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Author Topic: Is it more efficient to cook something quickly on a high heat, or slowly?  (Read 3041 times)

Offline sammybingo

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Topic title says it all really. A question I often wonder to myself when cooking is if I would save more electricity cooking things on a high heat quite quickly or if simmering things on the lowest heat for hours is more efficient. I generally use a mix of both techniques, but would love to save some electricity where I can. I'll probably think of many more questions related to cooking ;)


Offline CliffordK

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You likely have more heat loss in your system if you extend the cooking time.  In the winter that may not be a problem if the heat goes towards heating the house (i.e. you're not using the kitchen fan too much).

There is very little difference between a rolling boil, and a light boil.  Once you have your food up to boiling, there is no reason not to reduce the temperature to the minimum necessary to maintain the boiling.

Offline imatfaal

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Without any maths I would guess it would be those electric slow cookers - admittedly they are working for a long time, but they are very well insulated.  Slow cooking on a hob would strike me as badly inefficient.

I suppose the least heat/cooking energy involved in food would be sashimi for fish or steak tartare for meat.


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pressure cooker is more efficient due to the pressure but a crockpot slow cook tenederizes meat better, especially if acidified with lemon, tomato...

inductive countertop tramits energy from heater to potmetal efficiently but the exterior of the pot is still a heat loser

i have a teakettle made of plastic which has an electric element in it & it heats the water without the plastic getting very hot so i figure its more efficient than the inductive stove?

Offline Geezer

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It's just as well there are not too many French and Italian posters on this forum. If there were, I'm sure you would be hearing about it, big time!

Cooking is not about energy efficiency. It's the science of obtaining the optimum eating experience from the ingredients.

If your only objective is energy efficiency, you might as well shove everything in the microwave, or the deepfryer.

Online Bored chemist

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You want traditional, slow and efficient?
OK, try this.

Offline JMLCarter

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Couldn't we make a modern one like a microwave in a vacuum "flask" that would cook quicker as well as being efficient.

I'm heading for the patent office in the morning - lol.

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