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How to be efficient and save energy cooking

When cooking your dishes there are ways to obtain better results with less effort. In this post, we discuss the five pillars of efficient cooking and how you are going to manage to save money, energy and time when cooking.

Eating may seem to be a relatively harmless activity but in reality it is something that we do every day, various times a day and which has a decisive importance in various areas, from the smallest to the biggest:

  • Our physical and mental health.
  • Our economy.
  • Our planet.

Let us discover how to save energy in the kitchen while taking care of ourselves and leading a more sustainable life.


1. Think about what you buy

The challenge begins and it does so from the first station along the journey: the supermarket or the shops at which food is purchased.

Here the most important thing is to take into account the carbon footprint, which is merely the amount of pollutant gases emitted into the atmosphere with each activity.

Each purchase decision leads to a rate, a number related with the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere during its transportation.

For example: fresh fish reaches the supermarket with a rate of 2 and travelling 15 km by car represents a rate of 4.

Hence, if we wish to engage in efficient cooking, we see that buying fish next door, or in the neighbourhood, will maintain the rate of 2, while if we go by car to a shopping centre to buy it, the rate will rise to 6 (2+4). Look how easy it is to save energy when cooking, up to 66%.

Following this logic we can judge how to organise ourselves to cook more efficiently. We must travel as little as possible to shop, but it is also important that the product that we have purchased has travelled a short distance.

The further the origin of the food, the greater the carbon footprint and, therefore, the greater the damage to the environment.

We can apply a principle of proximity: attempt to avoid food produced over 100 km away. There are many restaurants that ask how to save energy in the kitchen and that are joining the gastronomical sustainability 0 km scheme.

 "One of the keys to more efficient cooking is to endeavour to travel as short a distance as possible to shop and to choose food items produced close to home."

2. Tricks to save energy when cooking

The next step of the challenge takes place at our home, when we arrive with our shopping basket. We have to prepare the food and this is when we can begin to save energy by cooking in a much more efficient manner.

It is important to try and have electrical appliances that are as sustainable as possible, something that is guaranteed by being fully aware of their energy label.

The next step involves simple tips to save energy in the kitchen:

  1. Each time you turn on the oven around 20% of the heat generated escapes, therefore, it is important to open it little by little and, if possible, cook various dishes at the same time or use residual heat (that which remains once you have turned the oven off) to heat other things.
  2. It is necessary to consider that efficient cooking also means cooking food to save as much energy as possible. Gas or induction are more sustainable and efficient systems to produce heat. For example: A natural gas cooker emits 200 grams of CO2 for every kWh and induction cooker 360 grams, while a vitroceramic cooker emits 450 grams per kWh.
  3. It is important to be concerned about the state of your electrical appliances and your electric and gas facilities. In this regard, it is essential to have a good maintenance and breakdown service.


3. Replace ovens with microwaves

Many of us only use our microwave to heat milk in the morning or to heat our Tupper meals at lunch time. However, the microwave can be a great ally when it comes to saving energy in the kitchen.

According to the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), using the microwave represents an approximate saving of between 60% and 70% with respect to the conventional electric oven. 

If you are thinking about beginning to take advantage of the potential of this electrical appliance, here are some additional recommendations to further increase the energy efficiency of microwaves.

  • It is highly recommendable to place food in small bits so that it cooks quicker and increases its efficiency.
  • Turn it off a few minutes beforehand so as not to overheat the food and obtain results that are more similar to traditional cooking.
  • There are currently many brands that are beginning to market microwave cooking containers and endless recipes that you have not considered until now and which you can prepare in this small but potent electrical appliance.
“The potential and energy efficiency of microwaves is one of the leading factors to help us to obtain more efficient cooking.”

4. Batch cooking and real fooding: sustainability with home cooking

The challenge continues in the programming of your weekly menus. The objective is to cook as few days a week as possible. This way we will maximise the result while at the same time saving energy in the kitchen

Here the concept of batch cooking can aid us a lot, that is, using electrical appliances as less as possible, together with real fooding, i.e. fleeing from ultra-processed foods. Two strategies that are going to help us greatly and lead to efficient cooking.

If we cook in a rational manner, by “deliveries”, organising what we are going to eat in the coming days, we reduce energy consumption in the kitchen to a large extent.

Moreover, by avoiding ultra-processed foods, we escape a production chain with an infinite number of steps that increase the emission of harmful gases.

It is a question of pledging for natural food items, produced locally, which help us to reduce our carbon footprint by over 25%.

"It is necessary to avoid ultra-processed foods to be efficient in the kitchen: we will obtain better results for our health and energy."







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5. Avoid throwing away food and fight against waste

When the food completes its journey and ends up in the rubbish bin, the sad result is that most of the polluting gases liberated to produce it have been for nothing.

Hence, it is fundamental to attempt to minimise the food that we throw away to achieve our purpose of efficient sustainable cooking.

For example, in 2018 alone, in Spain we threw away 1,339 million kilos/litres of food and drink in a good state. Imagine the amount of energy that we could have saved by avoiding such waste.

Hence, we need to make an effort in three areas:

  • Buy only what we are going to need.
  • Pledge for foodstuffs that do not require containers or that use easily recyclable containers
  • Be creative with the remains to avoid throwing away food that could actually be used.

We are not only talking about food, but we must also take into account the energy involved in the whole process from the beginning.

Energy waste is on the rise and it is in our hands to be able to enjoy all comforts by optimising consumption and being more efficient in the kitchen. 


How to achieve this?

We have a cooking efficiency challenge plan prepared for you:

  1. You only need to be a customer of Unique to Endesa.
  2. We will propose personalised challenges to you by email that help you to reduce your energy costs:
  • If you consume less, you will overcome the challenge and that saving will be reflected in your next instalment (take into account that the electricity challenges are quarterly and the gas challenges are annual). We will help you to complete the challenges with efficiency tips and we will inform you of your progress.
  • If you do not overcome the challenge, you will still pay the same, without somersaults or fluctuating instalments.

What are you waiting for to begin saving while you take care of the planet?

"As a country, we waste over 1,300 million food items in a good state per year. Let us move towards more efficient cooking together."
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