How long does it take to preheat an oven?
How long does it take to preheat an oven?

Many recipes call for preheated oven, but how long does it take to preheat an oven? Is 5 minutes enough time? Does every oven need the same amount of time for preheating? Why is preheating the oven important in the first place? Let’s find out.

Preheating an oven is one of the most important things in baking. It will allow the oven to reach the desired temperature before you put anything in it. Most recipes call for baking at a certain temperature from the first moment and not putting dough (for example) in a cold oven, to warm up together. Not preheating the oven could give you messy results – your meal could be undercooked, soggy, or raw inside.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to turn on the oven when you start with the preparation of your meal. That way the oven will have enough time to preheat. Ovens usually automatically turn off when they reach the temperature you choose by shutting off the thermostat light. If you have time, allow oven temperature to settle – give it 10 minutes to be stable in all parts of the oven, so you can get the best baking results. Temperatures of the oven can be slightly different in the upper and downer parts and allowing the temperature to settle will minimize these fluctuations.

Do gas ovens take longer to preheat than electric?

When you are thinking about the time needed for preheating the oven, keep in mind that gas ovens differ from electric ones. Gas ovens heat up much faster than electric ovens, so the gas oven will need only 5 to 10 minutes to achieve the desired temperature. Don’t open the oven’s door while it’s preheating or when you’re baking – whether you have an electric or gas oven because you will cool down the temperature. 

How long does it take to preheat an oven
Gas ovens preheat faster than electric ones (shutterstock.com)

How long does it take an oven to preheat to 350 and 400?

The time of preheating the oven differs from oven to oven – some preheat in a moment, while some take ages to preheat. For successful baking, you should get to know your oven first.

It will usually take 12 to 15 minutes to preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius), with all ovens racks inside. If you have a gas oven, it should heat up even faster – up to 7 minutes. The time of preheating we gave assumes that you do not open the oven door while it is preheating.

Preheating to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) will take just a few minutes more. If 350 degrees requires 12 to 15 minutes, 400 will be achieved in 17 to 20 minutes.

How do you know when the oven is preheated?

Most modern ovens have an LCD screen and control panel. You should look for symbols or full words – for example, some oven displays will show you the word “preheating” or “PrE” while the oven is heating up. When preheating is over this indicator will disappear, which means your oven is ready for baking. Put your dish in the oven and don’t open the door until it’s done, except if your recipe says different.