As the holiday season rolls around, many people increase the use of their home's oven. Most recipes will call for you to preheat the oven, but is this step really necessary? Preheating the oven uses a lot of energy to heat up a small amount of air which then escapes when you open the door to put your food in. When older recipes were developed, wood & coal ovens were slow to heat, therefore preheating made sense to our ancestors and early cookbook authors. With modern electrical or natural gas ovens, preheating may save some cook time but wastes a lot of energy in the process. When cooking remember these energy saving tips:
1. Don't preheat your oven.
2. While your food is cooking avoid opening the oven door to peek at your food.
3. Cover your pots when boiling water.
4. Consider turning off your oven a short time before the food is done. With the door closed, it will retain the heat.