Countertop Appliances Can Save You Money
Chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen over the holidays. And more cooking time means more energy consumption. It takes a lot of energy to boil liquids or roast meat and vegetables. Rather than heat up a burner or large oven for small jobs, these countertop appliances will do the job more economically—and often faster.
Here are a few ways putting countertop appliances to work can save you money, both on utilities and groceries.
- Microwave Oven
Your microwave oven is more versatile than you may realize. Besides popping popcorn and reheating leftover pizza, it can do a great job of steaming vegetables, baking potatoes, and heating liquids. And since it does it much faster than stovetops and ovens, it uses less energy in the process.
Most vegetables will steam as well in a microwave as in a steamer basket. Simply moisten them and cook for a minute or two on high in a lidded container. Be careful to not overcook or the vegetables can lose their moisture and turn out leathery.
Both white and sweet potatoes cook nicely in a microwave, too. Again, add a little moisture to keep the skins soft. Be sure to puncture the skin in several places so steam can get out—if you don’t the potato will likely explode and leave a mess to clean up. You’ll have your baked potatoes in a fraction of the time and energy use compared to heating up and baking them in a traditional oven. Click this link for more details.
A microwave oven is great for heating liquids and even some baked goods, too. For a look at all the foods that cook well in a microwave, check out this exhaustive list at FoodNetwork.com.
- Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens are just downsized versions of the big ones. Most will hold 9x9 pans and some are large enough to cook even bigger meals. Some have convection heating for quicker, more even cooking, and a few even have rotisseries. Their smaller size means they take less time to preheat and less energy to maintain cooking temperatures. While they may not hold a full ham or turkey, they do fine on many other items. Plus, they can be used for everyday cooking once the company’s left. Don’t skimp, though. Look for high-rated ones for best results.
- Slow Cooker
Besides the set-it-and-forget-it convenience of slow cookers, they save energy compared to an oven, too. In addition to the fall-apart tenderness of meats and extra flavor infusion of long cooking times, slow cookers can also be used to cook rice, bake breads and make desserts. Here are some ideas from FoodNetwork.com.
While these appliances all save time and energy, they need outlets in order to function. Using several at a time can put a strain on circuits, especially in older homes. Current building codes require kitchens to have least two 20-amp, 120-volt small appliance branch circuits that feed GFCI-protected receptacles above the countertops, and those circuits can’t supply other outlets, including those for lighting.
If you need a wiring upgrade to take advantage of these energy-saving countertop appliances, the pros at Allstar Electrical Services are ready to handle it for you. We offer homeowners, builders and businesses reliable, professional electrical work that is safe and up to code.
Call Allstar Electrical at 303.399.7420 or visit our website. Then use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment. We’ve served the Front Range for over 15 years and are top-rated by the BBB and Angie’s List.
Allstar also offers 24/7 radio-dispatched emergency service throughout our Front Range service area.
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