Thanksgiving meals are an important part of the celebrations you share with family and friends. All of that extra cooking and baking, however, can lead to a real post-season letdown if you’re using a lot more energy than normal. These simple, cost-saving tips will help you enjoy the festivities while trimming your energy budget:
- Preheat the oven to the exact temperature required; preheating is not necessary for foods that cook for several hours.
- If you've got an oven window, take advantage of it! Opening the oven door wastes energy and lowers the temperature as much as 25°F.
- Glass and ceramic baking dishes retain heat better than metal. If you cook with glass or ceramic dishes, you can reduce the oven temperature by 25°F.
- Conserve energy by baking several batches of cookies, or more than one pie, at a time.
- For stovetop cooking, match the size of the pan to the size of the burner; using a small pan on a large burner wastes energy.
- Keep pots and pans covered to prevent heat loss and reduce cooking time.
- Clean burners after every use. A clean burner heats more efficiently, using less energy.
Slow cookers, electric skillets and toaster ovens are great for heating leftovers and use a lot less energy than conventional ovens and stoves. Microwave ovens also use 50% less energy than conventional ovens. To save energy, reheat holiday leftovers in the microwave instead of on the stove or in the oven.
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