The Trick To Making Your Roasted Vegetables So Much Better

Whether it's asparagus, carrots, or potatoes, roasting your vegetables brings out another layer of flavor, but in the summer months the idea of cranking up the oven and heating up the whole house can seem unappealing. One way to reduce the time you're using your oven to roast vegetables is by putting the baking pan that you plan to use in the oven as the oven heats up (via Real Simple).

By preheating your baking sheet, you will reduce the total amount of time you need to use the oven because the vegetables will cook faster when they come into contact with the hot metal of the pan. Once you flip the veggies, they'll need less time under the heating coils of the oven, and you'll be able to turn your oven off sooner, helping you to avoid turning the kitchen into an inferno. You'll likely need to only flip them once as this method requires less attention be paid as the veggies will cook on both sides faster (via The Kitchn).

Additional benefits to preheating your baking pan

Heating your baking sheet beforehand offers other benefits as well. The veggies will cook more evenly than if the pan were cold, because heat from the oven and from the surface of the pan will be introduced to the vegetables at the same time. This helps to avoid any burnt bits or parts that are drier than others, a mistake we are all familiar with. Because of the even heat distribution, this method will also help to ensure that the center is cooked before the outsides of the veggies become overdone.

Roasted vegetables may not seem like a summery dish to make, but they're just as perfect of a side dish as summery grilled vegetables, without having to deal with the hassle of setting up, and cleaning a grill. With a way to ensure that your oven leaks less heat into the rest of your house during the summer months, roasted vegetables are poised to become the summer side hero everyone needs!

Pitfalls to avoid when roasting your vegetables

While the preheating the pan trick can help you out every time you decide to roast up some delicious veggies, there are also some pitfalls to avoid if you want to turn out a mouthwatering dish. While a hot baking pan to begin with will help to ensure a quicker and more even roast of your zucchini, potatoes, squash, broccoli, or cauliflower, if your vegetables are all a different size, they are liable to cook at a different rate, which can negate all your efforts from your newly-learned hot sheet pan trick (via Bon Appetit). Roasting vegetables whole when possible can help to avoid this problem. Say what? That's right; you can roast carrots and smaller veggies whole without cutting them up. Did we just save you even more time in the kitchen? Yup.

Meanwhile, the hot pan trick won't do anything to keep your vegetables from drying out, so it's important to use the proper amount of oil to keep the food moist and slick. Vegetables that are liable to absorb oil, such as eggplant and mushrooms, will need a bit more than say, turnips, but a good rule of thumb proposed by food writer Alison Roman is to use around 2 tablespoons of oil for every sheet pan of vegetables you're roasting. Her preferred variety of oil? Olive, of course.

No casserole for caramelization

Roasting veggies provides an intoxicating caramelization effect, which causes them to be sweeter (via Chowhound). One way to ensure this desire effect happens is to make sure you have ample room in between each vegetable, or each piece of vegetable, on your baking vessel. Allowing for space ensures that your veggies will crisp up, become nice and caramelized, and won't get mushy, which is what all eaters dread. Using a sheet pan is best. Because the high sides of a casserole dish will prevent water from evaporating from the vegetables, a baking sheet with low sides is a far better option for producing crispy and caramelized onions, butternut squash, or whatever veggie your heart desires.

Roasting vegetables is a versatile preparation method and can be used for all three meals of the day. Did someone say roasted potatoes and scrambled eggs for breakfast? How about roasted veggies on a salad for lunch? And a dinnertime side of roasted vegetables is never, ever a bad thing. According to Bon Appetit, roasted veggies are tough enough to stand up to reheating, and, gasp, can easily be enjoyed cold, straight out of the refrigerator.