The answer might be surprising!
Every cookbook tells you the same thing: preheat your oven before putting anything in it. And every time, we obey. The theory claims that preheating the oven is done to ensure every part of the oven is the same temperature. But do you really have to preheat your oven or is it just a myth?
The concept of preheating the oven dates back to the time the oven was invented. Back then, all they had were wood ovens or coal ovens. Those are the types of ovens that require an actual fire to function and they don’t have a door. These kinds of ovens took a while to heat up and with that, heat up evenly. This means that in order for you to have an oven that is evenly heated, you would have to wait for the fire or coals to warm the oven. All of it. That is where ‘preheating the oven’ came from. We totally understand that waiting for the fire to heat up the oven is necessary when cooking a meal four thousand years ago. But is that still relevant in this day and age?
These days, a lot of people have electrical ovens that heat up way faster. That means that preheating your oven usually isn’t necessary. All you’re doing is saving about five minutes of baking time that you’re basically paying for with your electricity bill. It is a waste of energy.
Because the ovens we use in our current kitchens all have doors, it also takes a long time for an oven to cool down. It might actually help you save some money to turn the oven off before your dish is done cooking. Your oven will still be hot and your energy bill will be lower.
Are you still planning on preheating your oven after reading this?