Buy the Self-Cleaning Oven

July 21, 2009 by · Comments Off on Buy the Self-Cleaning Oven 


by Kate Hehyoe

Frigidaire Self-Cleaning Oven B000XB5T52

Even if you never use the self-cleaning function, it’s a worthwhile feature. Why? Because self-cleaning ovens are better insulated than standard ovens, so less heat pours into your kitchen.

If you do use the self-cleaning feature, turn it on after your oven’s already hot, like after roasting, so you don’t waste extra fuel getting it up to inferno temperature.

Quick Tips

Find more tips to shrink your cookprint in Kate Heyhoe’s book Cooking Green

CDN Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer

April 1, 2009 by · Comments Off on CDN Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer 

CDN ProAccurate® Heavy Duty Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer


Other than the heater and AC, the biggest energy-guzzling appliance in your house is your refrigerator. To keep fridge and freezer, and the food that’s in them, at their optimum temperatures, use a thermometer. Ideal temperatures extend the life of perishables without burning excess energy or risking contamination.

I’ve been using the CDN ProAccurate® Heavy Duty Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer (model RFT1). It’s got several features that make it a winner: an easy to read dial (no squinting at thin red bars), at-a-glance indicators to show the ideal range, and mounting options for hanging or sitting wherever you want (no suction cups). It comes with a 5-year warranty but looks sturdy enough to last a lifetime. By using it, you can save energy and prevent food waste. At $7.99 or less, this CDN thermometer is money well spent.

Buy CDN ProAccurate® Heavy Duty Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer

Freezer Packs

March 14, 2009 by · Comments Off on Freezer Packs 

Quicktip: Make Meats Last Longer

by Kate Heyhoe

Freezer Pack

Fresh meat and poultry can last up to three days longer if stored at 31 degrees F. (The spoilage rate slows down, but without solid freezing.) My fridge has a programmable bin with this setting, but you can lower a regular bin’s temperature by tossing in a freezer pack. By the way, fish markets tend to have loads of freezer packs; next time you shop at one, ask them for a pack or two for keeping the fish cool on your way home (and in your fridge). Wash the pack well with a little bleach in the water to remove any odors, and re-use it whenever you need to chill out, or chill in.

8 Green Ways to Use a Freezer Pack

Freezer packs thaw very slowly, especially if placed in an already cool environment. Keep some handy in your freezer, then use them:

  • In a bowl instead of ice when shocking vegetables in “ice water”
  • In the refrigerator meat bin (a lower temperature can extend freshness up to 3 days)
  • To take up vacant fridge or freezer space (the motor won’t need to work so hard)
  • To keep groceries chilled in an ice chest (less need to rush home, so you can do more errands while you’re out; plus perishables will last longer if kept consistently cold)
  • For chilled drinks on patios and at barbecues (with fewer trips indoors, the house and fridge both stay cooler)
  • To keep fish at its peak of freshness, even in the fridge (ever wonder why fish markets keep fish on ice?)
  • Under your milk carton (dairy products prefer 34 degrees F., slightly cooler than most fridges, which should run between 35 and 38 degrees to prevent freezing more sensitive items).

Quick Tips

Find more tips to shrink your cookprint in Kate Heyhoe’s book Cooking Green

An Expert Gift: Taylor Thermometers

November 5, 2007 by · 2 Comments 


Sometimes an instant-read thermometer just isn’t enough. With inventive cooking techniques on the rise, coupled with all too common incidents of food contamination, performing a science-check of all stages of food temperatures seems prudent. Take your pick of Taylor’s Refrigerator-Freezer Thermometers in commercial and consumer versions, and monitor to see if your freezer and refrigerator are truly storing foods in the safe zone. (Buy one for each: freezers should be at or below 0 degrees F., and refrigerators should stay between 34 and 40 degrees F.)

But don’t stop there.

All ovens are subject to hot and cold zones, and calibration alters over time; so double-check for accuracy with Taylor’s Connoisseur Series Oven Thermometer, which hangs, sits, or clips wherever it’s needed (and is easily readable through the oven window). But wait: there’s more! Visual clues give way to precise cooking with Taylor’s Digital Infrared Thermometer. This baby measures surface temperatures, and it does so from a distance; just point and click for a digital reading.

Why is this important?

Because solid pieces of meat (roasts and whole turkeys, for instance) typically carry bacteria on the outer surface, so a check of the exterior temperature is as important, or even more so, than reading internal temperature. And here’s something else to think about: use it to measure a pan’s surface temperature. Now you can tell if a griddle has reached 350 degrees F., the optimum temperature for pancakes, and do away the guesswork of dancing water droplets (which bead between 320 and 440 degrees); and candy making becomes less messy (no contact thermometer needed, just point and click). Cool!

Taylor Classic Freezer-Refrigerator Thermometer

Taylor Commercial Freezer-Refrigerator Thermometer

Taylor Connoisseur Oven Thermometer

Taylor Digital Infrared Thermometer