Stay cool as a cucumber: 5 kitchen tips from BC Hydro to beat the heat


BC Hydro’s West End Substation project is sponsoring the 2023 West End Farmers Market.

City summers bring opportunities to appreciate appies on the patio, host friends for rooftop barbecues and eat by the beach. While the sun is welcome outside, it can make things uncomfortably hot at home in the kitchen. Follow these tips from BC Hydro to beat the heat – and save energy and money – while you prepare to nosh.

Don’t cook!

Try making no-cook recipes that don’t require you to turn on the stove or other appliances. The farmers market is packed with delicious, fresh produce. Take advantage of the varied salad leaves, microgreens and tasty tomatoes, and prepare tasty salads. 

Looking for protein boost? Try adding canned fish, canned beans, cheese or tofu to your salad, or top with nuts or hemp hearts.

Cook more – less often

Batch cooking – or meal prepping – can deliver big savings on time and energy. Double or triple your recipe, then safely cool and freeze. Defrost your meals in the fridge and reheat in the microwave to keep things cool through the week. Microwaves use up to 80% less energy than conventional ovens.

Bonus – you can stock up on your favourite produce and continue to savour the flavour even when it’s out-of-season.

Make use of small appliances

Using small appliance like crockpots, toaster ovens and pressure cookers can use up to 75% less energy than making the same recipe in your oven or on your stovetop. Almost any meal can be made in a small appliance – do a quick online search for your favourite dish, and you’ll be surprised at the ways it can be cooked using less energy. Try it and see if you can spot the difference in your usage in MyHydro.

Pick the right burner

If you’re using your stovetop, match the size of the pot you use to the size of the burner – using a small pan on a large burner wastes energy. Popping a lid on your pot will keep the heat in and cook your food faster.

Lost your lid? Use something heatproof – like a frying pan or baking tray – just be careful removing it, because it will heat up, too.

Skip your dishwasher’s drying cycle

Dishwashers are a major time-saver but can pump heat into your kitchen. Keep things cool by filling your machine through the day, then running it at night. And skip the drying cycle – just open the door to air-dry your dishes instead. It’ll reduce your dishwasher’s energy use by about 15% and help you and your home stay cooler.

Do you have other heat-beating summer cooking tips? Share them – and your favourite recipes – on our social channels.

About our sponsor

BC Hydro powers the province with clean electricity, powered by water. It’s planning a new West End Substation to ensure it can continue to deliver reliable power to homes and businesses in this downtown Vancouver community. Read more about this project, and sign-up for updates, on the West End Substation project webpage.