Want to save money on your electricity bill? Get out of your kitchen this summer and fire up the grill. Cooking outside is a crucial step for Texas homeowners interested in earning some energy savings. Record demand and brutal rate spikes are expected this summer. So why not take this easy to step to save?
By cooking outside, you avoid heating your kitchen during the summer and making the air conditioner run more than necessary. Using the natural sunlight also lowers light bulb usage in your kitchen. But if you want to be We’ve compiled some tips to help you save even more energy while grilling out.
Charcoal vs propane costs
If you are looking to purchase a grill this summer and save the most money, it’s much smarter to go with a gas grill – especially in the long-run. Now, upfront costs for an average gas grill will be around $70-80 more than a charcoal grill purchase, but each time you grill you save about $1.50 using gas. You should earn your money back this summer and over the lifetime of the grill you will likely at least triple your savings.
What kind of grill is best for the environment?
There are environmental benefits to both gas and charcoal grills, but gas grills are almost always the most green choice. “Lump charcoal is becoming increasingly available, but often comes from thousands of miles (or even multiple continents) away, which negates some of its carbon benefits,” Collin Dunn writes in Huffington Post. “Until it’s readily available from local sources, the efficiency of gas wins out.”
How to save even more money when you grill
Prepare the food first
Before you light the grill, you should prepare the food. If you start the grill and wait for the food to be ready, it wastes valuable time and costly energy. Wash and cut your vegetables, season your meats, and skewer your kabobs in the kitchen, take them outside, and then fire up your grill.
Stay outside while you grill
After you’ve come outside to light the grill, try to stay outside. You allow warm air into your house every time you open your door. The less you open your door the better.
Reduce the warm up time
Regardless of whether you’re using a gas, charcoal, or electric grill, watch the thermometer on the outside of the grill to know when the inside temperature is ready. Whatever you do, don’t open up the grill while you’re pre-heating it, because you’ll lose the warm air built up inside. For gas grills, this should only take 5 to 7 minutes, depending on your desired temperature.
Focus your heat
There is no need to use all of the burners if you don’t have to. Only light the burners that have food directly or slightly indirectly over them. And if your grill is deep enough (from front to back), place as much food along each burner as possible to limit the number of burners needed to directly heat your food.
Keep your grill closed
Most grilling experts say you only need to flip your meat once. Every time you open your grill, you’re adding as much as 5 minutes to the cooking time. Be patient and know how long the recipe suggests you should grill your meat before peaking under the hood.
Turn it off after you have finished
Though this seems obvious, it’s easy to forget to turn off your grill. By this point you are hungry and have smelled delicious food for 20 minutes, so your focus is squarely on your upcoming meal. So before you open the grill to remove your masterpiece, turn the grill off. It’s easy to relight a gas or electric grill, so don’t worry if you underestimated the cook time and need to light it up again. Turning it off before you open the grill will ensure you never forget and never waste energy by leaving it on.