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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2014 edited
    Has anyone actually monitored kitchen energy usage.
    I have done bits and pieces, currently monitoring the fridge, basically it is on a third of the time and draws between 110 and 130W, the light is 8W.

    I don't think that kitchen energy usage, apart from fridge/freezer and washing machine, will make a noticeable difference.
    The main reason that I boil a small amount of water is that it is quicker (my old lodgers Mother thought that a kettle always takes 5 minutes to boil, regardless of what was in it), not that it saves energy.

    Posted By: markocosicIf you're truly the opposite extreme (batchelor in a flat) then the soviet approach might justify washing up by hand: Kitchens in the former USSR are tiny because you'd only ever have a quick coffee or breakfast there: cooking is far more efficient when done communally and they'd all be so rich under the communist system that they'd always eat in restaurants. They were only half wrong...
    I am a bachelor in a flat, well a house. My kitchen is small, I use about 0.74 m^2 for all my prep and some 'to hand' tools and ingredients. About the same for washing up and draining. I have a 'proper' cooker, but use the single induction, plonked on top the normal hob.
    Kitchens really do not need to be big, they are sold to us as a lifestyle choice. As a general rule, the more room you have the more junk you will collect, and probably cook less effectively as well.

    Posted By: markocosicBring domestic science back to the curriculum perhaps?
    No, just associate science with cooking. I have known about the Maillard Reaction since the 1970's, but a 'chef' I worked with had never heard of it until recently. And he still thinks it is rubbish, all wrong, what does science know, cooking is an art...
    Ben Miller made a better cake than Gordon Ramsey when it was judges.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2014
    I measured my hot water use -- breakfast (including leftover stuff from supper) 2l, dinner 3l, tea 1.5l

    Christmas dinner and the week end before Christmas both with 15 of us and plenty of pots and pans trays etc still only total of 9.5l including one change of water on each occasion, doubt if it would all have fitted in one wash in a machine.

    I do use similar amounts of cold water for pre-rinse. Glasses first, water never gets dirty, pots and and last before roasting tins as final items. If water gets changed then it gets used to pre-wash dirty stuff, fat goes in a old tin, no dishcloths allowed in sink.

    Dishwashers heat water hotter than I use and seem to use more of it to me.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2014

    Was that ALL water from the hot tap, or just the hot water?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2014
    just the hot, the "slug" was used for rinsing and the hot water has been free lately on the blue sky days.
    Following on from the hay box and cooking pasta in the thermos suggestions, what about deliberately making use of residual heat?
    For example, I often turn the heat off on the hob when cooking rice after it's been on for 9 mins, and then put the timer on again for the remaining 2 mins. I expect the cooking time could go down further, haven't tried it yet. Obviously the rice doesn't need stirring anyway so you get to keep the heat in.
    You could do the same when cooking other things; veg, lentils, etc. When cooking dried lentils or beans, I soak them overnight, rinse then boil for 10 mins in the morning, then turn off the heat and leave it there until evening - they're usually cooked 30 mins later, or close enough to being cooked that they don't take very much more cooking when it comes to making the curry later.
    I got a copy of "The Green Kitchen" by Richard Ehrlich as a present a couple of years ago; it's got the odd interesting idea and is worth a quick read if your library has it. He's quite enthusiastic about pressure cookers, which I've never used but perhaps that's another worthy topic?
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2014
    I tried the Heston Blumenthal egg, it's easy & convinced Mrs Robl:

    egg/s in saucepan with water to just cover the top of egg, lid on
    bring to boil, then immediately take off the heat
    leave to simmer for 6 mins

    a bit more detail here, he claims the eggs taste better using this technique - energy saving is a happy by-product:
    I always have a cooked breakfast - and often go the rest of the day until teatime without eating. I had not had poached eggs for years. My better half gave me some egg poacher "cups" for christmas. Coddled eggs cooked in butter - delicious. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coddled_egg). Basically 1 1/2 cm of water in a pan - poachers in then eggs. Bring to boil then lid on and very low heat for 5 minutes.Uses a lot less water and is quicker than boiled eggs. (eggs from own chickens). I think any cup/ramakin would do.

    For eggs I now use a microwave cooker - soft boiled in 43 seconds, hard boiled in 47 (depends on the size of the egg of course) - much more convenient than boiling and working out just when to start timing.

    Paul in Montreal.
    Hi Paul,
    That sounds a good idea. I will give that a try next time. It will have to pass the delicious taste test. Butter makes a big difference and poaching seems to do something that boiling in the shell does not.

    • CommentAuthorrhamdu
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2015
    Ovens now have to carry a sticker rating their energy efficiency from D to A+++. It's a new EU rule effective from 1 January 2015.

    A quick test - would you expect the rating to

    A: be based on energy consumption only
    B: make allowance for the size of the oven

    Decide your answer before turning to the Kitchen Appliances discussion to find out which option the EU went for.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2015
    I would expect heat up time/energy to be included, as often it is a long as the "cooking" time.

    I can't decide if the size of the oven should be a factor...
    • CommentAuthorPaul_B
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015
    Tony and all, can this list be published on Facebook and Community Energy websites? I note that it was originally for a sustainable website can this be referenced as the source?

    Many thanks

    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015
    Please feel free to publish, yes, it will go on ReadingSustainabilityCentre.co.uk sometime soon once agreed by the group.
    • CommentAuthorPaul_B
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2015
    Thanks Tony and I'll be adding ReadingSustainabilityCentre.co.uk to me list of sites to visit. I lived just outside of Wallingford for my early life so very interested in the area and your work. Are you also involved with the Goring & Streatley Hydro plan?

    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2015
    no, it seems to have stalled
    • CommentAuthorPaul_B
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2015
    That is a shame but maybe if Abingdon and Oxford are successful then Goring & Streatley, Pangbourne, etc. could follow

    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2015
    Reading first please, Abingdon is raising funds and Oxford has taken 14 years to get to the point of about to switch on generation, well done Osney!
    Eat things raw.
    If you have to cook, then don't cook with the oven outside of the heating season.
    If you have to use the oven then don't prewarm, put things in the middle not at the top. And turn off long before things are cooked and alow to cook in remainding heat.
    Wash up immediately after cooking while the pans are hot and use any hot water from cooking.
    Turn the fridge setting down when you don't meat or anything particularly perishable in there - i.e. just cheese and vegetables like mine has most of the time.
    Dont' replace your kitchen every 3 years!
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2015
    Posted By: haplessDiyerIf you have to use the oven then don't prewarm

    Would like to agree but easier said than done with automatic programmes ... (and manufacturers who won't provide manual instructions!)
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2015
    You can't do that will all food stuffs, fresh fish will be a bit manky and bread will be a disaster.
    Tends to work with ready made stuff like Pizza, or things that need a fair bit of cooking like casseroles.
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