A cooler kitchen and lower energy bills

July 9, 2012

Is preheating the oven before baking really necessary?

I’m no expert on baking, but this I do know: those huge elements in most kitchen ovens take a lot of power.  And they create a lot of heat, which can make a kitchen uncomfortably hot.  Plus, if you have air conditioning, that heat has a double impact on your energy bill because it makes your air conditioner work harder.

So what can you do?

  • Only preheat your oven when truly necessary for recipe success (cakes, pies and breads, according to my cookbook), and try baking other types of food without preheating.  (You’ll likely need to experiment and adjust baking times a little, as ovens vary.)
  • If preheating is necessary, do it “just in time”: turn the oven on just a few minutes before you need it.  If you turn it on when you start to prepare ingredients (as many recipes instruct), it will likely be hot long before you need it, and that’s a waste.
  • Finally, for further savings, turn off your oven 15 minutes or so early, and let it ‘coast’ the rest of the way.  As long as you don’t open the door, it should complete the cooking just fine.

Read more here.  Happy – and efficient – baking!

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