Preheat oven – sense or nonsense?

On almost all ready-made meals you will find the note to preheat the oven. Also in numerous recipes from cookbooks you will find the note that the oven should be brought to temperature before putting the food in. But whether this is actually still necessary today, we show you here in an overview.


Different ovens each take different amounts of time to heat up to a set temperature. In addition, the ambient temperature still determines how quickly the oven reaches temperature. Since the manufacturers of ready meals and the authors of recipes usually specify very precise preparation and baking times, they cannot include these aspects.

So basically, the advice to preheat the oven is more of a safeguard for the manufacturers of ready meals. For the dish itself, preheating is therefore not always mandatory.

Preheating urgently necessary

For example, for a crispy crunchy pizza, the oven should be preheated. All dishes that are prepared in a short time at a very high temperature should be placed in the preheated oven. If these dishes are placed in a cold oven, they can become tough and unstable.

For example, the baked rolls or frozen rolls that you want to bake up for your Sunday breakfast should definitely go into the preheated oven. Frozen rolls should not even be thawed. Don’t bake these rolls long enough to get them really cooked through, but take them out when they are still slightly frozen on the inside. Then, after a slight cooling, the rolls will be as airy as fresh rolls from the bakery.

  • Pizza
  • Soufflé
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Baking rolls

Waste of electricity

For other dishes, where the crust is formed later or is not desired at all, the oven can certainly be used cold. In these cases, preheating the oven is simply wasting expensive electricity.

  • Casseroles
  • Dishes to reheat
  • Cakes
  • Bread
You can also put ready-made dishes and dishes with very exact time specifications into the cold oven. All you have to do is adjust the baking or roasting time to the conditions and extend it a little. In the end, however, you will save a little time and, of course, electricity.

Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green is a seasoned home chef and culinary expert who has a passion for all things kitchen-related. With her extensive knowledge of the latest kitchen products and appliances, Elizabeth provides insightful reviews and recommendations to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Whether you're looking for a new refrigerator, blender, or cookware set, Elizabeth is your guide to finding the best kitchen products available in the UK.

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