Cooking a turkey dinner for family and friends doesn’t have to gobble up a lot of energy. Just ask our PEC employees! They’ve shared their favorite energy-saving tips and holiday recipes to help you save electricity this Thanksgiving. Read below and get inspired!
“I use an air fryer to roast vegetables and side dishes, rather than my oven. They come out crispy and delicious, plus it helps save energy and keeps my kitchen cool!”
— Charlie Moore, PEC member relations account processing coordinator
“I use the shortest cycle on my dishwasher.”
— Blake Wood, PEC advanced metering infrastructure technician
“I do a lot of prep work before turning on the oven. When I’m ready to turn it on, I
put multiple dishes inside at once. This helps me save a ton of time, not to mention energy and money.”
— Lana Middleton, PEC project manager
“The best tip I’ve learned is to match the size of the pan to the burner and always use a lid. It reduces heat loss and cooks faster too.”
—Amber Jung, PEC member relations control center specialist
More cooking tips for energy savings:
- Upgrade old appliances with more energy-efficient ones. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label for up to 40% more efficiency than standard appliances.
- Clean your appliances after each use to keep them working as efficiently as possible.
- Make sure your pots and pans are in good condition. If they are warped, it can take longer to cook your food and drive up energy costs.
- Lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees when baking with a ceramic or glass dish.
Fun fact: Kitchen appliances can make up as much as 15% of your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Make Charlie Moore’s energy-saving Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries and Pecans
- 4 cups (1 pound) Brussels sprouts
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and
- cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup pecans
Directions: Preheat air fryer to 380°F. Trim the ends of your Brussels sprouts, remove any yellow leaves, and cut into halves. In a large bowl, add sprouts and mix in sweet potatoes and cranberries. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic, cinnamon, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the sprouts and other ingredients and toss to coat. Put into the air fryer for 10-12 minutes. Add pecans, then toss ingredients, and roast for another minute or two. Sweet potatoes should be fork-tender. Enjoy!
Lana Middleton’s energy-saving bean salad
- 3 or 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 can chopped olives
- 1-2 bell peppers, any color
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 2 cans black beans, drained
- 2 cans black eyed peas, drained
- 2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 can white hominy, drained
- 1 can golden/yellow hominy drained
- ½-1 bottle Italian dressing
Directions: Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl, add the dressing, and stir using a large spoon. Refrigerate overnight and serve cold with chips.
Blake Wood’s smoked orange duck
- 5 ounces duck fat gathered from bird or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- A few sprigs of thyme
- ¼ cup brandy
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
- About 5 pounds of duck
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 garlic bulb
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon clove
- 1 star anise pod
Directions: Dry down duck well and leave on on a rack for at least an hour to reach about room temperature. Prep your smoker with your favorite wood or pellets. Prep your smoker to maintain around 250 degrees for the 2.5 hour cook time. Set up a drip pan to catch the drippings from the fat render. Next, grind the cinnamon, pepper, garlic powder, clove, and anise until ground and fully mixed together. Generously rub salt on the bird both outside and inside the cavity and under the skin. Rub the seasoning mix evenly all over the duck. Place half an onion and half of one garlic clove in the duck’s cavity.
Place the duck in your cooking device and start on the glaze while it’s cooking. For the glaze, place a small 6-inch cast iron skillet over fire or a stove top and melt the duck fat or oil. Add the orange juice, soy sauce, honey, and brandy. Add thyme sprigs and any garlic cloves that may have escaped the duck into the orange juice and brandy mixture. Smoke the duck for two to two and a half hours, until the duck reaches a temperature of 170 degrees. Spritz or slather the brandy mixture on the duck. Remove from the smoker.
Amber Jung’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Servings 16 servings
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup pecans chopped, divided
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees, or 350 degrees if using a glass or ceramic dish. Grease a 9×13-inch pan. Place sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until fork tender, then drain. In a large bowl, or in the pot the potatoes were cooked, mash the sweet potatoes with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and pepper. Fold in half with the pecans and spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle with marshmallows and the remaining pecans. Bake for 25 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown and potatoes are heated through.