pre heat the oven

  do-gull 22:38 26 Feb 2010

Most food you sling in the oven usually states .....
PRE-HEAT to what ever temp required, but does it really matter or make the food taste any better,
I usually just slam it in at the stated temp and give it 5 minutes extra.


Don't ya just love these really serious posts.

  the hick 23:28 26 Feb 2010

I was told, pre-heat the oven, and food should cook better, rather than drying-out first. I do not really think it makes much difference, but for Sunday roast, I usually pre-heat. Must check-out Gordon Ramsay's view on this!

  Awshum 00:08 27 Feb 2010

Always pre-heat if not for the reason it tastes better.

Others include allowing bacteria to grow as the oven warms up the food and it may not get sufficient time at the right temperature to kill the bacteria.

Try a pizza in a cold oven. bleurgh.

Breads etc need the right temperature to get the right reaction or it doesn't work.

  lotvic 00:20 27 Feb 2010

Yep, I always preheat for 10 minutes

  rdave13 01:06 27 Feb 2010

Pre-heating is only to do with killing bugs. If you and yours don't catch bugs thent don't bother.

  dagbladet 01:39 27 Feb 2010

Never bothered pre-heating. Still struggling on.

  morddwyd 07:43 27 Feb 2010

I do, my wife doesn't.

Can't say my offerings taste better than hers!

At the other end of the scale however, she always insists that everything is at room temperature before putting it in a cold oven, I, on the other hand, will put food into my hot oven straight out of the frig, unless recommended otherwise.

  Quickbeam 08:13 27 Feb 2010

It has an effect of sealing the outside of roasts, which retains the moisture, and also giving that initial frazzle flavour that we like.

With bread, it creates the final 'oven spring' in the loaf as it hits the hot air and immediately jumps up half an inch. Without it, you get a thick and dry crust,and a dense crumb. The same with cakes to a lesser extent.

By putting anything in a pre-heated oven, for say 1 hour, we all get the same quality of cooking. By putting something in a cold oven, the cooking time then becomes erratic. How long does your oven take to reach the correct temperature, 5 minutes with a fan, 20 minutes without, or the 3 weeks with an Aga...?

  morddwyd 08:25 27 Feb 2010

The trouble with pre-heating an Aga, if it's not already done, is that you have to go to the nearest filling station to get kindling!

  Quickbeam 08:27 27 Feb 2010

...or put a good edge on your axe:)

  wee eddie 11:26 27 Feb 2010

There is, however, another reason that is potentially more important.

A number of Pathogenic Bacteria are able to form "Spores" that are heat resistant. Mostly it takes them 10 to 20 minutes to do this, usually nearer the 20 minute mark. If the spores form and the dish then cools, the bacteria are then able to go back to their happy reproduction rate of once every 20 minutes or so.

As to heating products to (near) boiling point, Some Pathogenic Bacteria create poisonous Toxins. Luckily most of these are destroyed by sufficient temperature.

Of course there are some Bacteria that do both.

However the risk levels are low, humanity has survived for thousands of generations, so there is no real need to panic, but do preheat the oven. In particular it raises the surface temperature, of what ever you cooking, to a to one that will kill those Pathogenic Bacteria before they can form spores.

If you are cooking anything where the "outside" has become "Inside" ~ Mince, the body cavity of Turkeys, Rolled Meat Joints, extra care (longer time at boiling temperature) is needed.

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