How to make energy savings in your kitchen

Cooking and baking

It’s always easy to find an excuse to cook or bake something delicious. After all, eating with friends and family is an extremely popular pastime. And it’s made all the more enjoyable when meals are prepared not just creatively and healthily but also with saving both energy and the environment in mind.

Small appliances score top marks when it comes to saving energy. In the Express kettle, just a half-litre of water can be boiled not just far more cheaply but also more quickly than on the hob. Egg boilers and coffee machines not only help you save but also make your everyday tasks easier. The microwave is ideal for heating up meals and cooking small amounts.

Microwave or electric cooker: A comparison of power consumption

A hob is only ever as good as the saucepan that you use

  • Choose the saucepan diameter to suit the size of the hob. Heat and energy will be lost unnecessarily if the saucepan is too small. If it is clearly too big, it will take too long to heat up.
  • Saucepans should have a flat base and a well-fitting lid. Lids that are not on straight allow too much heat to escape, with the result that up to three times the amount of electricity is consumed.
  • If you use a pressure cooker for dishes that take over 20 minutes to cook, you can save up to 50 percent time and 30 percent energy.

As little as possible, as much as necessary

  • You can also boil with just a small amount of water. Just one cup of water can cook four portions of potatoes. That saves energy.
  • After bringing the water to the boil, reduce the hob heat setting to simmer or use the Automatic function.
  • Use the residual heat. When cooking potatoes, switch off the hob five to ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, and when boiling rice switch it off about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  • Don’t be a “pot watcher”. That wastes energy. A glass lid saves you having to lift it off during cooking, thereby conserving energy.

When switched off, it looks similar to a normal hob surface but aspiring chefs know: The induction hob offers more. Full power and greater safety in no time at all, thanks to saucepan recognition and lower residual heat because the heat is produced directly in the base of the saucepan – the saucepan must be magnetisable. Do the magnet test: Examples of suitable materials are enamelled steel or cast iron.

Use the residual heat

  • Roast meat also turns crispy if you switch off the oven ten minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  • The oven door should not be opened unnecessarily. If the oven door is opened during cooking, this can cause for example puff pastry to collapse.

Making full use of the oven

  • Cooking several dishes simultaneously or baking two cakes together saves both time and energy.
  • Pastries, roasts and casseroles can also be cooked by putting them into a cold oven. Preheating is only rarely required (as instructed by the manufacturer), for example when baking bread.
  • The Sunday roast should only go into the oven if it weighs more than two kilogrammes. Otherwise, use a casserole pot or pressure cooker. If you have a fan oven: Use it to cook food simultaneously on more than one level, saving both time and energy.
  • Those who enjoy healthy food use a steam cooker or a combination oven. The food is cooked not in water but by hot steam, which preserves more of the vitamins and minerals. Not only does the steam cooker preserve the natural colour of vegetables, it is also ideal for cooking fish, potatoes and for thawing out food. Also, pressure-resistant appliances reduce cooking times by up to 50 percent.

Health conscious gourmets trust the steam cooker or combi steamer. Foods cook in hot steam and not in water, which helps preserve vitamins and minerals. Not only do the vegetables retain their natural color, but the steamer is also ideal for fish, potatoes and defrosting. In addition, low pressure cookers allow a reduction in cooking time of up to 50%.

Dish-washing

What’s not to like: sparkling glasses, clean dishes, a tidy kitchen and more time for the good things in life. The dishwasher makes all that possible, and saves both energy and water in comparison with washing the dishes by hand.

Mains water contains varying concentrations of many minerals that are important in nutritional terms but that can also leave behind a film when dishes are washed in a machine. For this reason, the water is softened in the machine and the dishwasher requires a special regeneration salt for this.

