What Kind of Cookware is Most Energy-Efficient?

By Josh Crank, June 8, 2018, Energy Efficiency

Upgrading your kitchen’s major appliances to newer, more efficient models is the most significant step you can take to reduce your energy consumption while cooking. But the opportunities don’t stop there — choosing the right cookware can also help you waste less energy and save on every meal.

What Kind of Cookware is Most Energy-Efficient? | Bounce Energy Blog

You may be able to save energy just by making different choices with the pots and pans you already own, but if you’re seeking out new cookware, there’s at least one designer that cares as much about energy efficiency as you do. Physicist Lee Huang’s day job was designing projection TV lasers before he dreamed of more energy-efficient cookware, and after a little research and development, he founded Turbo Pot.

From above, the Turbo Pot looks like any other pot. But if you flip it over, you’ll see a series of deep aluminum ridges that result in a greater surface area than you’d have on the bottom of an ordinary pot of the same size. More surface area means more heat transfer into the food and less heat loss into the kitchen.

But let’s start with the energy efficient-cookware you likely already own, along with a few simple tricks to avoid wasting energy at the stove.

Here are a few of our favorite tips for energy efficient cookware and cooking:

What Kind of Cookware is Most Energy-Efficient? | Bounce Energy Blog

Energy Saving Cookware

  • Copper is the common cookware material that heats up the fastest, so use copper or copper-bottom pots and pans for things that cook quickly.
  • Cast iron is the common cookware material that retains heat the best. Cast iron can be a bad fit for some foods and cooking techniques, but it’s the optimal choice for many recipes that cook for a long period of time.
  • Glass and ceramic bakeware absorbs and transfers heat better than metal. Because of this, you can save energy by reducing the baking temperature of your recipes by 25 degrees Fahrenheit — and you should, to prevent food burning.

Energy-Efficient Cooking Tips

  • Maximize contact between the heat and the pan. This is the principle that makes the Turbo Pot more efficient, and it will also help you avoid using the wrong cookware. For example, it’s inefficient to use a curved wok on a traditional burner. For most stovetops, flat bottomed pots and pans are best.
  • Don’t use a larger pot or pan than you need. Think about everything that will end up in the pot and choose the smallest size for the job, otherwise you’ll use a lot of unnecessary energy and add to the length of time it takes to heat the pot.
  • Use the right burner. Many stoves have burners of different sizes, and it’s best to use a burner that is slightly smaller than the pot or pan you’re using to cook. If your burner is larger than the pan, you’re just wasting energy.
  • Use lids. This isn’t a good strategy for every recipe — lids will drip condensation onto crispy foods — but it’s the best way to minimize heat loss from foods like soups and stews.
  • Take It Outside. With all these strategies for saving money and energy at your oven and stove, you might forget that there are even more energy efficient means of cooking if you go outside. Firing up the charcoal grill doesn’t add a penny to your utility bill, and if you’re looking for a fun new way to cook, you can buy or build a solar cooker. There are several different styles of solar cookers that concentrate and trap the heat of the sun to achieve temperatures as high as 700 degrees.

We hope these tips help you save energy and cook smarter, whether it’s in the kitchen or the backyard!

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