With energy efficiency becoming a more prevalent concern across the UK, it’s fair to say that environmental health is an increasingly important part of 21st century life.

Luckily, there are a whole host of things we can do to save energy in the home. Best of all, not only will this save energy, it’ll also save you money on your energy bills at the same time!

So, prepare to become a culinary conservationist, as we run down our top tips on how to save energy while cooking.

 

energy efficient cooking, how to save energy while cooking

 

Energy-Efficient Cooking Choices

The way you run your kitchen can have a dramatic impact on the amount of energy you use. Keep your kitchen running hot without burning money by following these helpful energy-saving culinary tips.

 

Be Efficient

When it comes to cooking efficiently, not all appliances are created equally. Fan-assisted ovens allow the heat to circulate more evenly around the oven, allowing you to cook at a lower temperature which ultimately uses less energy.

Meanwhile, when it comes to heating or reheating your food, the microwave is almost always the better option. Not only is it considerably quicker, its modest size within allows it to focus the heat on the specific item you are cooking.

Knowing your way around the kitchen can also help increase energy efficiency. Certain pan types are better conductors than others, e.g. copper-bottom pans heat up quicker than stainless steel.

Meanwhile, investing in items like a stackable double-steamer will allow you to cook twice as much using a single hob, as opposed to sharing them out on separate burners.

 

Size Matters

When using the hob, be sure to use the right size pan for your ingredients. Heating a large pan for the purpose of frying a single 4oz steak will waste energy unnecessarily, so be sure to use the right size tool for the task at hand.

Similarly, an oversized pan on an undersized burner will take longer to heat up to the correct temperature, so it’s equally as important to use the correct hob for your pan of choice as well.

A flat-bottom pan is also a better choice for electric hobs as they allow the entirety of the base to be in contact with the heat source, causing it to heat up more evenly and therefore more efficiently.

 

Switch Off

While certain items in the kitchen are required to be on 24/7 (such as fridges and freezers), there’s no need to keep other large appliance on standby. Items like the dishwasher or washing machine can easily be switched off when not in use without any issues or repercussions.

Meanwhile, you can even turn off your microwave and electric oven off at the plug to save energy. While it can be annoying having to reset the digital clock, over time, this habit can make a notable difference.

 

How to Save Energy While Cooking

While the last section highlighted a number of great ways to save energy in the kitchen through the equipment you choose and the choices you make prior to cooking, what about saving energy while you cook?

Well, we’ve got you covered there too. Check out these energy-efficient cooking tips you can try the next time you make a meal.

 

Boiling Point

If you need to boil water, use the kettle instead of the hob, if possible. Electric kettles are typically very efficient and will boil the water considerably quicker, therefore saving energy in the process.

If you need to boil pasta or vegetables on the hob, you can then simply transfer the water from A to B as necessary. Once transferred, always use a lid as this will use less energy to maintain/increase heat if required.

Meanwhile, don’t put more water in than you actually need as this will naturally extend the boiling time and use more energy as a result. If you’re only going to make a single cuppa, there’s no need to fill it to the top.

 

An Early Finish

A fully-working oven is great for retaining heat. As such, you can actually switch off your oven in advance of it’s scheduled cooking time expiring, saving energy in the process.

Provided the door remains closed, a good oven will retain its optimal temperature for some time after the oven is switched off, allowing you switch it off five or (in some cases) even ten minutes before your timer reaches zero.

Similarly, electric hobs also retain their heat for a while after they have been switched off. If you’re boiling up a storm on the electric hob, why not switch off the burner a couple of minutes early to save some energy.

 

Behind Closed Doors

A sure-fire way to cool down your oven instantly is to open the door dooring cooking. This is a bad habit for many and one that also has a notable impact on the rate of cooking.

Every time you open the oven door, the temperature can drop dramatically, as much as 25 degrees in a single go. From there, it will naturally need to use more energy to once again reach the temp you want.

To avoid the need to open and re-open your oven continuously to check on the progress of your meal, keep your oven glass clean. This will allow you to peer in to check your food without requiring you to open the door.

Conversely, it’s also important to be hot off the mark when it comes to putting your food in at the start as well. Pre-heating your oven only to return long after it’s reached the chosen temp is not energy efficient.

As such, keep an eye on your oven while it pre-heats so you can load your food as soon as it has reached your desired temp.

