Passive cooking: the technique to save cooking energy

Do you know the principle of “passive cooking”? Also known as “passive cooking” in English, this is a fairly basic cooking method that reduces energy and CO2 emissions. Indeed, if the cost of food and fuel has only increased in recent months, the same is true for the energy sector which is weighing more and more on the wallets of the French. In a traditional household, cooking accounts for a large portion of energy consumption. To reduce these expenses, some are starting to prepare dishes without cooking, while others are engaging in batch cooking. An Anglo-Saxon method, consisting of preparing all your meals for the week in a single cooking session, before freezing everything. But what about passive cooking?

What is passive cooking?

Contrary to what the news might suggest, passive cooking is a technique that emerged towards the end of the 19th century. Used to cook food in boiling water, it consists of boiling water on a hob for exactly 2 minutes, before turning off the heat. The food is then left to cook under the lid for approximately 10 minutes. Recommended by the Italian Giorgio Parisi (Nobel Prize in Physics in 2021), passive cooking would make it possible to obtain perfectly cooked pasta or vegetables, while consuming less energy. Thanks to the lid, the heat will remain concentrated inside the pan. However, the cooking time will be slower than normal.

In October, the famous Italian brand of pasta and sauces Barilla even published a “guide to passive cooking times”, according to the different shapes of pasta. For example, for a package of spaghetti indicating 9 minutes of cooking time, you will need to boil the water for 2 minutes, then let the pasta cook for 8 minutes – always under the lid. Obviously, passive cooking has its limits, and the method cannot be used for products that are not edible raw (unlike vegetables or pasta).

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