Burning questions

How many watts do electric cooktop and oven use? Hot topic

From making your morning porridge to roasting a holiday turkey – your electric oven and cooktop do a great number of things. But what is it costing you? Let’s break down how much electricity your electric oven and cooktop consume.

Estimating consumption of an oven and cooktop

3 kW

average consumption of an oven

Typically, electric ovens draw between 2,000 and 5,000 watts of power, with the average being around 3,000 watts. As for the cooktops, most of the cooking rings fall within the range of 1,000 watts for the smaller ones to 3,000 watts for the bigger ones. In total, an average electric cooktop can use something about 5 kilowatts of energy when all cooking rings are on.

Consumption changes throughout cooking

5 kW

average consumption of a cooktop with all rings on

Even if you know the wattage of your oven and each of your cooking rings, exact energy consumption is hard to figure out. There are two reasons for this.

First, the actual power consumption depends on the cooking mode. Drying apples at 140F is one thing, but roasting chicken at 390F is different. In the specs, you’ll find the maximum wattage your cooktop or oven draws. When cooking dinner, people normally use the medium settings and don’t crank the oven to the max.

The spec sheet gives the maximum power consumption. In real life you consume less than that

Secondly, the amount of electricity that the cooktop and oven consume is constantly changing. This happens because when reaching the set temperature, they temporarily shut off to avoid overheating the internal coil and burning your dinner. The highest energy consumption comes during the first few minutes of use until the desired temperature is reached. After that, the cooktop and oven will turn off and on, keeping the temperature at the set point.

Fortunately, knowing even approximate numbers is enough to calculate the rough consumption of your cooktop and oven. Let’s do it.

Calculating oven and cooktop’s annual consumption and cost

Imagine that we have four people in our family and we need to cook every day. We cook four times a week on the cooktop and three times in the oven. Cooking takes us one hour a day. Let’s take the average power consumption of 3kWh for our oven and 2kWh for our cooktop, as most of the dishes are cooked at medium power. So, the energy consumption of our oven will be:

3 kWh x 3 times/week x 52 weeks/year = 468 kWh

And the energy consumption of our cooktop:

2 kWh x 4 times/week x 52 weeks/year = 416 kWh

Сooking alone makes 4 to 5% of your total energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy

These are rough estimates, of course. Cooking scrambled eggs takes only 5 minutes, while soup can simmer for over an hour. Besides, you may use more than one cooking ring at once. Or maybe you prefer to dine out a couple of times a week instead of cooking. The exact energy consumption will depend on your preferences and habits.

Now that we know how much electricity does an electric stove use, let’s figure out how much it impacts our bill. If we live in California, where 1 kilowatt-hour costs 19.90¢, one dinner may cost us 60¢, and a year of using our cooktop and oven would amount to $175.

Saving money on cooking

The power consumption of your cooktop and oven makes up quite a tangible portion of your electricity bill. But you don’t necessarily have to replace them with high-tech low-energy ones to upgrade your kitchen. More attention to cooking can make a big difference in the amount of energy you use and reduce your energy bills. Here are five tips to improve your energy consumption and save a few cents.

  • Turn the oven off ten minutes earlier. The temperature in the oven is high enough to completely cook the food without wasting energy.

  • Cook in one go. Cook as much as possible in your oven at once. You’ll make the most of the space, heat, and time this way.

  • Keep the oven door closed. Every time you open the door, the oven loses up to a quarter of its heat and requires more time and energy to regain the temperature.

  • Use a small pot on a small cooking ring — not on a large one. A larger ring requires more energy to heat up. With a small pot, this energy is not used and goes to waste. 

  • Clean the cooking rings regularly. Any dirt absorbs heat and energy, forcing your cooking ring’s heating elements to work harder.

Switching kitchen to solar power

Using solar panels to power your electric oven and cooktop can be a fantastic step towards a more eco-friendly kitchen. How many solar panels do we need to power a cooktop and oven? Time to do some math.

Our oven consumes about 3kW of power. Let’s add 25% for the losses resulting from converting DC power generated by the panels to AC power consumed by the appliances. So the total wattage required is 3,750 watts or ten 375W solar panels. The average consumption of a cooktop is 2kW plus 25% for energy losses. That’s 2,500 watts or five 500W solar panels.

There is no need to match the solar system to the peak demand of your appliances. You aren’t really switching all of your appliances on at once. Besides, with the grid-tie system, your home can always draw some power from the grid if your solar panels don’t generate enough.

If your system has a battery, the energy generated by your panels and not immediately used for powering your home will be stored there. When you need energy for cooking, your stove and oven can draw the missing watts from it.

Say your oven needs 3kWh for cooking one meal and your stove takes another 2kWh. Suppose you live in an area where your solar panels run for 5 hours at full power. Given the 25% energy loss, you’ll have to figure out how many solar panels can produce 5 kilowatt-hours + 25% = 6.25 kilowatt-hours in a day. Divide 6,250 watt-hours by 5 peak sun hours. To produce enough electricity in a day for an hour of cooking on a cooktop and in an oven, you need 1,250W of solar power or, say, three 420W panels.

Understanding energy efficient practices and using solar power leads to grand savings on electricity. Check out our article “How to make home energy efficient, save money and help the planet” to learn more!

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Years of experience in translation and a love of nature help Julia find the right words to encourage going solar. She joined the team in 2023 and is happy to make her contribution to a greener future.

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