For many of us, celebrating the holidays means food – hot, delicious, home-cooked food. And that means using those kitchen appliances!

We’ve posted some energy-saving ideas in the past including winter and summer. Here are some quick tips to help you save energy in your kitchen this holiday season:

  • Limit pre-heating times: Use an oven thermometer to see when the oven is at temperature (most recipes tell you to turn on the oven first, which can be a long time before you need it if it’s a complex recipe)
  • Keep your oven door closed, and resist the temptation to open it frequently as this drops the temperature and extends cooking time
  • Use a meat thermometer (a digital one is great) to tell you when your roast is done: This reduces the need to open the oven and poke holes in your beautiful protein source
  • Turn down your furnace on days when you’re cooking a lot and have guests over: Oven and body heat will help keep the temperature warmer in your home
  • Use flat-bottomed pans on your electric stove: Warped pans don’t maintain contact with the surface, and therefore don’t conduct as much heat
  • Use your slow cooker, toaster oven, microwave, or pressure cooker to take some of the (energy) load off of your stove.

Read our No-Cost and Low-Cost Tips to Save Energy This Winter for more ideas. You can also get a home energy assessment to find out how to improve your home’s energy efficiency – you can hire a professional or do it yourself.

Don’t forget – there’s still time to take advantage of federal tax credits for installing energy-efficient products in your home through December, 2010, and several states still have energy-efficient appliance rebates available.

Happy holiday cooking!

Andrea Spikes is a communicator at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its Web sites.