Being safe–and saving energy–in the kitchen | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

After the living room and the bedroom, we now talk about kitchen safety. Here are tips from the booklet “Guide to Your Convenient New Home” issued by Manila Electric Company.

Unplug the toaster or oven toaster before removing any food stuck in the appliance.

Use the proper type of plug for the outlet. If appliances have three-pronged plugs and your kitchen has only two-conductor outlets, do not remove or cut off the ground prong (the third/bottom prong) from the plugs. Convert your outlet into a three-wire outlet instead, especially for appliances with motors such as refrigerators, washing machines and air-conditioning units. Consult a qualified electrician.

Never force a plug into an outlet if it does not fit. This may result in fire or electric shock. Plugs should fit securely in outlets.

Circuit breakers and fuses should be of correct sizes for the circuits. If you do not know the correct size, ask an electrician to identify and label the size to be used.

As for energy saving, when cooking, have all the ingredients ready so you do not have to turn the stove on and off and waste heat. Thaw frozen food thoroughly before cooking.

Match pots and pans to burners to reduce heat transfer loss. Cover pots and pans to prevent heat from escaping. Use flat-bottom pots and pans when using an electric stove. They allow faster heat transfer.

Better yet, get an induction cooker. You have to use pots and pans suitable for induction cooking, although some new products are versatile enough to be used on electric stove, gas range or induction cooker. The induction cooker is safer and more energy efficient.

As explained in the Meralco booklet, induction cooking transfers electricity directly by magnetic field. Only the cooking vessel heats up, while the surface of the cooker remains cool. Even if you accidentally touch the stove you do not get burned.

Meralco adds that an induction cooker uses 90 percent of the heat generated, compared to only 55 percent for liquefied petroleum gas and 65 percent for electric stoves.

Meralco says microwave cooking is also more energy efficient than conventional cooking, “because food cooks faster, and the energy heats only the food and not the oven compartment.”

For heating water, Meralco says an electric kettle is the most energy-efficient, using only half the energy consumed by a stove. In choosing an electric kettle, get one with automatic shut-off and insulated handle. Remove mineral buildup from the kettle regularly to keep it operating efficiently. The manual that comes with the product will tell you how to get rid of mineral buildup.

Sachet is the way to go

Many consumer products manufacturers have long realized that in a country like the Philippines, selling tingi is the way to go. This is because Filipino consumers, either because they do not have the cash to buy large sizes or they worry about wastage, prefer to buy items in small packages.

Also, they want something they can easily buy in the neighborhood sari-sari or convenience store. Hence, many products are now available in sachets—shampoo, toothpaste, catsup, etc.

Among the latest to be made available in sachets are Stiefel’s Physiogel facial and body-care products. Although available so far only in drugstores and some supermarkets and department stores, people who use Physiogel cleanser, lotion and/or cream can now get them in 10-milliliter sachets. Pretty soon the products might even be in more retail outlets, as Stiefel is reportedly working on broadening its distribution system.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail

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