Save Energy by Grilling Outdoors

The next time you say “It’s too hot to grill outside!” think about this: Cooking indoors probably involves a) coming home to a hot house b) making it hotter by cooking and c) operating your stove or oven during peak demand time. That’s enough to make grilling your dinner sound pretty appealing even on a hot day.

Your oven is the most inefficient appliance in your kitchen. There’s a reason why ovens are the only kitchen appliance not covered by the ENERGY STAR rating program: they take so much energy to reach temperature and stay there, that there’s not a whole lot of difference among the brands on the market today, or between older and newer models. Typically, an oven heated at 350 degrees for an hour uses about 2 KWh of electricity.

Also, it can take three times more electricity to cool down your kitchen after you’ve used your oven than it does to heat your oven in the first place! Stovetops are more efficient than ovens, but you’re still generating a fair amount of heat. All the more reason to take the food prep outside and celebrate summer while keeping the heat out of your kitchen.

Now that you have even more reasons to fire up the grill, be sure to keep your grill clean so you’re always ready to cook. Experiment with marinades, brines and rubs. Grill some veggies fresh from the farmers’ market, make skewers and kabobs, and try grilled desserts. The Food Network covers grilling in all its glory at Grill Central, and has Green Grilling Tips for environmentally responsible outdoor cooking.

To get more out of your grill time, double your grill recipes, then heat your tasty creations later in the microwave. Microwaves use dramatically less electricity than ovens and stoves, and they don’t heat up your kitchen.

Happy grilling! For more ideas on how to manage your electric bill, check out these 42 Energy Saving Tips from Direct Energy.

Thanks to Flickr user adactio for the photo!