Pre-rinsing under running water…

  • Simply gather the used dishes together in the dishwasher and close the door so that food leftovers do not dry on.
  • The dishwasher should not be switched on until it is fully loaded.
  • Add the cleaning agent economically as directed by the manufacturer: as much as necessary, as little as possible. Newer models can adapt themselves to the 3 in 1 combination cleaners and switch off the indicators for salt and rinsing agent.
  • Modern dishwashers offer a full range of washing programmes that take into account such things as the type of dishes (gentle programme), the amount of dishes (load recognition) or how dirty the dishes are (Automatic programmes). There are also intensive programmes for very dirty dishes and economy programmes for dishes that are only slightly dirty.

The right appliance for everyone…

  • High-level and drawer-type dishwashers allow particular ease of handling because they can be opened and closed without having to bend down.
  • With a full load, appliances 60 centimetres wide (for 12 – 15 standard place settings) work more economically than appliances 45 centimetres wide (6 – 10 standard place settings).
  • Some appliances are fitted with heat exchanger surfaces. They allow the energy of the current cycle to be used for the following cycle.
  • Most appliances can be connected to the cold and hot water supply. A hot water connection is appropriate above all when using regenerative energies, for example when a heating pump is being used.

Refrigerating and freezing

The trend today is towards healthy eating. To keep fruit and vegetables rich in vitamins and crunchy, fish fresh and meat tender while at the same time saving energy, a few points should be observed when it comes to refrigerating and freezing because fridges and freezers are in use round the clock. So it’s worthwhile taking an extra look at energy consumption.

– 18° C is the ideal temperature for a freezer, otherwise energy consumption increases too much.

Increasing the fridge’s temperature from 5° C to 7° C results in a 15 per cent energy saving.

Everything in its place …

  • Different foods need different storage temperatures. A multi-zone device can therefore meet all your needs. Experience shows that foods placed in the low temperature zone (slightly above 0 ° C) are kept up to three times longer than in the normal refrigeration zone.

High-quality wines also need to be stored appropriately. Special wine cooler cabinets or multi-temperature wine cabinets (with different temperature zones) take the place of the wine cellar. Today, high-quality side-by-side appliances also offer the possibility of a wine climate zone with a fresh air supply.

Unused refrigeration and freezing space costs …

  • Buy an appliance of a suitable size for your needs. In the case of a chest freezer for example, 100 litres of unused space consume up to 200 kWh per year.
  • Chest freezers are preferable to upright freezers. Because cold sinks, chest freezers lose less cold than upright freezers when they are opened.
  • Do not put fridges and freezers next to a cooker or a heat source. The lower the ambient temperature is, the lower the electricity consumption will be.
  • Foodstuffs should only be kept well chilled and covered or well packed in the fridge, except for fruit and vegetables stored at just above 0° C. To allow optimum moisture circulation, they should always be stored unpacked.
  • Opening the appliance’s door frequently and for too long costs energy. Organised food clearly saved tiresome searching and makes space.
  • Dirty or damaged rubber seals on the appliance’s door allow cold and therefore energy to escape.
  • A large fridge uses less energy than two small ones.
  • Is an ice compartment necessary? Fridges without one consume 20% less energy.
  • It is worthwhile keeping the ventilation grille (rear panel) of appliances free of dust and ensuring that air circulation is uninterrupted.
  • On freezers without automatic defrosting, defrosting is necessary when the ice layer exceeds one centimetre otherwise energy will be wasted unnecessarily. NoFrost appliances on the other hand remain ice-free.
  • Before freezing large quantities or before defrosting, the Super function provides a necessary reserve of cold.
  • Appliances with thicker thermal insulation have the additional advantage that the contents remain frozen for longer in the event of a failure.
  • Scrapped fridges and freezers must be disposed of correctly. Your local authority can give you more information about this.

Star labelling and storage period

LabellingUse
Ice compartmentSuitable for freezing and storing ice cubes
* not warmer than -6°CSuitable for storing frozen foods for short periods - up to 1 week
** not warmer than -12℃Suitable for storing frozen foods for medium-length periods - up to 3 weeks
*** not warmer than -18℃Suitable for storing frozen foods for longer periods - several months (depending on the type of food)
**** -18°C or colderSuitable for freezing frozen foods and for storing it for longer periods - several months (depending on the type of food)