Slow Cook, Save Energy

Do meals made in slow cookers use a lot of electricity when they cook for 8-10 hours? —M.K., West Allis, Wisconsin

One of the advantages of using a slow cooker is that it uses very little electricity because of its low wattage. We contacted our local utility company and found that it would cost just 21 cents to operate a slow cooker for a total of 10 hours. For instance, if you roast a pork roast for 2 hours in the oven instead of using the slow cooker for 10 hours, you would spend $2.51 to operate an electric oven or $1.49 to operate a gas oven. Multiply the low cooking costs for a slow cooker over an entire year, and you will experience real savings. When using your oven, keep in mind that you can save energy by not peeking into the oven too often. Every time you peek, the temperature will drop 25 or more degrees. It takes additional energy to bring the oven back up to the original temperature. Also, try to plan an entire oven meal whenever you can. Roasting meat and baking potatoes and a winter squash makes good use of the oven (and a great meal for your family!).