Preheat the Oven!

Is it necessary to preheat an oven?

Yes, actually it is a necessary step to preheat an oven.
It takes about 20 minutes for an oven to reach full temperature. That’s a small amount of time to ensure that your foods are properly baked and your recipes turn out successful.

preheat oven

Preheating an Oven

Preheat the Oven

Why is preheating so important?
Not only does the air in the oven need to be hot, but the walls of the oven must also heat up. If they don’t, then all the hot air in the oven will escape when the oven door is opened. After all, most recipes begin with “preheat oven” for a reason!

An oven should always be preheated, no matter what you are making. The exact reasons why this is important depends on what you’re baking. If an oven is not preheated properly it could be either too cool or too warm when you place your food inside. Let’s look at both situations.

A too cool oven:
If the oven is not up to temperature yet, meats and poultry will suffer the most. If the oven is still cool when you place a chicken inside, the chicken will begin steaming instead of roasting. This means that it will loose moisture as it begins to cook. This loss of moisture will more than likely leave you with a very dry chicken. If there isn’t enough heat to activate the chemical reaction of cooking [1], then the chicken will not brown properly or develop that delicious flavor you’re expecting.

A too hot oven:
When an electric element begins to heat up, it is intensely hot. It is cookies and other delicate baked goods that will suffer the most if placed into this situation. If you try baking cookies before an oven has prheated the bottoms are sure to burn from the high heat.

Preheating an Oven

Additional Information

Just because the chime signals that an oven is up to temperature, it may not really be. The best way to check oven temperature is with an oven thermometer.

preheat oven

After about 20 minutes, it should be the desired temperature. If not, then check your oven manual for instructions on calibrating your particular oven.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

SEARCH Eat By Date