In this article, we will answer the question “How to preheat an oven?”, and what factors affect the preheating time?
How to preheat an oven?
Preheating an eclectic oven
- Electric ovens take about 15 minutes to preheat. If your recipe will take 15 minutes for preparation, start the oven timer before the prep. Otherwise, start the timer mid-way through the recipe.
- Remove extra racks and baking trays.
- Place the rack on the right level according to your recipe. Casseroles and lasagna go to the top rack for a crispy top. Cakes, cookies, and cupcakes are placed on the middle rack unless directed otherwise. Flatbreads and pizzas go in the bottom rack for a crispy bottom.
- Turn the oven on, adjust the temperature, and set the timer.
- Wait till the oven gets preheated. It is indicated by the switching on and off of a light. Some ovens beep when they are ready while others rely on an oven thermometer placed inside the oven.
- Place the food in the oven and do not open the door in between the baking. If you are baking multiple dishes at a time, staggering the dishes so that hot air evenly bakes all of the dishes evenly is the way to go.
Preheating a gas oven
- Ensure proper ventilation before preheating the gas oven to let the fumes escape.
- Remove all the stored baking equipment before preheating and make sure the oven is empty.
- Adjust the racks according to your recipe. Casseroles and lasagna go to the top rack for a crispy top. Cakes, cookies, and cupcakes are placed on the middle rack unless directed otherwise. Flatbreads and pizzas go in the bottom rack for a crispy bottom.
- Before turning the oven on and setting the temperature, you need to know its mode of ignition. Older ovens use a pilot light while their newer counterparts use electricity.
- In a pilot-based ignition oven, you will observe a flame that increases or decreases in size to adjust the temperature.
- In an electric-based ignition oven, the flame is absent until the oven is turned on and the temperature is set.
- For a pilot-based ignition oven, you need to turn on the oven and set the timer. Convert the gas marks(If your oven uses that) into celsius and Fahrenheit.
- If the pilot light goes out or needs to be ignited before each use, make sure that the temperature dials are set to “off” and locate the pilot light. Light a match and hold the flame next to the pilot hole. If the pilot light ignites, remove the match. If the pilot light does not ignite, increase the temperature.
- For a digital oven, set the temperature after pressing broil or bake. After setting the temperature, hit the ‘start button.
- Gas ovens heat up much faster than electric ovens. Once preheated to the desired temperature, Place the food in the oven and do not open the door in between the baking. If you are baking multiple dishes at a time, staggering the dishes so that hot air evenly bakes all of the dishes evenly is the way to go.
- If you smell gas, turn off the oven, oven the windows to let it escape, and do not turn on any electric appliance to prevent an explosion.
Preheating an oven at a high altitude
- At 3,000 feet (914.4 meters) or higher altitude, increase the oven temperature by 15°F-25°F (9°C-14°C)
- At altitudes between 7,000 feet-9,000 feet (2133.6 meters-2743.2 meters), increase the baking time only.
- When at 9,000 feet (2743.2 meters) and higher altitude, increase the baking temperature by 25°F (14°C). After placing your food inside the oven, lower the temperature back to the temperature as directed in the recipe.
- Decrease your baking time by 1 minute for every 6 minutes as directed in the recipe.
- Place the food near the bottom rack because most ovens are the warmest at the bottom.
Factors affecting preheating time
- Remove any extra racks from the oven before preheating. Each rack adds about 30 seconds to the normal preheating time.
- Do not open the door of the oven during preheating. It will lose its heat. Place the food right after the oven has achieved the preheating temperature.
- Large oven cavities can also contribute to longer preheating times.
- A hidden baking element in your oven that is providing the buffer heat might also be the cause of extended preheating times.
- If you installed the oven on a lower voltage, It will take longer to preheat as compared to the oven installed on a higher voltage.
- A lower room temperature, such as in winters, will lead to a longer preheating period.
- Modern ovens have quick preheating features and take shorter preheating times as compared to their old counterparts.
In this article, we answered the question “How to preheat an oven?”, and what factors affect the preheating time?