How to save energy in the kitchen

Knowing how to save energy in the kitchen

Cooking and baking are your passions and you spend many hours in the kitchen – it’s fun, but it can also cost money: You shouldn’t underestimate the energy costs involved in preparing food. Over the course of the year, your enjoyment of baking and cooking can result in a considerable sum. Here you can find out how you can save energy and thus cash.

Saving and protecting the environment

Today, nobody can avoid the topic of sustainability. You also have numerous options in the kitchen that not only help you save money, but also protect the environment.

How can that succeed? In general, if the electricity costs are too high, you should first check your electricity tariff and, if necessary, switch providers. A cheaper tariff that is tailored to your needs can already significantly reduce your expenses. You don’t have to do without sustainability, because in this area too. Often you even have the choice between different types of generation or energy sources – such as electricity from photovoltaic systems, wind power or biomass power plants. The next step is to go straight to the kitchen – for example when preparing vegetables: It is best to put a bowl in the sink and fill it with water instead of washing the vegetables under the running tap.

It is just as useful if you use resealable containers to store food and leave aluminum foil outside. Speaking of fruit and vegetables: You probably wash them after you go shopping to remove any dirt and other contaminants. In this case, however, you ensure that the products go bad faster. That’s why you should only clean them just before you eat them. If you produce a lot yourself, you can also save – just the packaging waste. Salads in a jar for work, for example, bread, lemonade or spreads and jams. If you also make sure to use as little plastic as possible in your kitchen, you are helping the environment and saving money too: For example, it does not always have to be plastic sponges or microfiber cloths – or other cleaning utensils made of natural materials are also suitable. You can also simply replace freezer bags with cans and glass jars if they are not to be frozen. Instead of baking paper, you can also invest once in a silicone mat – that also saves in the end.

There are three household appliances that are considered the biggest power guzzlers in almost every kitchen:

  • The electric cooker is in second place after old heating systems on the list of appliances that consume the most electricity.
  • < li>It is followed by the freezer (third place) with an average consumption of around 415 kilowatt hours per year and

  • the refrigerator (fourth place) with 330 kilowatt hours per year.

an average three-person household spends about eleven percent of the annual energy costs on cooking. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has calculated this and at the same time provided an example of how the consumer can save money when cooking without much effort: If you use a pot without a lid to cook 500 grams of potatoes, you pay around 15 cents for it. If you grab the lid, you only have to pay half. Energy can also be saved with

So you see: Saving in the kitchen is possible with little things alone. And: Not only do you have a direct influence on the energy consumption in your household, but you can also help the environment with a few measures and save energy in general.

Look at the energy consumption of kitchen appliances

When it comes to the kitchen, the best place to start is with the kitchen appliances – assuming you are planning to buy a new oven, stove or fridge/freezer. Here it is worth taking a look at the energy efficiency class. Although the corresponding devices are usually more expensive than others, the purchase price still pays off after a while because the energy consumption is significantly lower. If you are planning to buy a new dishwasher, you should not only pay attention to the electricity consumption, but also to the water consumption. It is best to choose models that require between 15 and 17 liters of water per wash. When buying a fridge or freezer, it is best to be clear about the size of the device before you buy it. There is no use and it only costs energy if you choose a spacious model that is only half full most of the time. The rule of thumb is: around 50 liters volume per person. For a household of four, a refrigerator with a capacity of 200 liters is the right choice. Not only when buying equipment, but also when using refrigerator & There are many ways to reduce your energy costs:


Choose the right washing program, preferably an environmental program instead of a full program – depending on the degree of soiling (you can wash heavily soiled dishes beforehand rinse with water). Environmental programs use significantly less water because they run for shorter periods. The same applies to the temperature: Here you can save electricity if, for example, you choose 50 instead of 60 degrees. Regular cleaning of the sieve also helps to save energy.


Your fridge has an optimal temperature of 7 degrees Celsius. Also, make sure that the refrigerator (or a freezer) is not placed next to heat sources such as radiators, washing machines, or the oven, because the refrigerator uses more energy to maintain the temperature in this case. Even small things add up and affect your electricity bill: defrost your fridge, freezer compartment or freezer regularly. The thicker the layer of ice, the more electricity is consumed. Even if you want to freeze or refrigerate food, you should wait until it is completely cool. You can also save energy with a little trick: If you want to take several dishes out of the fridge, simply use a tray and put all the things you need on it. This way you avoid opening and closing the device several times in a row. This also saves electricity.

Stove and oven:

It is best to use good pots with smooth, concave bottoms. It is important that the bottom of your cookware rests well on the hob so that the pot has optimal contact with the hob. That saves energy. You should also get a pressure cooker if you don’t already have one. It has been proven that you can save up to 50 percent on electricity costs. If you choose a cast iron pot instead of an aluminum or stainless steel pan, you can also turn down the heat earlier because cast iron pots retain heat longer. Also – and our grandmothers already know this: No pot without a lid if it doesn’t have to be. If you do without the lid, too much heat escapes – which has a significant impact on electricity or gas costs. Tilted lids are also at your expense in the end. So it’s best to keep the lid closed throughout the cooking process.

Make sure you use suitable cookware

It is also basically forbidden to put pots that are too small on hotplates that are too big and vice versa. For every centimeter that the hob is higher than the pot, you pay 20 to 30 percent more energy costs. If you put pots that are too big on plates that are too small, the stove will take significantly longer to heat up the food. And another trick: If you just want to heat up some water, it’s better to use a kettle, because it uses significantly less energy than a stove. However, if you want to heat more than 1.5 liters, it will be more efficient if you use the stove.

These tips will also help you to save:

  • Preheat the oven and use convection only in exceptional cases. If you set top and bottom heat, you use significantly more energy
  • Do not bake the rolls from the day before in the oven but use the toaster
  • Keep the oven door closed while baking
  • < li>Keep the coffee warm in the thermos and not on the heating plate of the coffee machine

  • Use as little water as possible when cooking. The more water there is in the pot, the longer it takes to heat it up
  • Switch off the stove a few minutes (up to ten) before the end of the cooking time (use of residual heat)
  • The oven can also be switched off up to 10 minutes beforehand to use the residual heat
  • Only switch on the cooker when the cookware is already on top
  • The microwave is better for heating up dishes because it saves more electricity than a stove
  • You can also cook vegetables, eggs and potatoes with steam: To do this, put water in the pot one to two centimeters high, close it with a lid and use it the resulting water vapor to cook food
  • With pasta and other grain products, you don’t have to wait for the water to boil. You can heat them with the water. This reduces the cooking time

Author: Saskia Radtke (32) Saskia is a self-employed master electrical engineer and energy consultant. However, when she has put down her tools and measuring devices after work, she is a passionate amateur cook who loves to surprise her loved ones with delicacies time and again – and to constantly refine her own kitchen technically.