Monday, 13 March 2017

Scottish Gas & Chef John Whaite Show How Smart Cooking Is as Easy As Pie

With British Pie Week upon us, baking guru John Whaite has joined forces with Scottish Gas to create the nation’s ‘Smartest Pie’ – a one-off culinary delight that combines our favourite fillings and is cooked using energy-saving techniques.

The Steak, Vegetable, Chicken, Pork and Apple Pie was identified by Scottish Gas and John as the nation’s Smartest Pie, based on the cost of ingredients and energy used while cooking it, as measured by smart meters. John’s gastronomic skills were pushed to the limit to create this ultimate no-compromise pie recipe that covers every aspect of a hearty meal, while minimizing energy use and keeping costs low.

John Whaite and Scottish Gas bake the nation’s Smartest Pie for British Pie Week

Coming top of the pie charts, Steak (34.31%) is the nation’s number one according to Ocado, followed by Vegetable (25.05%), Chicken (23.61%), Pork (9.88%) and finally Apple (3.61%).

Scottish Gas challenged John Whaite to mix our favourites together, using the most cost-effective ingredients as well as energy-efficient cooking methods that won’t break the bank. The GBBO champion was then put to the test on camera, showcasing the most energy-efficient cooking techniques while the smart meter monitored energy costs.

In today’s increasingly connected world, running a home economically and reducing energy costs all starts with a smart meter – an easy way to keep an eye on energy usage and put an end to unexpected bills.

More than half of us guess ingredients and approximate cooking times when it comes to baking, according to Scottish Gas research, so bringing home economics back into schools and homes is essential. With 94% of people in the UK overestimating cooking time for popular bakes, developing smart home economics skills can have a significant impact on energy bills, by avoiding unnecessary over-baking.

John Whaite, Scottish Gas Smart Chef ambassador said: “It’s so important for people to understand what they’re eating and how to use kitchen appliances efficiently – the way ingredients work together and how to produce nutritious and inexpensive meals at home for themselves.

“This is also a big part of my motivation behind my hands-on classes at my [John Whaite’s] Kitchen Cookery School. I want to teach the culinary skills needed to create tasty, wholesome meals that are also energy-efficient to cook, so it’s super easy to replicate at home.”

Sarah Scrivener, Smart Energy Expert at British Gas and an avid baker herself, added: “The principles of home economics are so central to our daily lives, but many of us don’t consider the energy used by our ovens, hobs and microwaves while cooking. Getting a free smart meter installation at home will allow you to be more aware of energy used by your kitchen appliances, so budding bakers can be savvy with energy usage and focus on what really matters – the pies!”

Top Tips for Smart Pies from Scottish Gas:

  • Keep the oven door closed while baking. As tempting as it is to take a peek at your pie, opening the oven door causes the heat to drop and use extra energy to get back up to temperature.
  • Turn the oven off 5-10 minutes before the pie is done. It will retain plenty of heat during this time and will continue to cook your pie to perfection.
  • Keep the oven clean. Grease and little pieces of burnt food in the oven can absorb the heat and make the oven less efficient. Keeping the glass clear also gives you a sneak peek while baking.
  • Bake in batches. Cooking a number of pies to cater to different family favourites? Try cooking them all in one go – an already heated oven will use less.

To find out more about energy efficiency in the kitchen, take a look at Scottish Gas’ tips here. Read more about Scottish Gas smart meters here.



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