Like everyone these days I have noticed the price of electricity skyrocketing and am looking for ways to make reductions in my usage, thereby bringing down the total cost. I’ve tried turning plugs and things off but with things like fridges running constantly there’s not a significant impact. The two worst short time offenders are the dryer and the oven.
I’ve had a look at the oven. Let’s say you want a pizza which takes 15-20 minutes with preheating, so about half an hour. Half an hour to cook one item is a costly operation. The oven is a fairly large appliance so when cooking multiple items you can get a full meal with various flavours making it pretty efficient. I’m also counting a Hob as part of the oven because a steamer pan works wonders. So what are the alternatives? There’s a Fryer, a Slow Cooker and a Microwave. The Fryer is low capacity, high usage. I don’t own a slow cooker but for obvious reasons they need time to cook things.
Onto the star of the post, the Microwave, my old friend Chef Mic whose special dishes include baked beans and tinned soups. Mic has never let me down with those basic foods so it seemed reasonable to try something different. Back to that idea of an oven cooked pizza. Some frozen pizza brands do small ones designed for a single person which often have Microwave instructions next to the oven ones. 3 minutes and a minute to stand got me this.
Not the best looking pizza. The cheese melted off the side and the sauce has been intensively cooked. Not the nicely, slightly brown and stable thing I’d get from the oven. I ate it, the cheesy side was soft plus it tasted fine. The tomato side had gone rock solid on the base, forcing me to get a steak knife to use as a chisel and smash bite size pieces off, thankfully the sauce was nice as I was nearly breaking my teeth chewing through it. That weird brown bit on the plate is burned cheese which had a desirable smoky flavour but was another incredibly hard part of the food.
If I’m not happy with pizza then it makes sense to keep the Italian theme and try pasta. It took about ten minutes but I did manage to get dried pasta to boil to soft. Adding cheese and milk for a basic sauce like I’ve done on the Hob before should’ve worked but left me with unflavoured pasta and a lot of cheese stuck to the dish while the milk seemed to evaporate. There was a big puddle of water to clean up after. This took almost as long as a pan on the Hob and was a significant drop in quality.
There are processed foods that are usually found in a tin can which are designed to be warmed up in a Microwave. Frozen meals can also be defrosted and reheated in the little box. However, as much as Chef Mic can make cooking quicker and cheaper, there’s a sacrifice in quality. There are plenty of recipes out there for putting the Microwave to its fullest potential but quality wise it can never stand up.
I’ll stick to soup, beans and using the proper oven because more than anything, I want to enjoy food.