Efficient energy use of electric cooktop

bern48November 3, 2008

Please help settle an argument. When I cook, eg. boiled potatoes, I bring them to the boil, with the lid on fully, then turn the heat down to about 3, so the water is still bubbling but less.

My friend keeps the heat to 6-7 and the lid partially off to stop the lid 'popping off'.

I think my method is more energy efficient. I do not mind being proven wrong.


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Bern48, I am just curious. Have you and your friend compared cooking time?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 11:23AM
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Your method is more energy efficient. Your friend is using some of the heat to convert the water to a vapour and then letting it escape into the air.
But I have no idea if it is a significant difference that should cause your friend to change their cooking habits.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 2:52PM
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How significant the difference is, I'm not totally sure. But of course lid on is going to be more efficient. Think of it this way, furnace is on and windows opened or closed? Same principle.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 3:33PM
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Your friend is also steaming up the kitchen unnecessarily and risks ending up having to clean the hob if the pan boils over.

As well as doing the potatoes you could be cooking something else on the same ring if you get yourself a steamer that fits over the pan. Then you would definitely beat your friend in the efficiency stakes.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:10AM
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Both of you should use pressure cooker..the quickest and fastest way to cook...I dont think anything else will be more efficient.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 11:06PM
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I have a pressure cooker but do not use it for vegetables because they cook so fast anyway and I like to see how they are progressing. In the PC there is the risk of blasting your veggies to sludge before you know it. Plus it's larger and fiddlier to wash than an ordinary small pan. It gets a lot of use for stews, beans, pulses and other long cook stuff though.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 4:57PM
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Well as for veggies getting over cooked...i just take either one whistle or just switch off when the whistle is about to blow off..
And as for the size...there are a lot of smaller ones available..from one liter to 10 liters...i have 4 cookers..
i. one liter-1
ii. one three liter
iii. one 7 liter
iv. one 10 liter.
Actaully we dont use microwave...and so i would pack my food in containers and stack them in cooker. Switch on the cooker with very little water and leave it on lowest flame.
the food gets warm and all of it is done at the same time...saves me time and not to mention energy efficient as well
i love it

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 12:36PM
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How about this for energy savings.........I have those Seal-O-Matic pans. You put the burner on a high setting. When it starts to boil the whistle goes off just like a tea kettle. Then you close the hole and it forms a tight seal. Turn off the burner. The items continue to cook in the sealed vessle with no more fuel being used and no heat escaping from the pan.

If you have electric burners that you use for frying turn them off shortly before the items are done and let the hot coils continue to cook the food. I don't know why more people do not do this. They cook the food until done and remove the pan from glowing red coils, and then let the coils cool down on their own just sending heat into the air.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 4:12PM
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i do this religiously....especially when i deep frying something i turn off the electric burners and let the last few pieces cook on there own....

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 4:56PM
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My favorite use for my small pressure cooker is cooking "Easy Cheesy Potatoes"

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 7:38PM
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Boiling ... is boiling ... is boiling.

Stuff doesn't cook any faster at a fast boil than at a slow boil: apart from being in pressure cooker, the temp. is the same ... the heat level is the same, and, as someone said, the extra heat makes steam that adds both heat and moisture to the air and when the vapour returns to water, gives off heat.

When your friend is heating her house, perhaps that vapour will add to the warmth, but not enough to be appreciable, I think.

Actually, I keep it warmest near my computer (so I can produce all of that hot air that appears here), but cooler in the kitchen, as usually I'm moving about and working when I'm there. Or in the bedroom, as I have several quilts on the bed.

I haven't turned on the furnace, yet - trying to beat last year's Nov. 16th, but that's a bit artificial, as the outside temperature is the main deciding factor. My little electric fan has been quite active, though.

Usually keep the temp. about 60 - 62 or so ... with several layers of clothing, and with a washcloth covering my mouse-operating hand, held by a safety pin (the other one placed under my rump, as necessary).

It's 64 now, but I'm wearing clothing that got wet when I was cutting roots and tops off of turnips and beets in the rain: (haven't changed as I have been going out occasionally to try to get the van started to haul the produce to the house ... battery's low).

Good wishes for getting the most value from your energy use.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 1:01AM
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I'm interested in the pressure cooker you have shwetagarg. Mine does not have a whistle. It just goes swoosh when the pressure is up. But by the time that happens something like cabbage would already be cooked. Also I like to be able to see what I'm cooking. I cook by experience not timing or recipes so I judge everything by eye, nose, touch or taste so I need access to what I'm cooking. I don't cook on electricity but gas. I hate cooking at my mother's because the rings take for ever to heat up and can't be turned up and down in an instant.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 5:20PM
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i have prestige brand...u cant see the food...but by experience i would switch off the gas a little sooner when the pressure starts building...and maybe not wait for the full whistle to blow.
cabbage for example will take half a whistle.
hope this helps...

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 1:04AM
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Joyfulguy, I keep my place pretty cool too, and wear heavy warm clothing. For my mouse hand I use a lightweight woolen glove with the finger tip cut off so I can use the wheel and clickers.

If you do a lot of typing just get those stretchy "Magic Gloves" that they sell at the dollar store. Sometimes they even go on sale two pairs for a dollar. Cut the fingertips off for typing.

This is prettier than an old washcloth pinned and easier to get on and off maybe.

Another thing I tried was to keep a terracotta tile over the pilot light on the stove. It would get warm and I would put that under my mouse during computer time. I have an electric stove now so that option is out for me.

Another "keep warm" tip is to wear a knit cap around the house. They always say you lose most of your body heat through the head and people wear caps outside but no one wears one indoors. Why not? I wear a knit cap indoors and it keeps me warmer and I don't have to bulk up on sweaters as much. I even sleep with a knit cap. In the olden days everyone wore a stocking cap to bed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Magic Glove

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 6:14PM
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I always leave a "bath sheet" (extra large towel) on the back of my recliner. It's great in the summertime to soak up sweat and the like and keeps the recliner cleaner. During the winter, it's warmer against the leather. And since it's so large, I can take part of it and put over my head or even my shoulders when I'm napping to keep me warm. When the critters lie on the back of the chair it takes up some of the hair. Then just toss it into the laundry and clean it. Makes me more comfortable, easier to clean and frankly, looks just fine.

To me, form follows function. I'm not as concerned about somthing looking pretty if it doesn't perform a function.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 12:39AM
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