Expand Images

7 Energy-Efficient Alternatives to Your Oven or Stove

SCE recommends trying these electric cooking appliances to save energy and lower your bills.

Not all kitchen devices are created equal. The next time you’re reheating leftover pizza, which device you decide to power on can make a big impact on your electric bill.

There are several ways to save energy in the kitchen, but the simple choice of using the toaster oven over the stovetop can help reduce your energy consumption. Depending on the size of your stove or oven and the length of time you’re cooking, the amount of energy consumed can vary significantly. An electric stove, for example, can use between 1,000 and 3,000 watts while standard ovens can use between 2,000 and 5,000 watts of electricity.

Most air fryers use about half as much energy as a conventional oven.
Most air fryers use about half as much energy as conventional ovens.

Here is a breakdown of the energy consumption of seven popular countertop kitchen appliances to help you choose the best energy-efficient electric device to whip up your favorite dish:

Slow Cooker: This is a popular choice for energy efficiency and ease of use. Slow cookers use between 75 and 150 watts of electricity on low and between 150 and 210 watts on high. Even with the extended cooking time, slow cookers use a relatively low amount of energy. And you can set your meal to simmer throughout the day and have dinner ready for the family.

Bread Maker: Bread makers use between 450-550 watts during the baking cycle, but you can only cook one loaf at a time. If you’re making more than that, sticking with a standard oven to bake them all at once might be your best bet.

Microwave Oven: When it comes down to reheating food in a microwave versus a toaster oven, the microwave is the more practical choice. The average microwave uses 925 watts, and a toaster oven uses 1225 watts. For even more energy savings while cooking, defrost food in the refrigerator instead of using the defrost setting on your microwave.

Toaster Oven: Though not as efficient as a microwave, toaster ovens use about 50%-70% less energy than a standard oven. The typical power consumption of a toaster oven is 1,200 to 1,400 watts, making it a good choice for preparing small amounts of food.

Multi-Cooker: The traditional pressure cooker now has an electric version and has even more features: pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté mode and more. A multi-cooker uses about 700 to 1,000 watts and will save you energy compared to cooking the same dish on a stovetop. One of the features of using a pressure cooker is that it speeds up cooking time. Compared to other cooking forms, energy consumption can be reduced by up to 70% when using a pressure cooker.

Air Fryer: Air fryers are not just the newest cooking trend to hit the kitchen, they are also an energy-efficient way to make your favorite meals crispy without deep frying on the stovetop. Most air fryers use an average of 1,500 watts, about half as much energy as a conventional oven.

Electric Indoor Grill: If it’s so hot you don’t feel like turning on the oven, it may be too hot to fire up the grill in your backyard. A small indoor grill consumes an average of 1,500 watts and can get you the same seared meat and veggies without the smoke and heat of an outdoor grill.

An added benefit to the energy saved using these appliances instead of a standard oven or stovetop is less heat generated inside your home on a hot day. This can mean less strain on your air conditioner, further reducing your energy use.