 

 

Remember, a dodgy oven can also use notably more energy than a healthy one operating at full capacity. Keep your oven firing on all cylinders with our range of replacement cooker parts. Call now for more info or click the button below.

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For some, cooking is the ultimate way to relax, combining creativity and productivity for a mutually beneficial outcome of exquisite eating.

That being said, that’s not always the case. Not everyone likes to cook and the thought of prepping another meal at the end of long day can be like being sentenced to 100 lines at the end of school.

Worse still, this aversion to cooking can lead to an over-reliance on fast food and takeaways – a hobby that not only hits you in the pocket but also hits you in the waistband too.

If cooking isn’t your forte, fear not because help is at hand. Join us as we explore how to make cooking easier in your home.

 

how to make cooking easier

 

Making Cooking Easier

Sadly, outside of ordering in food from elsewhere, there aren’t many ways around cooking in the home if you want to eat a decent meal. However, there are a few easy methods to help soften the blow. Here are a few of the best ways to make cooking easier in your home.

 

Oven Cooking

While baking and grilling can require a little closer attention, as a rule, there aren’t many cooking methods easier than oven cooking.

Even the notoriously simple stir-fry is trumped by oven cooking in terms of ease. Unlike stir-frying, you don’t even need to be involved or even present while the cooking takes place.

The “set and forget” model of cooking without looking allows you to simply prep your dish and leave it to heat while you get on with other things.

…just don’t forget to return once the time expires!

 

Think Edible Bulk

Cooking your meals in bulk is perhaps the easiest way to eat for the week (or at least for a few days) without having to once again go through the daily rigmarole of meal prep.

Batch cooking is the ultimate kitchen hack for avoiding cooking throughout the week. Simply make enough to cover a number of meals and separate the results into portioned containers.

Tupperware and old takeaway boxes are perfect for portion provision and can even be labelled if you really want to organise yourself. Simply place these in the fridge to be eaten in the next couple of days or, alternatively, place in the freezer to be eaten at a later date.

 

Tools of the Trade

Ever tried juicing an orange with your bare hands? Or peeling a potato with a blunt knife? The results can be frustrating at best and fall short worse than Evel Knievel on an off-day.

As such, having your kitchen pre-stocked with the correct tools for the task at hand is a wise move. Items such as pots and pans are an absolute must, while sharp knives and a chopping board can be just as vital.

From there additional items, like wooden spoons, vegetable peelers and even a good blender can be inherently useful to have around too (a fact you’ll soon realise when you need them and their absent).

For more instrument inspiration, check out our blog on must-have oven accessories for an idea of culinary essentials that may be missing from your kitchen.

 

Wash & Go

One of the very worst parts of cooking is undoubtedly the veritable conveyor belt of washing up that it creates as a result.

A great way to avoid the cataclysmic post-meal shock of the almighty tower of dishes you’ve just made is to get a head-start on the growing stockpile.

For those with a dishwasher, make sure your dishwasher is empty before you start cooking and simply add to the load as you go.

For those without, variably dipping into a sink full of soapy water can help you wash as you go. Items like dishes, chopping boards and cutlery are easy to get on with while the oven is heating up or you’re waiting for water to boil.

Think of it as damage limitation, softening the blow by reducing the number of dishes that remain when you're finally finished cooking.

 

For more tips on how to make cooking easier, why not check out our blog on Oven Cooking Tips? For anything else, drop us a line on 02920 452 510 or get in touch online using the button below.

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Oven cooking is great for a wide variety of purposes, from cake baking to casserole making and everything in between.

However, like most kitchen appliances, there are a few curious culinary foibles that can greatly influence the end result.

To help you achieve oven-baked brilliance in a single bound, we’ve laid out a few handy cooking tricks below.

Read on to ensure your cooking remains red hot without feeling the burn.

 

home cooking tips

 

Shut It

While it may be tempting to regularly check on your cooking throughout its oven residency, try to refrain from repeatedly opening the oven door.

Every time you open the oven, heat escapes the oven and the temperature within it can drop by 25 degrees or more, depending on the amount of time the door remains open.

As a result, this means the oven has to once again heat up to reach the desired temp, ultimately having a knock-on effect on the overall cooking duration.

Meanwhile, certain dishes benefit from a steady/constant cooking temperature – such as cakes, bread and meats – so fluctuations can actively impact the quality of the end-result.

