Brits spend almost 20 more hours cooking during the winter than in summer

People will be spending 30 percent longer in the kitchen this winter, compared to the summer months – as they crave comfort foods to keep them warm, research has found. A study of 2,000 adults, who cook at home, found they anticipate spending 72 hours rustling up meals from December to February – compared to just 55 hours from June to August.

And 40 percent spend more time cooking in the cooler months than they do during any other season.

Among the reasons for this upward trend are a craving for more hearty, comforting dishes (65 percent), wanting to feel warm and cosy (42 percent), and the kitchen being the warmest room in the house (32 percent).

It also emerged 51 percent are concerned about the impact more time spent in the kitchen will have on their household bills – and as a result, 79 percent are keen to learn more energy efficient recipes.

The research was commissioned by Smart Energy GB, which has teamed up with Michelin-trained chef, Poppy O’Toole – dubbed TikTok’s “Potato Queen” – who has crafted a selection of energy-efficient recipes and hacks.

She said: “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?

Michelin-trained chef shows how to cook warming winter meals

“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.”

The study also found 25 percent of those with a smart meter plan to monitor their in-home display more carefully during the winter.

Of those, 42 percent are doing so because it gives them a greater sense of control over their household bills, while 40 percent want to reduce their energy use when cooking.

A fifth of all adults are searching for more cost-saving cooking methods, and 77 percent said being mindful about energy use when cooking is important to them.

It also emerged the typical home cook will use their oven for the equivalent of nearly three days (64 hours) from December to February, and their hob for nearly two days (46 hours).

This amounts to at least £18 in energy usage in the kitchen alone between December and February, according to data from Smart Energy GB and Energy Saving Trust.

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A traditional roast, shepherd’s pie, and sausage and mash are among the most popular meals made when then temperature plummets.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found 39 percent are using more kitchen appliances in their cooking endeavours than ever before.

The oven was voted the top winter appliance of choice (43 percent), with the economical air fryer (27 percent) also featuring in the top 10.

Victoria Bacon, director at Smart Energy GB, said: “As we head into the colder, winter months, where many people spend more time in the kitchen, small changes to the way we cook can make a tangible difference to the amount of energy that’s used.

“Smart meters are installed at no extra cost by your energy supplier, and come with a handy in-home display which allows you to track your usage in near-real time.

“These warming recipes created by Poppy are the perfect thing to help households rustle up a hearty dish, while keeping an eye on energy use.”

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