The economy being what it is, everyone wants to save what little money they can wherever they can. And if that means being more energy-efficient, that's even better. So when it comes to your kitchen and the variety of cooking appliances you own, which is the best one to use?
According to research from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), you should use your microwave or toaster oven more often than your regular oven, because they use significantly less power to get the job done.
Using mostly frozen food as their benchmark, EPRI tested several foods and several different types of appliances. The amount of energy they use -- and the difference between each -- is striking.
Let's take the good-old fashioned microwave pizza (French bread variety, yum). According to EPRI, cooking the pizza in a microwave uses 70 watt hours of electricity. The toaster oven used 308 watt hours, and the conventional oven a whopping
504 watt hours.
So the clear winner here is the microwave, mostly because it cooks so quickly. It actually uses more energy on a minute-per-minute basis, but it cooks in so few minutes that it still comes out extremely far ahead of the pack.
Obviously, you wouldn't consider cooking the Christmas goose in your microwave, but if you're looking to save a few pennies and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, maybe your side dishes should be done in the microwave. You'll save yourself some time and effort while saving the planet in the process.
Got other ideas for kitchen efficiency? Post 'em in the comments! We'd love to hear from you.