Are Crock-Pots Energy Efficient?


| 12/12/2014 1:17:00 PM


Tags: Crock-Pot, Home Cooking, Homemade Meals, Slow Cooker, Energy Efficiency, Jane Blanchard,

I'm a firm believer in a homemade meal being the healthiest choice for my family, but work and school often overtake all my cooking time. Instead of being tempted by takeout, I just rely on my Crock-Pot. With all-meat chili, beef stew and chicken soup as favorites around the house, I don't even need to be home to cook a fantastic meal. After adding all the ingredients and setting the pot to low in the morning, the entire family returns home to a perfect meal. Because our family wants to have a small carbon footprint to better the environment, it's been a goal to find out whether Crock-Pots are energy efficient.

Crock-Pot

In most low-power cooking situations, the Crock-Pot wins out on energy efficiency. Stove or oven cooking requires the heating of a large area by either gas or electricity. Slow cooking takes hours, so running a large appliance against the Crock-Pot is almost always a losing battle. My family also leaves home with the assurance that a small appliance is working instead of a major appliance that can malfunction disastrously.

Size Matters

I know my refrigerator is more energy-efficient when it's full, and the same concept applies to the Crock-Pot. The small space is completely full for most recipes, even pot roast. Food heats up faster and more evenly for an efficient cooking session. Ovens, in contrast, must heat up a huge area that's not even full of food. Energy efficiency is definitely on the Crock-Pot's side.

Short Cooking Bursts Vary

I have to admit that research reflects a showdown between Crock-Pots, stoves and ovens when it comes to short cooking times. Crock-Pots are designed to cook slowly with hours of operation necessary. Cooking a quick soup over gas or electric burners shows these fuel sources as more effective, according to a study done at Iḷisaġvik College that found 12,071 BTUs were used for a gas stove compared to 87,000 BTUs for a Crock-Pot. If I can't make it home to cook on the stove, however, it's still more convenient to use the Crock-Pot as food warms all day.

Gas or Electric, You Say?

Electricity is known for its expensive cost when compared to gas. If you take the Crock-Pot out of the equation, a gas stove wins out over electricity. Although Crock-Pots are electrically driven, they don't require as much wattage as a major appliance. When a Crock-Pot isn't available, at least gas is a green alternative for your home cooking.

daniellej
10/10/2017 9:08:45 AM

As for natural gas being a "non renewable resource", I thought the same way until recently. @terilately, check this article out about a company from Israel! Too cool~ https://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/home-sized-biogas-unit-turns-organic-waste-cooking-fuel-and-fertilizer-under-900.html


danijul29
10/10/2017 9:08:44 AM

Although, if she were to power her crockpot with solar or wind, it's a win-win and the whole argument is mute anyway!


terilately
12/17/2014 2:49:20 PM

Natural gas is a non renewable resource, so not a green alternative like you say.





elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on Natural Health, Organic Gardening, Real Food and more!

LEARN MORE