwaving your food does not always yield the same quality as preparing your food in a toaster oven or in a conventional oven.

So, if you’re in a hurry, and you want to save energy, use a microwave for the majority of your cooking needs. But if microwaving is not for you, and you still want to save energy, try using a toaster oven instead of your conventional oven or stove top!

Share with us: what’s your favorite food to prepare in the microwave and why? Comment below!

All month, we’re looking at going green in the kitchen. Click to read more kitchen tips!

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