Cooking

About Cooking

There are many ways to cook food - over an open fire, on a grill, on a stove, or in an oven. All of them involve heating food to make it more appetizing and safe to eat.

In most residential kitchens a combination stove/range is used with either natural gas or electricity providing the heat. Gas provides an instant heat, unlike electricity, which takes time to heat up and cool down. Because the efficiency of generating electricity at the power plant is only 30%, gas generally provides cheaper heat for cooking. Gas stoves, however, unlike electric ones, require adequate ventilation and will consume conditioned, inside air for its combustion.

Convection ovens utilize a fan to maintain a uniform temperature through the cooking space. By constantly circulating the interior air around the food, it cooks faster and more evenly.

As with a refrigerator, the oven loses energy every time its door is opened. Most ovens sold today are equipped with a window in the door and a light inside the oven, enabling one to see how the food is cooking without opening the door.

Microwave ovens are an almost universal appliance these days. Unlike conventional ovens, the microwave heats food exclusively through the use of radiant energy. By heating only the food and not the entire cavity, energy is utilized very efficiently.

In 2002, 8.6 million ranges were sold in the U.S., 62% electric and 38% gas. Microwave oven sales in the same year amounted to 13.3 million units.

  

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About Cooking

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