Saving energy for Thanksgiving dinner may be one of the last things in your mind. When you do, however, you can save energy and money with these tips for the biggest dinner of the year.
A few days before Thanksgiving Dinner
- Plan the dishes beforehand. Plan side dishes that are able to cook simultaneously with the turkey. By cooking dishes at the same temperature at the same time, you are able to reduce the use of your oven. Not only will it be more convenient for the cook, but it can also save energy.
- Try a no-bake recipe.Try frying your turkey or roast it in the bbq or over a fire. In addition, try desserts that don’t need to use an oven as well. You can store these dessert dishes in the fridge when made ahead of time.
- Check your smoke detectors before cooking. It’s a good idea to replace all smoke detector batteries in the fall just in time for the holiday season.
- Lower the temperature of your thermostat by a few degrees. The extra heat from your oven will keep your house nice and cozy while the cooler temperature can help reduce your energy consumption. The same applies if you are expecting family to visit, since people generate heat, the space can become wastefully overheated.
- Take all ingredients from the refrigerator at one time. Each time the door of a refrigerator or freezer is opened, the compressor will take longer to replace the cold air that spills out. So to prevent this from happening, think of the items to take out of the refrigerator before opening the door.
- Cut food into smaller pieces. This will help cook your food faster by having heat exchanged more efficiently due to a larger surface area. Consider this tip when preparing your side dishes like potatoes, corn and other vegetables.
- Use glass or ceramic pans. These pans will help retain heat, cooking your food more efficiently in the oven as well as keeping your food warm out of the oven. You can also turn down the oven’s temperature by up to 25 degrees and still get the same results.
- Use the convection feature of your oven. The heated air circulates around the food, helping to cook your food faster and reduce the required temperature. This feature can help you reduce your energy by about 20%.
- Use lids on pots. When cooking on the stove, use lids to retain heat in your food. Not only will you heat up your food faster, but you can also save energy and money with this simple tip.
- Put other appliances to work. Cook in the microwave or use slow cookers. Plan dishes to use these appliances as much as possible. Microwaves can cook your food faster. In contrast, slow cookers can take longer to cook your food, but use less energy than your oven.
- Scrape food remnants from your plate instead of washing them away with hot water. This can help reduce your energy and water consumption.
- Use your dishwasher. This appliance works wonders when saving energy and water. By doing so, wait until you have a full load of dishes before using it. Keep an eye out before the heated dry cycle, so you leave the door open to allow your dishes to air-dry.
- Cool off your food. Allow hot leftovers to cool off before placing them in the refrigerator. This will allow the refrigerator to not work as hard.
Saving energy is important. These tips can help preserve our energy and water resources when it matters most. When people go out of their way to change their energy and water use habits that result in energy savings, this is called "behavioral energy efficiency." The energy savings produced by Thanksgiving traditions portrays the significance of behavioral energy efficiency ultimately to showcase the success of comparable energy savings within a whole year. Therefore, if Thanksgiving energy savings are to be replicated throughout the entire year, we as a nation would be able to save over $2 billion in annual energy bills.
To see how you can save energy in other ways, you can get a free energy audit by making an appointment with us.