Cook pasta for 2 minutes instead of 10 minutes to reduce your gas and electricity bills?

  • Lorraine VERON and Hugo LARA

  • October 31, 2022
  • 0

  • Illustration: Energy Revolution.

    At a time when energy reserves are running out, it’s good to save any money! Whether you cook with electricity or gas, you can use less energy and therefore a little less money by adopting passive cooking. A very easy gesture to accomplish, for a result that benefits the grid more than the wallet.

    Although it sounds like lately passive cooking it is far from a new concept as it has been around since at least the 19th century. However, a famous pasta brand started to promote this cooking method to make it known to as many people as possible. The idea is simple: save gas or electricity by making maximum use of the thermal inertia of water.

    Especially for cooking pasta passive cooking, first you need to boil your pot of water as usual. After immersing the pasta in boiling water, it is necessary to turn off the heat after cooking for only 2 minutes. After that, place the pan on the stove with the lid on for the cooking time indicated on the pasta packaging. The quality of taste will remain unchanged.

    Thermal inertia of water and to a lesser extent the pan and plate, if a vitroceramic fire, allows the pasta to continue cooking, minimizing energy waste. In this regard, consider that the type of container used can affect the efficiency of the process. If you have old cast iron pans that retain heat well, the result will be even better.

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    Barilla advertising brochure showing the passive cooking times of its pasta.

    About 100 kWh should be saved every year

    With this cooking method, the consumer will reduce CO2 emissions by 80% according to the brand of pasta. Come to the saving side, let’s not lose our heads. They will be about 1 euro cent for a pan of pasta. But if you take all your meals at home, you can save a few euros a year this way. Then you will need to use this process often.

    When pasta is cooked on a 2000 W ceramic plate for 10 minutes, it is possible to calculate the amount of electricity saved per batch of 267 Wh. The passive cooking technique, which is repeated every day for a year, makes it theoretically possibleSave more than 97 kW, which is about € 17 at the current regulated exchange rate. Although difficult to estimate, the profit per kilowatt hour for cheaper gas is much lower.

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    A useful practice to liberate the public power grid

    While passive cooking won’t make you a billionaire, the practice can play a significant role in shaving consumption growth off the grid if it’s done collectively at scale. In winter, cooking with heating, in the oven, as in electric stoves, will really be the main reason for the explosion in consumption in the evening.

    To go further, it is of course possible to apply passive cooking to cook other foods. The technique works with anything that doesn’t require constant high heat. it is also possible to do use with your oven the same way. Just turn it off and close the door before the food is finished to use the heat stored in the appliance. Several guides on the Internet let you know the ideal times and reviews from enthusiasts passive cooking.

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    Fireless stove, slow cooker and sun cooking

    Those who wish can use more advanced energy-saving cooking methods. Among them is the Norwegian boiler. Its operation is simple: you only need to start cooking the food in a cast iron or ceramic pot with good thermal inertia. After 5 minutes, remove the food from the heat and put it in a special bowl extremely well insulated often comes in the form of a double-walled box. Cooking will last several hours.

    This method is longer and requires special equipment for this type of cooking. More simply, you can choose an electric slow cooker, which cooks at a relatively low temperature overnight or during the day, reducing electricity consumption as much as possible. Finally, you can turn to solar cooking to do (almost) completely without an oven. Many products are available in the market to suit all needs. Obviously, this system only works when the sun is out and you have enough space to install a solar oven.

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