By Maria Kanevsky
With more people staying at home than ever before, many of us are spending more time in the kitchen. Whether you’re roasting a chicken, blending your favorite smoothie or baking a loaf of sourdough bread, kitchen appliances are used nearly every day.
Using energy-efficient kitchen appliances can help you save energy in the long run and ultimately lower your monthly energy bills. For any home chef interested in new, electric gadgets for the kitchen (while also being energy efficient), there are several options available.
Stoves consume a great deal of energy in the kitchen. One of the most energy-efficient forms of cooking is with an induction cooktop. Electromagnetic energy used in induction cooktops is directly transferred to the pan, which reduces cooking time and saves energy. Gas stovetops are generally less energy efficient than induction cooktops or any other type of electric cooktop for that matter. This is because a significant amount of energy from the gas stovetop is not transferred directly to the food. Instead, the stove also heats the surrounding air and warms up your kitchen. Since induction cooktops use a magnetic field to heat pans, you can touch the stove without burning yourself, which adds a safety bonus. It’s important to note that induction cooktops only work with compatible cookware that is magnetic. An easy test for compatibility is to place a magnet near the cookware; if it sticks, it will work with an induction cooktop.
Hot water kettle
A cup of morning coffee or tea is a daily ritual for many. This makes the hot water kettle an essential part of the kitchen to achieve that daily brew. Electric kettles are more energy efficient than cooktop kettles since the heating component underneath the kettle directly heats the water. The electric kettle’s automatic shutoff feature further helps to reduce energy and prevents overheating. Another benefit with electric kettles is that you can choose the exact temperature to heat the water, which allows for a finer brew that brings out the best flavor in any tea or coffee. Overall, electric kettles are more convenient, efficient and portable than their cooktop counterparts.
Microwaves are typically the most efficient way to cook or heat food compared to other kitchen appliances, and state-of-the-art microwaves are becoming much smarter. Some microwaves can even scan barcodes of microwaveable meals and heat them accordingly. Others can be paired with an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant and react to voice commands. Many of these additional features are becoming increasingly common among smart home devices to provide extra comfort and convenience.
Kitchen appliances aren’t replaced very often, so be sure to do your research before purchasing any new gadgets. Different types of products provide varying benefits and understanding your needs on the front end will help you make the right choice.
Maria Kanevsky is a program analyst for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.