To avoid relying on opening your oven to check on your dish as it cooks, use the oven window to check on its progression.

If your oven window is too dirty to visibly allow such observations, check out our handy blog on cleaning oven glass for complete transparency.

 

Pretty Vacant

While it may seem like a necessary evil at times, overcrowding your oven is a sure-fire way to negatively affect the quality of your cooking. As such, it’s advisable to try and steer clear of this method wherever possible.

Try to leave a couple of inches of space around pans and dishes to allow ample air circulation. This will help to ensure an even bake all around and avoid overcooking/burning one side.

Naturally, overcrowding can be virtually unavoidable if you’re cooking a large dinner for a cast of many, such as holidays and family occasions. If you are faced with catering for an army of hungry mouths, try to schedule your cooking and cook in batches.

Alternatively, it may be worth considering other means of cooking where possible to help free up space. This can be particularly handy when it comes to cooking vegetables, e.g. using the hob for boiling or even the microwave for steaming.

 

Another Level

Did you know that oven rack placement can have a big impact on the way your food cooks? It’s true! In fact, knowing which rack position to use for your corresponding dish can dramatically influence the way it cooks.

As a rule of thumb, the bottom rack is perfect for dishes that cook from the bottom up and require intense hear for a short period of time, making it perfect for items such as pizza.

Meanwhile, the middle is the go-to for anything that requires an even heat all around, making it ideal for anything from lasagne to pasta bakes.

Finally, the top rack provides greater heat from above, with most ovens featuring a grill for such purposes. The top position allows your dish to brown over the surface, which can be great for crusting a pie.

 

Feel the Heat

Ovens can often feature hotspots where the heat is more intense than elsewhere. Conversely, they can also naturally feature areas where the oven is cooler as a result.

If you happen to identify an area of your oven that cooks faster than others, naturally be wary of this when you're placing your foodstuffs. If positioning is unavoidable, rotating your dishes throughout can be a good way to remedy this.

To help identify hot spots and areas of greater heat, cover a baking sheet with shredded coconut and bake. This should give you a clearly visible indication of any areas that provide a more intense heat.

 

 

For more home cooking tips and oven hacks, why not check out our blog? Alternatively, drop us a line on 02920 452 510 today or click the link below to get in touch online now.

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When someone is cooking up a storm in the kitchen, there are few things that compare to the sweet, sweet aroma of a finely cooked dish.

Whether it’s a freshly made sauce on the stove, a roasting chicken in the oven or even the scent of toast gently browning in the toaster, the slightest whiff can get the taste buds tingling and the mouth salivating.

That being said, the cacophony of odours can create quite the aromatic cocktail over time and leave you with a less than harmonious oven smell (particularly when it comes to fish and meat).

Avoid a smelly oven with these tips to keep your oven smells under control.

 

oven smells, oven smell, smelly oven

 

How to Remove Odours from your Oven

When your oven smells become too much to handle, you can deodorise an oven in a number of different ways; however, you don’t even need to reach for the industrial power of chemical oven cleaners to do so.

In fact, perhaps the quickest and easiest way to neutralise your oven smells is to enlist a helping hand from Mother Nature. Here are three sure-fire techniques to rid your oven of its nasty odours naturally.

 

Lemon

A great natural way of getting rid of oven smells is to enlist the awesome citric power of lemons. In addition to smelling great, they also make for a great way to loosen grease for a one-two punch of citric power.

First, fill a large oven-proof dish with about an inch or so of water. Next, slice two or three lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the dish, placing the squeezed lemon halves into the dish as well.

From there, simply pre-heat the oven to 120 C, place the dish on the rack and leave it to boil over for up to an hour, depending on the extent of the smell. Voila – one citrus fresh oven!

 

Vanilla

Another fantastic natural ingredient for masking odours, vanilla is a great alternative for a sweet-smelling kitchen.

Simply mix a teaspoon of vanilla extract with a small bowl of water and mix. Dip a cloth into the mixture and ring out the excess water until you’re left with a damp cloth.

From there, use the damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the oven, making sure to cover all walls, roof, base and racks. Repeat this process two or three times to ensure the whole oven is appropriately coated.

