Thursday, January 1, 2009

Residual heat cooking

We have been doing this and we had no idea. We're not even sure that the term is correct.

Anyhow, when you cook something like pancakes, cookies, or even a turkey, you inevitably turn on the stove element or the oven.

Once the item is nearly finished cooking (i.e. >95%), you can actually just turn off the stove or oven and let the residual heat cook the food.

We do this with pancakes - on the last pancake, we turn off the stove once one side is done, flip the pancake over and let the residual heat cook the remainder. It works every time!

We accidentally found this out when we had a power failure recently. We were baking biscuits in the oven, the power went out, and the biscuits finished baking beautifully. My guess is that the power cut off around 3 minutes to the end of the baking. We subsequently had biscuits during the 5 hours that the power was out.

If you do this as a habit, you will find that this adds up over time and you will undoubtedly save money. Experiementation, though, is key - different ranges have different temperature characteristics. Also, this assumes that the entire object has actually arrived at cooking temperature. If you have a blazing oven but a frozen turkey, don't expect the thing to cook if you turn off the oven!

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