During the holidays like Thanksgiving, you might wonder what the point is of preheating your oven. Or maybe you are trying to save time and want to just put in your casserole as soon as you turn on the oven. Don't do this. we will explain why.
Time and temperature can actually affect the texture and flavor of your food, especially when baking. The quality of your food will be better if you do preheat your oven the whole time. If you don't, some foods just don't turn out right. Cookies become hard and dry. Pizza crust doesn't become crispy and chewy.
You might think that you are saving energy and time by just sticking food in your oven by not preheating first, but in reality, it will take more time for your food to cook. Don't try to take short cuts, just spend the few extra minutes to let the oven warm up.
Another big reason for why you should never skip preheating your oven is for food safety. Having your food sit in a "cold" oven can actually make your food hit the temperature danger zone which is when bacteria can grow in your food. This can make you sick.
For more advanced recipes or on rare occasions, some recipes will call for cold starts, but they will be very explicit about that in the instructions.
For big holiday feasts you might wonder if you should do something different when putting big items in like a full turkey in your oven. Chef Mark suggests that you actually preheat your oven at a higher temperature (500 degrees Fahrenheit) as it will save a little bit of time. The turkey takes up more room in the oven which requires more heat to get it to start cooking. Preheating your oven at a higher temperature can actually make your turkey cook a little less time (30- 60 minutes of cooking time). Just remember to turn down the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit when you put your turkey in.
Have fun cooking and baking for your family. Just remember to preheat your oven before you put anything in the oven!