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Dec 5, 2007 01:21 PM

Crock pot...expensive to run?

That's the extent of my question.....I noticed that when I used my George Forman grill every night, my electric bill got quite high, so it got me to thinking....

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  1. hello howboy, I mostly start using my crockpot extensively in the fall, and that is when of course the weather gets colder and the bills go up...maybe it is a coincidence.

    1. Funny, on another thread everyone was extolling the use of a crock pot for chicken stock. I just happened to have some chicken stock on the stove and thought about the amount of gas I was going to use. Dumped it all in the crock pot and then read your post.

      2 Replies
        1. re: howboy

          Oh, great, now I have to turn off the big side-by-side refrigerator (albeit the crock pot is OK)!

      1. In winter, when your furnace is heating your house, any heat producing appliance is essentially 'free' to run.

        Any heat produced by the appliance is heat that the furnace won't need to produce.

        If your furnace uses gas and your appliances are electric, you may pay a larger overall energy bill, as electricity is generally more expensive than gas on a per btu level.

        However, if you have a gas stove and gas furnace, you may see a lower bill the more you cook, as the stove doesn't need to draw cold air into the house, and won't waste hot air up the chimney.

        The reverse is true in summer though, if you use air conditioning.

        As for 'cost', look at the wattage rating of the device (should be on it somewhere), divide by 1000 to get kilowatts, multiply by hours used to get kilowatt-hours, check your electric bill for the cost per KWh.

        200 watts / 1000 = 0.2 KW
        8 hours times 0.2 KW = 1.6 KWh.
        1.6 KWh times 20 cents per KWh = 32 cents.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ThreeGigs

          I live in an apartment in NYC.....I don't pay for heat, just electricity.

        2. Actually, the crock pot is an excellent appliance (from the perspective of saving energy). According to this guide published by Seattle Light, it costs about 10 cents to run a crock pot for 8 hours, whereas it costs 32 cents to run your oven for an hour.

          "Green" advocates often suggest using your microwave, crock pot, and toaster oven (strictly from an energy savings perspective) instead of using your conventional oven.

          I like to use them in summer when I'm trying to avoid heating the kitchen. I use my crock pot (and rice cooker) a lot in winter so I can have lots of hearty chilis and stews (and hot cereals).


          4 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            "it costs about 10 cents to run a crock pot for 8 hours"

            At dirt-cheap Pacific Northwest hydroelectric rates, yes, but unfortunately not in our neck of the woods where our electric rates are about 3 times yours...

            1. re: MikeG

              Well, it depends, of course, whether your stove is gas or electric. If your stove is also electric, then the ratio is still the same.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Yeah, as a general rule, it's more efficient to heat a crockpot-sized vessel than a whole oven, but as a practical matter that may or may not apply. The way ConEd works here, we pay a fairly high minimum that covers more "included" gas than I've ever used in a given month in 15 years, so basically I pay for all the gas I ever use whether I actually use it or not. Even "wastefully" heating the oven for hours on end is less expensive than running a separate electric appliance at all. Strange but true. :)

                1. re: MikeG

                  Yes, you are describing a scenario where you have a GAS oven and comparing the cost of running that to the cost of running an ELECTRIC crockpot. What I'm saying is the chart I provided is the comparative cost of running an ELECTRIC crockpot vs. an ELECTRIC oven (even though, I goofily said "stove" above...). in the electric vs, electric scenario, it costs approximately three times as much to run the oven for one hour as it does to run a crockpot for eight. He OP doesn't describe what his alternatives to a crockpot are and whether they are gas or electric (though, he does mention a George Foreman grill, which, unfortunately, isn't on that chart I linked to.)

                  If you are trying to find an electric appliance on the chart to compare to, perhaps you have an electric coffee pot? It costs less to run a crockpot for 8 hours than it does to run a coffee pot for 15 minutes or to run a hair dryer for 15 minutes. It's a pretty efficient appliance--relatively speaking.