- Clothes Dryers
- Energy Guide Label
- ENERGY STAR
- Ranges & Ovens
- Small Appliances
- Water Heaters
Microwaves ovens use very high-frequency radio waves to penetrate the surface of food to heat water molecules inside. These energetic waves can greatly reduce the cooking times and energy consumption for preparing certain foods, especially in small amounts.That's why microwave ovens are especially efficient for smaller portions or for defrosting things. When it comes to large items, however, your oven or stovetops are usually more efficient.
Basic microwave ovens are almost equally efficient. New models of microwave ovens, however, include features that improve energy efficiency and cooking performance. These include temperature probes, sensing controls that tell by moisture content when food is properly cooked, and variable power settings.
Cost of Cooking
This table from the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings compares the cost of cooking a casserole in several ways. It assumes the cost of gas is $.60 a therm, and electricity is $.08 a kWh.
|Electric Oven||350||1 hour||2.0 kWh||$.16|
|Electric Convection Oven||325||45 min||1.39 kWh||$.11|
|Gas Oven||350||1 hour||.112 therm||$.07|
|Electric Frying Pan||420||1 hour||.9 kWh||$.07|
|Toaster Oven||425||50 min||.95 kWh||$.08|
|Electric Crock Pot||200||7 hours||.7 kWh||$.06|
|Microwave Oven||High||15 min||.36 kWh||$.03|
It's Your Money
Microwave ovens are not well-suited to cooking large-sized portions, and full-size ovens don't efficiently cook small qualities of food. For the most economy, consider several ways of cooking, including toaster ovens and slow cookers.