1. Don’t preheat too far ahead
It’s not a good idea to preheat your oven too far in advance. The oven is keeping itself hot for a long period of time without baking anything. So, if you preheat, turn the oven to the correct temperature no more than 10 minutes in advance. This is usually ample time for an oven to come to the right temperature. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to preheat at all. If you are baking bread, you can raise the dough in a cold oven and simply turn the oven to the right temperature when the dough has risen high enough. Just add about 7 minutes on to the total baking time.
2. Consider investing in a convection oven
Convection ovens use fans to blow hot air or distribute the preheated air evenly. Convection ovens can cook baked goods in a lot less time and at a lower temperature. This, of course, saves energy and is much more green.
3. Don’t peek
Opening the oven door lets out a lot of heat and isn’t very green. The oven’s heating coils then have to compensate, which means another surge of energy use. The same is true for placing the food into the oven. Open the door just long enough to pop the food into the oven and then shut the oven door immediately for green baking. Many ovens have windows and lights, so use them if you have them!
4. Maintain your oven
Keeping your oven clean and in good working order increases its efficiency. Do a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. A clean oven window also reduces your need to open the door to peek inside!
5. Solar-powered ovens
Some homeowners have installed solar panels just to run a high-energy appliance, such as an oven. But there are actually solar-powered ovens available, and a home version costs between $200 and $400. These ovens are sometimes called “sun ovens” and are being used around the world. They do not have an electrical component at all. Their aluminum and reflective surface creates heat around the food.
6. Insulated hot box
You can make your own insulated hot box to cook food. Like the solar oven, an insulated hot box uses only the energy and heat from the sun to cook food. All you need is some kind of insulated box. You can line a cardboard box with straw, towels, or other insulating material. Or you can use an old cooler that already has insulated sides. An insulated hot box cooks food slowly, but there are many baked goods that do well when cooked slowly at a lower temperature.
7. Check your bake-ware
Some types of bake-ware are more efficient than others. Glass or Pyrex cooks faster than metal for breads and cakes. Consider a pizza stone for cookies and other baked goods that you’d normally bake on a flat cookie sheet. A pizza stone retains heat very well.
We hope that Energy-Efficient Green Baking Tips helps you reduce your energy use while enhancing your baking experience!