How Long Should It Actually Take To Preheat An Oven?

Unless you happen to be Gordon Ramsay or Mary Berry, fully understanding the facts and figures of recipes can be a challenging ordeal. Even though cooking instructions are often designed to be interpreted by complete culinary novices, it takes time to acquire full mastery of the technical terms.

While gathering tools and ingredients is relatively straightforward, tasks such as pouring out exact measurements, cutting up items into the correct sizes, and knowing precisely what a "pinch" means can be baffling. And on top of all that, there's preheating the oven.

Turning an oven up to its optimal temperature is unlikely to be an issue for Michelin-starred chefs (cancel all bookings if it is), but for the ordinary kitchen user "preheat the oven" can be a meaningless statement — after all, rarely is it explained why preheating is necessary or how long it should be done for. Fortunately, there are plenty of cooking experts out there willing to share their oven-based wisdom.

Preheating an oven need not be a complicated or lengthy process

According to Food52, preheating an oven is actually an essential step of culinary preparation. Without it, your whole cooking adventure could be ruined — or at least take an unfortunate, surprising turn. Baking can be particularly affected by missteps related to oven temperature, resulting in cakes and cookies with altered textures and flavors.

Depending on the temperature you need your oven to reach and the dish you are making, the preheating process normally takes between 15 and 20 minutes, according to Food52 (although bread and pizzas can require longer preheats). The Nest agrees, suggesting that the temperature of an oven should be taken at 10 and 15 minutes to make sure it is firing up to the ideal heat.

Concerned about excessively preheating an oven? Don't be. As Food52 states, your oven should be designed to cycle on and off to ensure the temperature is maintained throughout the preheating process, although the longer it is left running the more energy it will use up.