Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to Go Green in Your Kitchen?

If you want to be green in your kitchen, of course you will start with trying to be green in what you eat. But there are a number of things you can do in the areas of food prep, cleaning, using green equipment and staying away from bad chemicals that can make your kitchen healthier for everyone. Below are a few pointers.

Choose Long-Lasting Cookware

You should select utensils and cookware that will last a long time. First of all, this means that you should stop using Teflon-coated pots and pans. There already is a big debate about whether or not non-stick surfaces are unhealthy. The other thing to be aware of is that Teflon just does not last very long. We recommend that you choose a skillet made of steel or cast iron. It is true that a cast iron skillet is more expensive, but it lasts a long time.

On a similar note, you should choose utensils that will last a long time. Spoons made of wood will degrade and rot rather fast. Plastic melts if you leave it on your stove. You should try to buy higher quality metal utensils that last, and also buy higher quality knives that you can sharpen, rather than throw away when they get dull.

Gas or Electric?

This can be a tough choice. Natural gas is of course a fossil fuel, but most electricity still comes from power plants that burn coal. Many cooks like gas better because it is much easier to control the temperature. Gas also means that you have heat that is on instantly, and no heat is wasted when you are finished.

As far as electricity goes, the best ones are those that use induction parts. These will transfer all of the energy right to the pan. This leaves your cook top fairly cool and will use only half or so of the energy of a regular stovetop. You have to keep in mind that a stovetop with induction elements means you must use cookware made of metal. You cannot use aluminum or glass.

Another good choice for electric is to use a stovetop with a ceramic glass surface. These give heat right away and will respond fast when you change the temperature. They are easy to clean, too. However, they only work at the highest efficiency when there is a good amount of contact with the glass surface and the bottom of the pan. Much energy is wasted if the bottom of the pan is round at all.

Regular electric coils are the worst when you are trying to stay green in the kitchen. They waste a LOT of energy. If you do go electric, try to buy the most efficient energy-wise unit that you can afford. You also can buy green power to support renewable energy.

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