Switch to electric cooking from burning fuel
Updated: Apr 16
When we bought our house, it had several propane appliances (stove, water heater, and fireplace). Our intention has been to move to all-electric primary systems, retaining the propane appliances for backup only.
We removed the propane stove in our house immediately to eliminate the indoor air pollution it produced, and we now use a variety of electric appliances to cook food efficiently with no fuel burning or carbon emissions.
Did you know that you can cook potatoes perfectly in an instant pot in about 10 minutes instead of boiling water on your stove for up to an hour? The pressurized steam gives a nice plump texture to them, even if they were a little dried out and wrinkly going in. Rice also cooks much better under pressure at our altitude. And pressure makes cooking beans and lentils much easier and faster. The instant pot also serves as a pasta pot, quickly boiling a big pot of water, and as a yogurt maker.
Of course, a crock pot is perfect for cooking stews, curries, stock, pulled pork -- anything that benefits from cooking slowly and thoroughly. We already had a crock pot, but the instant pot has a slow cook mode, too, so we can use either one for stews.
A microwave oven is the most efficient way to reheat leftovers or boil water for tea. We also use it to heat warming disks -- they're made for pets, but we use them as modern hot water bottles by our feet on cold nights.
One of our most-loved appliances is a little electric Breville milk frother we bought used from a neighbor. It heats and stirs a pot of chai or coffee to the perfect temperature in no time. It also makes the best hot chocolate and foamy hot milk (or oat "milk," if you're dairy-free).
We've recently bought a small (24" wide) electric stove with a ceramic cooktop and convection oven. We don't use the cooktop often, and we wanted the smaller size range for our small kitchen, so we did not buy the more expensive induction type. When we do cook on our ceramic-topped electric stove, we've found that using very flat-bottomed pots allows the pot to heat up quickly, so we don't keep the burner on very long. We love the ceramic cooktop's ease of cleaning and the fact that we don't get sticky fossil fuel residue on our cabinets, as we used to with a gas stove. The oven pulls very little power since it is small, and once it comes to temperature, the element turns off, and the convection fan circulates the heat. It only takes 15 minutes to cook a frozen pizza to perfection, and it also bakes desserts beautifully.
Our food is just as tasty cooked with these low-power all-electric methods -- but we are using a fraction of the energy and time to prepare it, and, since our electric power is 100% solar, not producing carbon emissions!
We have a propane grill outdoors that we used for cooking whenever we were on backup power our first year living in the house. Since we've increased our PV generation, we have only used it occasionally for fun in the summer, so the electrification of our cooking is complete!