As the days grow shorter and the air turns crisp, we often find ourselves thinking more about food. Whether it’s holiday festivities or fewer opportunities for outside entertainment, we gather in the kitchen to whip up tasty stews, baked goods and steaming pots of soup. Here are some tips to make your cooking experience both cozy and energy efficient this winter:

  1. Use pots and pans that are the correct size. If your pan is only 6 inches wide and you're cooking on an 8-inch burner, over 40% of your heat will be wasted. As a rule of thumb, don't let the bottom of the cookware extend more than 1 inch beyond the outer ring of the heating element.
  2. Use cookware with a flat bottom. Cookware with a warped or dented bottom can take 50% more energy to heat up.
  3. Keep your burner pans clean. Blackened and dirty burner pans absorb more heat, reducing the efficiency of your stove.
  4. Peek through the oven window. We’re all tempted to open the door to check on the deliciousness we’re baking, but opening the oven door wastes energy by letting out the heat and it increases cooking time.
  5. If you have a self-cleaning oven, turn it on immediately after baking. With your oven already heated, you’ll use less energy to heat the oven to the cleaning temperature.
  6. Keep a lid on your pots and pans. Keep that heat in to use less energy to cook your meal.
  7. Try cooking one-pot meals. Cooking one pot meals not only saves energy, it helps make weeknight cooking easier with less to clean up.

So, go ahead and indulge in those cold-weather cravings!