Valuable energy (and dollars spent on utilities) can be wasted by using your oven improperly. Even energy efficient models of appliances are designed to be efficient only when used correctly.
Kitchen Tip: Use Your Oven’s Peep Hole!
Exterior doors on homes and apartments have peep holes for a very good reason – so you can see what’s on the other side without having to open the door. Kitchen ovens have a “peep hole” also (a window on the front door) for the same reason!
Perhaps the most common mistake people make with kitchen appliances is opening the oven door every time they want to check on the food that is cooking. This unintentional blunder can drive up your utility bill and force you to cook foods for longer times than directed in your recipes. Heat escaping the oven can also make extra work for air conditioners in the summer months.
According to Newmarket Hydro Ltd., a utility company with great energy conservation programs in Ontario, Canada, opening an oven door while in use causes 20% of the heat to escape. Calculations vary, with some sources saying the temperature drops as much as 25° each time the door is opened! That heat loss means food will actually be cooking at a lower temperature, requiring time to be added onto the directed cooking time. It is more efficient to look through the window and only open the door when the food inside must be stirred or toothpick-tested.
Keep the oven door closed while cooking and use the conveniently located window on the front to view food instead!
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng.