Do you preheat an oven before preparing the ingredients?
Most recipes list as the first step for the oven to be preheated before you even prepare the ingredients. Do you let the oven preheat, or do you prepare the ingredients first, then preheat? I usually prepare first then preheat, because it may take me longer to prepare the ingredients than it takes the oven to preheat so I guess in my mind I am saving electricity? Which one do you prefer to do?
The reason most recipes suggest preheating the oven first, then preparing the ingredients is to save time. The greatest energy expenditure is when the oven is preheating or going from cold to the desired cooking temperature. Once the temperature is reached, maintaining that temperature is quite energy efficient, especially if you are using a newer oven. Gas is by far quicker and more energy efficient than electric. So if the oven is on an extra 10 to 15 minutes after it is preheated to the desired temperature, there is no cause for concern. Personally I would rather have the oven ready to go and wait on the preparation than to have the dish ready and wait on the oven to preheat. One of the tricks I use is with some dishes have everything ready to go and place in a covered dish in the refrigerator. This way when your are ready, preheat, and place dish in oven when ready. Many great dishes lend themselves to preparation several hours before they are ready to cook. An added bonus is the ingredients, spices, etc. will have time to infuse add more deliciousness to your dish.
I think the order ought to be
First do the "mise en place" That's French for gather ALL of the ingredients. This will prevent starting a recipe and finding out in the middle that you're out of an essential ingredient.
Now preheat the oven, (depending on the recipe). Most ovens take about 15 minutes to preheat to 350, longer for higher temps and ovens vary. It pays to learn how long your oven will take to heat up. Also, if the recipe has a lot of time consuming steps you might wait till you're almost done with the prep before you start the oven
This is the same technique I use get everything together, turn on the oven, then get mixing.
Thanks for this advise. I usually gather all ingredients on the counter first before doing the prep work - it's not fun finding out there is a missing ingredient! Thanks for sharing.
It depends on what you are cooking, if you are baking a cake and preheat the oven too long you will burn the cake before it is finished.
Depends. If I am baking something delicate like a cake, then I preheat. If it's just hamburgers or meatballs going in the oven to broil or bake, then no, I do not.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is essential that the oven be up to temp and stable before the pan goes in.
How you achieve this is up to you,,, sort of.
Some leavening agents will go flat if the mix sits too long before hitting the heat so you should be ready to bake as soon as things are mixed.
Like Chefsref I gather, heat, and mix in that order.
It depends on what you are cooking. For baked goods, i.e. cookies, cakes, pastries, etc. that have a shorter baking time, then yes, this is an essential step.
For things like French fries or other quick-cooking main or side dishes, then yes, preheat.
However, for main dishes, such as casseroles, stews, etc, that are going to cook for an hour or more, then, no, pre-heating is not necessary.
When your talking about pre-heating the oven most people think of it as a tool but what it is for is to let you bring your oven up to the right temperature to make sure that your the food your cooking is cooking at the right temperature.
When turning on your oven it takes several minutes to get your oven hot so if you cook your food in a cold oven then turn the oven on your food will not be fully cooked.
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