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tahir

Energy efficient cooking

It'd be great to see an article on this, anyone fancy it?
Maxwell Smart

Re: Energy efficient cooking

My camping stove has a metal corrugated flute that fits around the pots and hangs down slightly.

The idea is that it uses less fuel by capturing the heat that would normally escape out the side and funnels it up the side of the pot to warm it faster.

I was always surprised that it wasn't used on stove top pots at home. Not so much for the saving of fuel (which is an added bonus) but because of it also helps to provide a more even cooking temperature throughout the pot...

Sorry just an idle thought and in no way contributing to your question... but I suppose cooking using underground earth oven pits (such as native north american indians do) would be more energy efficent. Or if someone could somehow capture the excess energy in the same way that some hybrid cars capture the excess energy when braking.
ken69

Hi Tahir.... Tefal type steamers and microwaves are way way cheaper than ovens/hobs., and the capital cost bought secondhand are miniscule.
A three tier system will provide 3 meals including desert for....well, do the maths...800W..30minutes at 9.32pence inc vat per kwh.
Blue Sky

3.73p (1.24p per meal) cheap cooking & healthy Very Happy
Sarah D

It would be nice to see the article reflecting the more efficient use of cooking facilities that most people have - best use of the oven when it is on, how to fill it up, baking/cooking in bulk, etc; rather than what is viewed (by some, anyway) as the more eccentric ways of cooking, eg haybox, solar cooking, clay oven, sub-soil cooking methods.

Just my thoughts.
tahir

Sarah D wrote:
It would be nice to see the article reflecting the more efficient use of cooking facilities that most people have - best use of the oven when it is on, how to fill it up, baking/cooking in bulk, etc; rather than what is viewed (by some, anyway) as the more eccentric ways of cooking, eg haybox, solar cooking, clay oven, sub-soil cooking methods.


Agree, anyone up for it?
Maxwell Smart

I can tell you that unless you are cooking breads and pastries then preheating an oven is a waste of energy.

I also tend to switch the oven off slightly early and let the residual heat finish the cooking. The same when cooking on the stove using a heavy pot/pan that retains heat.

We were also given one of those new fangaled mini ovens that cook, grill, microwave, wash dishes etc. We now use that alot as it heats up almost instantly and as it is tiny doesn't consume as much energy - but big enough for plates etc.
toggle

pressure cookers?
tigger

toggle wrote:
pressure cookers?


I love mine, I use it every day.
ken69

Cooking as such has been subverted by the makers of ovens and Agas and Rayburns, aided and abetted by writers and readers of Recipe books.
Apparently the schools are still teaching how to prepare stodge ridden meals.
AnneandMike

ken69 wrote:

Apparently the schools are still teaching how to prepare stodge ridden meals.


Some might be. Mine concentrates on healthy eating and preparing from fresh ingredients. We even get a chef in each year to make burgers using the ingredients list on the side of a supermarket packet. The kids won't touch them after that (the best bit is when he pulls a bulls heart out of a box and slices chunks of flesh and veins into the mixer!) We all know that heart is actually good eating, I think. What gets me is the amount of sugar that goes into these things. No wonder kids fed processed c**p get fat!
ken69

Caught a glimpse last night of a Chef programme..an expert said "just the right mixture of honey and sugar, excellent, very tasty".
Nick

Perhaps they were making honey nut cornflakes, the cornerstone of a nutritional breakfast.
toggle

tigger wrote:
toggle wrote:
pressure cookers?


I love mine, I use it every day.


not quite, but good for when i want to eat some of the big sacks of cheap beans i keep buying
Anura

Energy Efficient Cooking

How about a Remoska? I bought one from Lakeland & the last time I used my oven was at Christmas. Look on the Lakeland site and also a good website is www.hoorayforhomecooking.co.uk. That is full of ideas of what dishes you can cook all at the same time. You can also email them for assistance.
vegplot

Azure Skye has sorted low energy cooking. She doesn't.
resistance is fertile

I have a whole load of stuff to say...but I'm shattered after a hard day building more fridges!!

I will return, with alternative cooking options Very Happy
gai

We bought one of these http://www.waterfordstanley.com/Products/Rangecookers/1153.htm when we built our house. It gets fuelled with turf and wood harvested ourselves on our own lands. We run it from September to April and it provides all heat and hot water for the house, the installed oil system has never been switched on since we moved in 3 years ago. In the months that it runs I do all cooking with it - from boiling a kettle or making toast to canning in a huge french bouilleur or baking bread. It does come with a summer grate for use in the warmer months but we haven't tried it (the sheer heat put out by the beast is frightening). Some of our neighbours who have the same cooker never let it go out all year.
In summer I use a steamer for veg and sometimes chicken, breadmaker for bread and mostly cook meat in the slowcooker. We also tend to eat a lot of salad. The electric oven very rarely gets used but if it is unavoidable then a huge batch bake or roast takes place. The gas hob does get used quite a lot in summer but we average only one gas bottle a year so I don't think we're doing too bad.
resistance is fertile

We are doing alot of work at the moment on looking at energy efficient cooking installations, often for either designing into client's schemes or as part of 'low impact' development proposals.

