Menu

Did you know that it’s possible to save 40-50% of the fuel needed to cook, without buying any new equipment?

Fireless Cookers

A fireless cooker made from a coolboxFireless cookers (also known as ‘hay boxes’) are making a comeback, having been a popular way to save energy during the war. They use heat retention to cook, insulating the pot so that the heat is kept in the food for longer.

Here’s an example of a method: prepare a soup as usual, but as soon as it reaches a strong boil, turn off the heat and quickly transfer the pot to your fireless cooker. The food will continue cooking with no further input of fuel, thanks to the insulation.

How to Make a Fireless Cooker

To make a fireless cooker, you can use whatever you have available, as long as it’s insulating – perhaps a large cardboard box filled with towels around the pot, and an old quilt on top; a wooden box with straw inside; or a cool box insulated with old clothes. Here are more detailed instructions.

Solar Cooking

Adventurous cooksCooking with a sun oven might also like to try solar cooking, which uses sunshine to cook food, collecting the heat with mirrors. Here in Stanford in the Vale we’ve had solar barbecues, and have cooked foods such as stews, potatoes and cakes using only sunshine. Solar cooking combines well with fireless cooking, because once the food is in the fireless cooker it doesn’t matter if the sun disappears! Solar cooking has enormous potential, especially in sunny countries, and there are hundreds of designs. For more information about solar cooking, email Zoe.

Saving Energy with Conventional Cooking

There are more conventional ways to save energy when cooking too, of course:

* A microwave is the most Steaming pot energy-efficient conventional cooking appliance (but controversial in terms of nutrition), followed by a hob, and lastly an oven.
* A toaster is more efficient than a grill.
* Steamers with multiple layers can be used to cook an entire meal on one hob ring – boil something in the bottom, while steaming other foods in the layers above.
* Cut food into smaller pieces which will cook more quickly.
* To improve efficiency when using an oven, fill it up so you use as much of the heat as possible. Cook a large quantity and freeze some to reheat later in a microwave, or fill the oven space with extras like potatoes and toasted seeds. Keep the oven door closed when cooking – it takes energy to warm back up each time you open it. Turn your oven off 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. It will stay hot if you don’t open it.
* To cook more efficiently on a hob, use just enough water to cover vegetables, and always put lids on pans to keep the heat in. Turn down the ring once the cooking temperature is reached.
* Defrost frozen food in the fridge overnight – defrosting food in advance typically halves the cooking time.
* Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you will use.

Efficiency tips from usswtich.com

Zoë Williams

 From the Sustainable Wantage Newsletter, August 2016.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Coverage Area

What's On

Feb
18
Mon
2019
10:00 am Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield L... @ Burghfield Library
Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield L... @ Burghfield Library
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – Feb 23 @ 4:00 pm
Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield Library @ Burghfield Library
Book and DVD sale  Monday 18 – Saturday 23 February at Burghfield Library, nothing more than £1. For more information, please contact the library. Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/ http://info.westberks.gov.uk/35189
Feb
21
Thu
2019
9:30 am Computer Lessons @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham library
Computer Lessons @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham library
Feb 21 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Computer Lessons @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham library | England | United Kingdom
Computer Lessons for beginners Every Thursday morning at Thatcham Library. To book a session, please contact the library: 01635 866049 http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/30286 Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/
9:30 am Mini Life-Savers Course @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club
Mini Life-Savers Course @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club
Feb 21 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Mini Life-Savers Course @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club | England | United Kingdom
The cost per person includes handouts, a certificate of attendance and nut-free refreshments. The courses are taught by Louise Worsley, a qualified, enthusiastic trainer who is an ex-secondary school teacher, a primary school mum and[...]
10:00 am Brass Rubbing Workshop for Famil... @ Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage
Brass Rubbing Workshop for Famil... @ Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Brass Rubbing Workshop for Families, Wantage @ Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage | England | United Kingdom
Free drop-in brass rubbing session for families. No need to book but children must be accompanied by an adult. Donations to the Museum are welcomed.
10:00 am Fraud Scene Investigators @ Newb... @ Newbury Library
Fraud Scene Investigators @ Newb... @ Newbury Library
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Fraud Scene Investigators @ Newbury Library @ Newbury Library | England | United Kingdom
Fraud Scene Investigators for 8 to 12 years Try something different this half term! Examine the clues and evidence to help solve a fraud. This is a FREE event but booking is essential. Please contact[...]
10:00 am Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for ... @ Swindon MECA
Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for ... @ Swindon MECA
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for Halfterm @ Swindon MECA | England | United Kingdom
Monday 18th – Friday 22nd February 2019 10am – 4pm (Daily) UNLIMITED PLAY Bouncy Castles (up to 10yrs) Inflatable Obstacle Course (up to 10yrs) Toddler Soft Play (0-4yrs) 0-6 Months – Free Under 4’s –[...]
10:00 am Rhymetime/Storytime @ Pangbourne... @ Pangbourne Library
Rhymetime/Storytime @ Pangbourne... @ Pangbourne Library
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Rhymetime/Storytime @ Pangbourne Library @ Pangbourne Library | Pangbourne | England | United Kingdom
Rhymetime/Storytime for 0 to 5 years Alternating on Thursday in term time – 10.00-10.30am at Pangbourne Library. For more information, please contact the library. http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/30285 Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/
10:30 am Wendy Carrig Exhibition – Common... @ Greenham Common Tower
Wendy Carrig Exhibition – Common... @ Greenham Common Tower
Feb 21 @ 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Wendy Carrig Exhibition - Common People @ Greenham Common Tower | England | United Kingdom
An exhibition of photographs recording life at the Greenham Common Peace Camp during the 1980s Exhibition: 9th December 2018 – 9th March 2019 Wendy Carrig was a photography student in the mid-1980s during a time[...]
11:00 am Craft & Chat @ Newbury Library @ Newbury Library
Craft & Chat @ Newbury Library @ Newbury Library
Feb 21 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Craft & Chat @ Newbury Library @ Newbury Library | England | United Kingdom
Craft and Chat Every Thursday. 11.00am-1.00pm at Newbury Library. Drop in and bring any craft with you. For more information, please contact the library. Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/ http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/30251
11:30 am Mini Life-Savers Course for 8-12... @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club
Mini Life-Savers Course for 8-12... @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club
Feb 21 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Mini Life-Savers Course for 8-12 yrs @ Marlborough Rugby Football Club | England | United Kingdom
These sessions are tailored to the age group and are full of practicals to make them fun and memorable: The courses are taught by Louise Worsley, a qualified, enthusiastic trainer who is an ex-secondary school[...]