When you bake cakes, it is necessary to preheat the oven to the proper temperature. It will get you more even temperature throughout. Almost 90% percent of the recipes will instruct you to preheat the oven.
How To Preheat the Oven?
Once you start the cooking process, turn the oven on.
Before You Preheat the Oven
1. Before you turn on the oven, open it and remove things present inside the oven. Some people keep baking trays and containers inside oven. So make sure you remove all of them.
2. In some oven, you could rearrange the shelf levels according to the size of the dish you are going to bake. If you oven has that facility and if necessary do so.
Check your recipe for the required preheat level/temperature and then set the oven to the correct temperature.
To preheat the oven, it is best to set the temperature to 180C / 350F.
Modern ovens – you may have to hit a few buttons or turn the knob to the desired temperature.
Old ovens – you may turn a dial. Wait Till the Oven Reaches the Desired Temperature
Modern ovens – gives a beep/sound indicator, light goes off or can see the current temperature in its display.
Old ovens – wait for 15-20 minutes for the oven to be fully heated because old ovens do not have indicators.
Whether it is a modern oven or old oven, it is best to wait for 15-20 minutes. You can make sure the oven has reached the desired temperature using an oven thermometer.
If you find it difficult to check the desired temperature in the oven, you can check the oven temperature using an oven thermometer. Oven thermometer costs about $15-$20. Place the oven temperature in the center of a rack set in the middle of the oven. Set the oven temperature to 180C / 350F. It registers temperature within about 5 degrees or so. Check the temperature on the thermometer at 10 minutes then again at 15 minutes.
- Do not open the door during the first 15-20 minutes while baking your food. Every time you open the door, the temperature will drop slightly and the food will take longer time to cook.
Many baking problems are caused due to incorrect oven temperature. Your dish will take a longer time to cook and even cook unevenly.
Low oven temperature. Cake sinks in the center, cake falls apart, coarse cake grain, nuts sink to the bottom of the cake, cookies spread too much, and soggy pie crusts.
High oven temperature. Cake did not rise, cracked cake surface, cake top layer burnt, cake cracks in the center, and cake dry texture.
For other baking problems and causes, please refer Cake Baking Problems & Causes.