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Tips for Energy Efficient Cooking

We’re all currently looking for ways to reduce our household energy and food bills, but how do we do this without compromising on the quality and taste of the food we eat?

We know that switching the oven on is the most expensive way to cook, which is fine if you’re utilising the whole oven or batch cooking for the week ahead, but it’s not the most cost-efficient for quick midweek meals or if you’re cooking for just one or two people. Thankfully, the slow cooker is making a big comeback, while the air fryer is proving to be the popular new kid on the block.

There’s not much that can’t be cooked to perfection in an air fryer, and that includes everything from bacon to a whole chicken (cook it breast side down, turning over for the last 10 mins to crisp up) to a beef sirloin joint.

A beef sirloin joint cooked in an air fryer takes half the time of one cooked in the oven and is at least half the cost in energy. As a rule of thumb, the cooking time for beef in an air fryer is 15 minutes per lb, plus an additional 5 minutes at between 200 – 180 degrees C. Another great thing about the air fryer is that it collects all the juices that ooze out during cooking, so make sure to save them as they make the most incredible gravy.

With the autumn evenings drawing in and a chill biting the air, there’s never been a better time to dust off the slow cooker and start cooking hearty stews and warming casseroles. Simply sear your meat in a pan (we’d recommend economical cuts such as diced chicken breast or Welsh diced beef) before popping it into the slow cooker with your choice of vegetables, herbs, and seasoning. Slow cook for several hours while you get on with your day (a slow cooker switched on uses a similar amount of energy as a lightbulb left on all day). You can even cook dinner party favourites such as beef bourguignon or a boneless leg of lamb in the slow cooker – See an example of a low energy cooking recipe here.

So, why not give alternative cooking methods a go and save on your energy bills at the same time with some low energy cooking?


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