Cooking with Less Gas

May/June 2001
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2001 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2001
Microwave ovens, when they're on, stack up well against traditional ovens.
        In today’s fast-track society,more and more people are eating out, buying prepared foods, or converting conventional recipes for quick cooking in the microwave oven.Modern times require modern cooking devices like the microwave oven, and it turns out this modern approach to cooking is often the most energy-efficient way to make dinner.         Cooking four medium potatoes takes about 15 minutes in the microwave oven. In a conventional gas or electric oven, it would take about an hour. In addition to saving time, microwaves save energy because they are much more efficient than traditional ovens. Cooking potatoes in a microwave uses about 10%–25% of the energy used by a conventional oven, and results in much smaller heat losses (see Figure 1). Furthermore, a microwave does not require preheating.         Not all foods are microwave friendly,but many foods are. Manufacturers of packaged foods often leave the cooking method up to the customer.When it comes to using a microwave versus an electric oven, this choice is easy. Cooking a frozen dinner in a microwave rather than in an oven saves almost 1 kWh of ...

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