If you're planning a meal, you've got to remember when it comes to cooking time that you need to add in the amount of time it takes to attain a preheated oven. How long to preheat an oven for cooking or baking depends on a few factors, but you should be able to work out the right preheat time based on the required temperature for your oven that the recipe calls for -- as well as a few other elements in your kitchen.
Preheating an Oven
For most recipes, you need to warm up your oven to the desired temperature before you can even put your food in it -- whether it's a main dish like lasagna or meatloaf, a side like veggies, or a delicious baked treat such as chocolate chip cookies.
Thankfully, it's fairly easy to get to the oven temperature you need before cooking. Most modern ovens will beep when they've reached the right temperature, but you can also use your own oven thermometer to be absolutely sure it's the actual temperature you'll need.
How Long Does Preheating an Oven Take?
The average time to preheat an oven depends on several factors. Older models can sometimes take longer to get to the correct temperature, while some newer ones have a fast preheat feature, according to The Nest.
Plus, unused oven racks can add to the preheat time, Simply Healthy Family notes. According to GE, one unused rack can add around 30 seconds to preheat time. So if you want to get to high temperatures more quickly, consider removing any oven racks you won't be needing to cook your meal.
Opening the oven door can also add to how long an oven takes to preheat. As tempting as it is to peek, try to avoid it if you can. Additionally, if the oven is in a room with a low temperature, then it may preheat for longer. That's right -- room temperature can impact your preheating time. Who knew?
The type of oven you have can also impact when the oven reaches the correct temperature during preheating. Gas ovens tend to heat up faster than electric ovens, according to Wikihow.
In general, the average time to preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit is about 15 minutes, according to The Nest. Higher temperatures will, of course, take longer.
If you want to see that thermostat get to the magic number, consider all of the above factors and plan accordingly!