Key aspects of efficient cooking are all about:
- Choice - choosing the most efficient appliance for the job
- Control – making sure things are switched off when not in use
How you can improve catering efficiency:
- Equipment choice – if you’re going to buy a hob or oven, check how efficient it is before you buy. Some items have energy efficiency rating labels. Others you might have to do a bit of research by looking through the manufacturer’s data. If you’re opting for electric cooking, fit an induction hob, which is up to 50%1 more efficient than a traditional electric hob because it only switches on when the pan is in contact with the electro-magnetic field created by its electrical coil.
- Appliance control – try not to leave items on when they are not being used, or warm them up hours before they need to be on. Automatic pan sensors are available for gas and electric hobs, which turn the hob off or down after pan removal. Items like pizza ovens, conveyor toasters and hobs are culprits here and can be bought with power saver facilities. Sensible manual control is a good start.
- Dishwasher – energy use is proportional to hot water use, so go for units which use the least amount of water each wash, and have standby water temperature for the rinse cycle. Pre-rinse sprays need to be high pressure and low volume.
- Sensor grills – new designs can detect something placed underneath them and heat up in seconds. Good designs will respond in less than ten seconds, offering energy savings of 75%2.
- Variable speed and heat recovery ventilation – variable speed drives (VSDs) modulate the speed of the fans to match requirement at different service times. Heat recovery ventilation systems recover the heat from the outgoing warm air and use it to heat the incoming air or water supply.
1 Figures taken from Energy Saving Trust: Products and Appliances.
2 Figure taken from, The Green Hotelier: Energy Efficiency in the Kitchen.