The basis of many is the tremendously successful ARTI mini plant for generating gas from high calorie domestic waste. People often think biomethanisation is a complex and unreliable system, but millions of simple Chinese and Indian domestic installations would suggest otherwise.

Such systems need not be expensive, nor need they be 'Heath Robinson' contraptions which make your garden look like a hillbilly distillery.

The main benefits of the ARTI approach was that it is specifically built to use very small ammounts of high calorie feedstock (ie kitchen waste) which has an very fast digestion rate. Eg just 2kg of starchy or sugary waste can provide 500g og biomethane in little more than 24 hours (and still leave you with a greta compost ingriedient) which means that a household could cook its 3 meals a day.

The material used can be so varied as: waste grain, seed of any plant species, oilcake of non edible oilseeds, non edible or non marketable fruits (especially windfalls etc) food rests, oil rests, even the flour swept from the floor of a flour mill can be used as feedstock for the biogas plant.

Because of the small quantities and the speed of the process, size, maintenance and build costs are drastically reduced. Effectively you scale the size of the plant to meet your likely useage and you feedstock sources. A store tub of say just 20kg of suitable feedstock represents 10 days fuel reserves.

The apparatus itself consists of a very simple construction that can be installed next to your compost heap, taked away in the garden or ideally buried below ground, which given its reasonably small size is not a massive engineering effort.

-Two plastic water tanks sold in sanitary and plumbing shops. One should be bigger than the other so that once the top of each tank is cut open, the smaller one can fit in the bigger one and move like a "telescopeď. The bigger tank (or drum) serves as a digester, and the smaller, placed upside down in the bigger one serves as the gas holder.
-The inlet pipe: a 3cm diameter flexible pipe, a bit longer than the height of the tank, is fitted at the bottom side of the bigger tank. At the free extremity of the pipe , a funnel is fixed to facilitate the pouring of the quite fluid feedstock material. The pipe with the funnel are to be fixed loosely to the top of the tank, in upright position. This pipe will also serve as a purge.
-The effluent outlet is fitted to the upper part of the bigger tank and determines the maximum level of matter in the tank.
-The gas outlet is fitted to the smaller inner tank and directed toward a gas stove.
-a frame structure is build above the tanks to stop the gas tank being able to fall open if it is accidentally overfilled. A weight is themn placed on the smaller tank to set the pressure under which the gas is held in the tank.
-The set up, if not buiried can then be insulated with any practical insulative cladding or small shed arrangement to ensure that the digestion is assisted by stable temperatures.

Methane burns with a blue flame, without producing any smoke or soot and has a calorific value of Town Gas. The small amount of solid residue produced by the biogas plant makes a good fertiliser. Methane, unlike propane, is lighter than air, there is therefore little risk of an accumulation and explosion in case of a leak.

We are installing a biomethane plant here to heat or large greenhouse (and provide supplementary gas supply to the kitchens). Once it is completed we hope it will provide a clear working example that people will be able to see in action. We are also installing communal systems in two of the low impact village developments that we are working on.

The other main area we have been looking into is solid biofuel burners, used for cooking, heating and hot water provision combined with a surprisingly small and simple to manage coppice area, under rotation, to give people full independence in fuel energy. I will find the figures for this later and post it all up.
Green Rosie

Funny you should bring this subject up - I was only thinking about it a couple opf days ago when the gas bottle ran out half way through making runner bean pickles and I saw it had lasted less time than the last one.

If people could continue to add their ideas and facts and figures to this thread, I might be persuaded to put an article together. It would be a case of amalgamating the knowledge of others and I may need to get some-one more knowledable to add abit about the more technical stuff. ANd it may take a few weeks ......
sean

Green Rosie wrote:


If people could continue to add their ideas and facts and figures to this thread, I might be persuaded to put an article together. It would be a case of amalgamating the knowledge of others and I may need to get some-one more knowledable to add abit about the more technical stuff. ANd it may take a few weeks ......


It would be great if you turned it into an article. And the original post was over two years ago, so a few more weeks isn't going to hurt too much.
resistance is fertile

sean wrote:
It would be great if you turned it into an article. And the original post was over two years ago, so a few more weeks isn't going to hurt too much.


Sorry didnt notice that Smile

Maybe there could be a trend for retro-threads Very Happy
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