Much like the lemon method, you can also use the evaporation technique to deodorise your oven. Simply follow the same steps using an oven-proof dish and an inch of water, replacing the lemon juice for a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

 

Oranges

Much like lemons, the citrusy goodness of oranges makes them the perfect weapon for a fresh smelling oven.

However, unlike the lemon method, you only need the peel for this approach (so feel free to snack on the juicy segments while you prep).

All you have to do is peel an orange and place the skin on a baking tray in the oven. Leave them to bake for up to an hour and – hey presto – you should be left with an odourly wonderful tropical scent.

 

So, there you have it: three unbelievably easy ways to rescue your smelly oven from the stench of defeat. If your oven trays, racks and pans are simply beyond saving, you can always get a replacement here at Cooker Spare Parts. Click below to get in touch today.

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Anyone that has ever crossed paths with an oven will be well aware of the adjustable rack positions within them.

However, did you know that the positions actually play a pivotal role in the cooking process?

When it comes to choosing top, middle or bottom in your oven, you don’t have to strike it lucky with guesswork. There’s actually a defined method to the ovenary madness.

Don’t let your culinary dreams go up in smoke or fall foul to a half-baked approach. Get the hot take on oven rack positions and keep your mealtimes piping hot and cooked to perfection.

 

Oven rack with baking biscuits

 

Is Oven Rack Position Important?

In a nutshell – yes!

The placement of the right food on the right rack can be the difference between good eating and good riddance.

As a general guide on how to best utilise a multi-rack oven, the following dishes are placed on these racks for optimal cooking.

                              

Bottom Oven Rack

Theoretically providing the closest proximity to the heat source, the bottom rack is perfect for foods that require intense heat for a short period of time. As such, this rack position is ideal for dishes like pizza and flatbreads.

 

Middle Oven Rack

The go-to position for most items of food, this is the safest bet for oven cooking items for an even finish – ideal for pies, pastries and lasagnes. This position allows the hot air to circulate around the food freely and fairly for a balanced bake.

 

Top Oven Rack

If you wish to use your oven for the purpose of grilling food, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the top shelf. This will give you direct access to the grill element on the roof of the oven. In the US, this is commonly referred to as “broiling”, so don’t be alarmed or confused if you stumble across the term “broiler” – it basically means “grill” to anyone outside the United States.

 

Is Oven Rack Position Important?

Naturally, oven models can and usually will vary from one brand to the next and you may find your oven features multiple levels outside of the simple top/middle/bottom trifecta. These are commonly found in between each of the aforementioned positions.

These mid-level settings allow for additional flexibility when cooking bulkier items, such as casserole dishes and large meats, while they can also provide a great middle-ground should you want to adjust your bake during cooking (e.g. lower the level if your food starts to burn).

 

The Golden-Brown Rule

A great rule of thumb when it comes to identifying which rack to use for your dish is to simply identify how you want your item to be cooked.

If you want the bottom of the food to brown, place low in the over; for the top to brown, place high; and, for the best of both worlds, place in the middle.

 

Cooking with Multiple Oven Racks

Having additional racks in the oven can provide a great way to cook several things at once. This can be particularly useful if you are cooking in bulk; e.g. baking several trays of cookies or multiple pizzas simultaneously.

However, when you do utilise the additional oven racks for cooking a variety of things at the same time, it’s worth keeping the following points in mind.

 

Food Placement

Theoretically As previously mentioned, cooking your food on varying levels of the oven can achieve a varying result, with the higher level resulting in a different finish than the lower. For an even bake, it may be worth moving your trays around midway through to ensure all items are cooked equally.

 

Cooking Time

Additionally, it’s worth remembering that food takes longer to cook the more items you have in your oven. It’s widely believed that two dishes will take 15% longer to cook than one: so, if you’re pizza was to take 10 mins by itself, cook for an additional minute and a half.

 

Multiple Oven Racks

Cooking with additional racks in the oven can not only make life easier for cooking in general, it can be a great solution for entertaining guests and catering for additional mouths to feed.

Don’t give your oven an easy ride. Get the most out of your oven by making sure you have the right equipment for the job.

If your grills, pans and oven trays are looking a little worse for wear or you simply want a couple of extra layers to add to your oven, head over to our replacements page now and bring your oven cooking experience to a whole new level today!

 

For more information on oven accessories and replacement parts, why not get in touch to find out more? Call now on 02920 452 510 or click the button below to drop us a message online.

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