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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Microwave or stove top?Also,tips on energy efficient cooking

well, someone reached my blog asking the question of
"whether a microwave saves more energy than a stovetop.?"
They reached my other blog entry where I talk about
'How A Microwave is better than both an Oven and a stovetop'.
I didn't compare the merits of Microwave over the stovetop in that blog entry as much as I did as to how a microwave is better than an oven.
Well, the thing is, a microwave works on a principle of using microwaves to shake the particles in your food and thus heat up your food.
Stove top uses electricity to heat up a coil (if it is a coil stove top) and then that heats the vessel in which you are cooking and thus heat enegry is transferred to your food through the vessel and then it cooks.
At the end of the day both of them do use electricity unless you are using a gas based stove top in which case, combustion of gases produces heat and that then heats a vessel and then the food.
Well, energy cosumption depends on
1/cooking methods,
2/the time you use to cook foods and
3/the vessels you use too.

So comparing just the methods of cooking without telling you about cooking utensils and cooking methods will be like telling you only half the truth.

COOKING UTENSILS--Use good conductors as cooking utensils. Copper is the best vessel to cook in . Copper heats up quickly, heats up evenly and so yeah, good. But then, If you are cooking acidic foods like tomato and what not, There is a possibility for the vessel reacting with the food. Stainless steel is great for cooking also. Iron is a good conductor also, also actually good if the iron keeps getting added to your food, especially to prevent iron deficiency anemia .
Anyways, Using a good conductor vessel on a stove top prevents wastage of heat.
Speaking of which,
A gas based stove is better than a coil stove.

1/Better heat control,
2/lesser wastage of heat,
3/quick heating and quick cooling down preventing wastage again.

Which is the most efficient for heating up foods?

Definitely the microwave, coz it uses a different principle to make the food hot and it doesn't waste heat due to that very reason.
Better than the stovetop coz when heating on a stovetop you have to stir and ofcourse you cannot stir up your apple or carrot cake, can you?
But having said that, If you are using a coil stove or a microwave,
Please take note of the various details on the back of your equipment.
When you know the volts and the watts, you can calculate the the electricity units that this appliance will consume per minute .

Which is where the duration of cooking plays a major role in which appliance is energy efficient!
You see, crock pot recipes use up hours and hours of cooking and well, end up wasting shocking amounts of energy. Here again, You could very well use a pressure cooker to get the same texture you could get out of four hours of slow cooking.A pressure cooker would make lentils in 15 minutes while a crockpot will in four hours. So yeah, choosing the right cooking utensil is also a key factor in determining which appliance will save energy.

Please note that
different micowave ovens have different wattages sometimes.
Why use a large watted microwave when all you are doing is heat a cup of coffee? yeah?

I shall write another blog entry where I teach you how you can calculate the power consumed by your appliance .
For now, I hope this kinda helps whoever wanted to know if a microwave is better than a stovetop.
My answer,
"a low wattage microwave cooks faster than a stovetop and by the virtue of the fact that the shorter time of use of appliance pretty much saves energy".
yes. Please send in more queries if you want to know more

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