6 Tips for Using a Range Efficiently



By Kim Hillegass, Sears PartsDirect

Reducing the amount of energy you use when cooking or baking—even in small amounts—can add up to big savings over time and helps extend the life of your range.  

These 6 tips are easy ways to keep the heat where you want it, whether using the stovetop or the oven.

If you're having a problem with your range, take a look at our range troubleshooting help.

Check out our other range videos and articles, too.

  1. Use the right size cookware and burner. Using a 4-quart pot to heat a 12-ounce can of soup is a huge waste of space and energy; use the size of pan that most closely matches the amount of food to be cooked. Also make sure the pot size matches the burner size. Placing a 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner wastes heat and energy, too.

  2. Cookware condition and quality count. Use pots and pans with flat bottoms that make even contact with the cooking surface. Uneven bottoms don’t conduct heat evenly. Consider higher quality cookware such as stainless steel or cast iron. While more expensive, it lasts longer and work much more efficiently than a low quality product.

  3. Cover the cookware. Use a tight fitting lid to cover the pot when heating foods or boiling water to keep most of the heat inside the pot. That way, you can use a lower temperature for  cooking.

  4. Preheat properly. The oven needs no preheating when roasting or broiling, but when baking, it’s important the oven reaches the correct temperature first. Let the oven cycle through the preheat stage before putting food in it. Arrange the oven racks before turning it on to avoid any heat loss.

  5. Consider the bakeware material. Oven temperatures need to be adjusted for the material of bakeware used. Shiny aluminum pans may not brown foods very well, while a darker anodized aluminum may cause over browning. Oven-safe glass and ceramic bakeware conducts and retains heat well, and requires about 25 degrees less heat.

  6. Don't peek. When using the oven, keep the door closed as much as possible. Opening the oven door during baking allows heat to escape.