As the weather sets in and Brits look for more comforting meal choices, new research from Smart Energy GB reveals the UK’s top 10 winter warmer dishes with the traditional roast dinner landing at number one (55%).
The roast is closely followed by shepherd’s pie (39%) and sausage and mash (33%), with beef casserole (33%) and lasagne (28%) also bagging a spot in the top 10.
Despite energy bills rising for many in the colder months, 40% of Brits spend more time cooking from December to February than any other time of year – spending an average of 72 hours in the kitchen during winter, compared to 55 hours in the summer.
And as the nation swaps salads for stews, many are keeping an eye on their energy spend, with 25% of smart meter owners taking to monitoring their in-home display more closely while cooking during the colder months.
Top 10 winter warmer meals as voted by Great Britain
- A roast dinner (55%)
- Shepherd’s or cottage pie (39%)
- Sausage and mash (33%)
- Beef casserole (33%)
- Fish and chips (28%)
- Lasagne (28%)
- Chilli con carne (26%)
- Jacket potato with toppings (26%)
- Spaghetti bolognese (25%)
- Steak and ale pie (22%)
Proving it’s still king of the kitchen, the oven is voted the winter appliance of choice (43%) despite record sales of energy efficient air fryers, which also feature in the top 10 (27%).
In fact, the average household’s oven is on for a staggering 64 hours over winter, while the hob is on for 46 hours. Together this rise in energy use in the kitchen adds upwards of £18 to Brit’s energy bills, data from Smart Energy GB and Energy Saving Trust reveals.
Following a turbulent two years for fuel prices, smart meters in homes across Britain are helping households to better understand their spend on energy. Four in ten who have one say monitoring their smart meter display gives them a greater sense of control (42%), and helps them implement small changes to reduce their energy use when cooking (40%).
In fact, over half (51%) of respondents are concerned about the impact that more time spent in the kitchen will have on their household bills, while 79% of people are interested in more energy efficient recipes when it comes to winter.
And just as Brits’ culinary cravings change with the seasons, so do their cooking methods with 39% using a greater number of kitchen appliances than ever before.
Being mindful about energy use when cooking is high on the agenda for over three quarters of Brits (77%), with one in five (20%) searching for more energy efficient cooking methods.
And it turns out the main motivators behind the rise in time spent cooking up Brits’ favourite feasts are a craving for more hearty, comforting dishes (65%), wanting to feel warm and cosy (42%), and the kitchen being the warmest room in the house (32%).
In response, Smart Energy GB has teamed up with the Michelin-trained Chef, Poppy O’Toole to help the Brits cook more consciously this winter. Affectionately dubbed TikTok’s ‘Potato Queen’, Poppy has crafted a succulent selection of energy-efficient recipes and hacks for some of the nation’s favourite winter warmers.
Poppy O’Toole, TikTok Chef says: “Winter is one of my favourite seasons when it comes to the wealth of hearty, comforting recipes you can create – especially if they include potatoes! And when the weather is colder and the days shorter, what better way to spend time than cooking your favourite winter warmers? These dishes can take more time and energy to make, which is why I’m excited to show it doesn’t always have to be this way. I’ve developed a recipe range of energy efficient takes on classic favourites – all with the help of a smart meter.”
Victoria Bacon, Director at Smart Energy GB, says “It really is no surprise that we Brits love a roast dinner. As we head into the colder, winter months where we spend more time in the kitchen cooking up cosy classics, small changes in our cooking habits can make a tangible difference to our energy usage.
“Using a smart meter allows you to track your usage in near-real time and ensures you are left without any unexpected bills. The recipes created by Poppy will help households rustle up hearty winter warmers, while keeping an eye on their energy use.”
Looking at Poppy’s recipes, Energy Saving Trust has estimated that the alternative recipe for veggie toad in the hole reduces energy costs by 28% compared to the traditional method and a further 21% for the cottage pie meal.
Each recipe can be found at SmartEnergyGB.org/cooking along with more information on the Super Smart Home Hacks campaign. To find out more about getting a smart meter installed, search ‘get a smart meter’.