This Is How Much It Costs To Run Each Cooking Device In Your Kitchen

Electric oven, hob, air fryer, slow cooker and microwave: how much do they cost to use and when's best to use them?
Svetlana Repnitskaya via Getty Images

Let’s be real – we’re all trying to cut back where we can when it comes to our energy bill.

With 9 in 10 of us seeing the cost of living as one of the most important issues currently facing the UK, energy bills are on average nearly twice as expensive as 18 months ago.

One way many of us are combatting rising energy costs is using different cooking appliances in a bit to save cash – but which is actually the most cost efficient?

Fortunately, Energy Saving Trust has outlined the average running costs of different cooking appliances, to help people decide which will be the best to use for the meal they’re preparing.

Electric oven – best for batch cooking

Typical cost per use: £0.27

Ovens are generally bigger than other cooking appliances, meaning they require more energy to heat up. This means a typical electric oven can be the most expensive cooking appliance to run. However, their larger size means you can fit a lot of food in at once, so when cooking large quantities – for example, when batch cooking or cooking for a large group - using your oven could be the best value for money.

Top tip: Avoid opening the door any more than necessary while the oven is on to keep in hot air and reduce wasted energy.

Gas or electric hob – best for quick meals

Typical cost per use: £0.01 to £0.02

Using the hob is typically quite cheap, as generally you won’t need to have a hob on for very long to prepare meals, such as pasta or an omelette. Using a gas hob does produce more direct carbon emissions than an electric hob, so if you’re just using it to reheat a meal you might want to consider using a microwave instead in order to reduce your carbon footprint.

Top tip: Remember to cover your saucepan with a lid to keep heat in and reduce wasted energy.

Slow cooker – best for busy schedules

Typical cost per use: £0.26

Designed to cook food gradually over a long period of time, slow cookers can be a convenient way to cook if you have a busy schedule.

Top tip: To save energy, try to avoid leaving them on longer than necessary or use ‘low’ setting if you’ll be out for longer.

Air fryer – best for 1-2 people

Typical cost per use: £0.07

An air fryer works like a small conventional fan oven. Because of its small size, using an air fryer can often be cheaper than using your oven for the same meal. This makes it ideal for preparing smaller quantities of food, eg for one or two people.

Top tip: As when using a regular oven, avoid opening the compartment any more than necessary to avoid letting out heat and wasting energy.

Microwave – best for reheating and quick cooking

Typical cost per use: £0.04

Instead of heating the air, your microwave directly heats the food. This means your microwave will cook and reheat food very quickly and so its cost per use is likely to be lower than many other cooking appliances.

Top tip: If you’re preparing a large meal, batch cooking in a full oven and then reheating portions as you need them in the microwave can be a good way to keep your energy bills down.