Green SAHM is one of my favorite blogs in my RSS reader. Her latest post is on saving energy when cooking. Tips vary from keeping a lid on the pot on the stove, to analysis of energy costs of different cooking methods (microwave, electric oven, gas oven, slow cooker. Definitely worth a look!
From How to Use Less Energy While Cooking
Having the lid on the pan helps to keep your food at the right temperature for cooking, while you can have your stove on at a much lower level since less heat is lost out the top. If you don’t like to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, this also translates to a shorter cooking time.
Another factor to consider is how long you preheat your oven, or if you even really need to. I very rarely preheat mine, as it takes only a short time for it to reach the required temperature anyhow. I make an exception for anything that is more sensitive to temperature, such as when I bake bread. But meats and casseroles don’t need to start out at that perfect temperature.
A tool I’ve been learning to use is my pressure cooker. It takes a bit of practice, but it can cook many foods in under 10 minutes. It’s one of the few things that I’m considering finding a cookbook for since I have very few pressure cooker recipes.
My slow cooker, on the other hand, is used very regularly. Despite how long it spends cooking, it can use less energy than the oven (depending on the type of oven you have). It’s also very easy to have just about the entire dinner in one pot. Throw in a roast and put the potatoes alongside it.