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energy needed to cook our turkeys

As Americans across the nation flip on their ovens to cook their Thanksgiving turkeys, I’m sitting here thinking the nation’s electric grid is going to take a big hit today to supply the energy required to power this historic day. So how much power is it really going to take to cook our Thanksgiving meals? Has attempted to estimate how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) will it require to cook our country’s beloved turkeys? I think not! I feel like doing some math today, so let’s get to the bottom of this ever so important question. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. for Thanksgiving. American per capita consumption of turkeys has soared from 8.3 pounds in 1975 to17.5 pounds in 2007. Most of the ovens in America are electric, according to Mr. Electricity’s, How much electricity does my stuff use? the average oven uses 4,400 continuous watts when cranked up all the way, which is$5 typically required to cook a Turkey throughly. It takes approximately 4 hours to roast a 17lb turkey in the oven. 4,400 watts (oven) * 4 hours (time to cook) = 17,600 watt hours 17,600 watt hours / 1,000 watts = 17.6 kWh per turkey   45,000,000 (number of turkeys cooked) * 17.6kWh = 792,000,000 kWh Since most people can’t relate to 792,000,000 kWhs, let me quantify kWh to $. The average nationwide cost per kWh is 12 cents. Therefore it will cost $2.11 in electricity costs per turkey roasted today. 45,000,000 (number of turkeys cooked) * $2.11 (electricity cost) = $94,950,000 So I guess the Turkey suppliers aren’t the only ones making a lot of money on Thanksgiving but the companies providing you electricity to cook your turkey are making close to 100 million dollars today! 792M kWh is a lot of energy, in fact I went to NationMaster to check up how much electricity is produced on an annual basis from all sources for each country around the world and I realized that 56 countries generate less than 792M kWh on annual basis! I hope that makes a good comparison of how much electricity is consumed to celebrate Thanksgiving by roasting turkeys in the oven. I got a couple suggestions of how you can offset your dependence on the electric grid next Thanksgiving by going solar without breaking your pocketbook. Global Sun Oven – Solar Cooker When pointed in the optimal direction the can boil, steam, roast or bake food at cooking temperatures of 360° F / 182° C, making it ideal for cooking the majority of foods, including most turkeys. The...

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Forget the oven, cook a turkey with a solar oven. Yes it’s quite possible to use the sun’s energy to cook meals. Many people in rural areas and developing nations are dependent on solar cookers. Here in the USA, the only time you see a solar cooker is when you go to a solar energy gathering, many solar energy hobbyist cook delicious treats using solar cookers. I think the vast public here in the USA has no idea about this effective, low cost way to use the power of the sun. Many people make solar cookers at home with cardboard boxes and aluminum foil, it’s that simple, there are great tutorials online that show you step by step how you can make a solar cooker with simple items that you have laying around at home. If you had a fleet of solar ovens and did some pre-planning, it would be possible to cook your entire Thanksgiving feast with solar energy. The amazing part is that a well built solar oven would be able to cook a big turkey…typically Turkeys take all day to cook in the oven…Imagine how many kWh (kilowatt-hours) wasting. With a solar oven, the sun is providing the energy to cook your meals for free. When is the last time you got something for free? There is a society of people, called Solar Cookers International who have been using solar cookers for a long time and share their tasty recipes , you can also pick up a solar professional solar cooker if your a serious chef. If you’re like me, when attempting to cook you end up burning your food, don’t got to worry about burnt food with a solar cooker, because its impossible to burn your food since there are no “hot spots” the temperature in a solar cooker raises evenly. I find it interesting how many people out there are making the sun work for them by heating hot water, generating clean electricity and even cooking all from the power of the sun! Happy...

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