Cooking and Cleaning Tips



  • Use pots and pans with absolutely flat bottoms on your range. To cook efficiently, heat must transfer directly from the surface element to the pan. Warped bottoms leave an air gap which provides an escape route for heat.
  • Select pots and pans that are the right size to completely cover the surface element. When any part of the surface element is exposed, you’re wasting heat and energy.
  • Keep reflector pans beneath surface elements shiny and clean. Shiny pans reflect heat rays onto pan bottoms. Dull pans absorb the heat.
  • Develop the habit of "lids on" cooking. Tight-fitting lids help keep heat in a pan, permitting you to use lower temperature settings and shorter cooking times.
  • Heat only the amount of water you need for cooking. The water will boil faster if you cover it with a lid.
  • Start vegetables on high heat in a covered pan. When steam appears around the lid, lower the heat setting and allow food to simmer until done.
  • Plan one-dish meals in a slow cooker. Such meals require less energy than those calling for the use of the oven plus two or three surface elements.
  • Make more use of your pressure cooker. It cuts cooking time to one-third that of conventional methods.
  • Consider cooking small quantities of food in appliances such as an electric toaster oven, skillet or grill instead of your oven. Portable appliances generally use about one third the electricity of your oven. Also, consider using smaller coffee makers if you only want one or two cups of coffee.
  • Use your microwave oven instead of your conventional electric oven whenever possible. Microwaves can cook food in one-fourth or less the normal cooking time.
  • Prepare your whole meal in the oven at the same time. Often you can simultaneously cook foods that have different cooking temperatures. Variations of 25 degrees usually produce favorable cooking results.
  • Carefully time your preheat period when baking. Generally, five to eight minutes is sufficient. There is no need to preheat for broiling, roasting or cooking most casseroles.
  • Rearrange oven shelves before turning on the oven to prevent wasteful heat escape.
  • Avoid opening the oven door for a “peek” when baking. Each time you open the door, a considerable portion of the heat escapes.
  • Use the outside barbecue grill whenever possible. This will keep the heat out of the kitchen. Barbecuing can also be a fun time for the whole family.
  • Gas flames from your stove should burn with a clear blue color. A yellow flame may indicate that your burner isn’t operating efficiently.
  • Fill a dishpan with rinse water instead of letting the faucet run while you do dishes by hand.
  • Use cold water when operating your garbage disposal. It saves energy and solidifies the grease, which is then ground up and flushed away.
  • Activate the self-cleaning cycle on your electric oven only when the oven is heavily soiled. Start the cycle right after using the oven while it is still hot.
  • Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water; placing the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet.
  • Cooking water and fish tank water are both excellent for watering plants.