Whether you are baking lasagne, pizzas, or desserts, cupcakes, and cakes, your oven is probably an indispensable part of your kitchen. But, unfortunately, we have become used to just turning the dial and pre-setting the temperature according to the recipe.
Imagine how difficult things were for our poor grandmothers who had to estimate how hot their wood stoves were! While recipes vary, the most commonly called temperature setting is 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius).
To save energy bills, it’s good to preheat your oven while you are busy preparing your dish. The oven should reach the correct temperature just as you are ready to put your dish inside.
However, it can be tricky to get this timing right. You don’t want your oven reaching the desired temperature of 400 degrees while you still have a lot of prep to do. This will waste energy and make your kitchen unbearably hot.
We’ve put together a little help for you in this area to help you get the timing perfect. So read on and find out how!
How Long Does It Take To Preheat an Oven to 400-degrees?
On average, the length of time needed for an oven to reach 350-degrees Fahrenheit is fifteen minutes, which means that preheating to 400-degrees will take around seventeen minutes.
However, we all know that ovens vary. Older ovens, in particular, may take longer to reach this temperature. Therefore, we suggest setting the timer to 15 minutes and the temperature to 400.
See how long your particular oven takes. That way, you will know how early to start preheating your oven.
The new ovens with modern features are designed to reduce preheating times. However, irrespective of the oven age and model, the average time for preheating ranges from fifteen minutes to twenty minutes.
If yours takes longer than 20 minutes, you may want to have an electrician take a look. Your oven may need a new heating element. Alternatively, the oven’s temperature sensors may not be working as they should be.
After this preheating time, we suggest taking the temperature reading with a heatproof thermometer to make sure you have harnessed the correct temperature.
The preheated temperature of 400-degrees is perfect for offering a quick baking experience and creating a crisply browned exterior.
If you have been finding that your baked goods do not give good results, don’t despair. It may just be that your oven thermostat needs replacing or that one of the heating elements isn’t working.
It is also worth checking if the seals on your oven door are still intact. If they are old and worn, the heat will escape, and the oven will take a long time to reach the desired temperature. So rather than assuming there is something wrong with your recipes, check your oven.
If you want to figure out how long your specific oven takes for preheating, use a special oven thermometer to test. In this case, you can follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Place the oven thermometer in the middle part of the center oven rack
- Set the temperature to 400-degrees
- Close the door
- Now, set the oven timer for ten minutes and fifteen minutes progressively
Importance of Preheating
Preheating the oven is like stretching your legs before you go for a run. Basically, preheating is a way for the oven to warm up (pun intended!) to make sure your food is cooked thoroughly without drying out.
Putting food into a cold oven causes it to dry out. Baked goods will not rise properly if you want to cook meat and poultry; preheating promises that perfect brown exterior.
By preheating the oven, the food will start cooking. This will inhibit any bacterial growth that may be dangerous for health.
Also, let’s be clear that preheating doesn’t waste any energy because it will reduce cooking time. This means that you are actually saving that energy. All in all, be mindful about the time your oven takes to preheat so that you can plan your meal preparation accordingly!