To Preheat or Not to Preheat?

oven thermometer.jpgI have a confession to make.  I almost never preheat the oven.

“I don’t want to take the extra time.  I don’t like to stick my hands into a hot oven, unless absolutely necessary.  I love shortcuts.  I love to use the delay timed cook feature on the oven.  I don’t want to waste the few minutes of gas/electricity it takes to preheat (thanks Mom!).”

I have lots of excuses.

Preheating the oven for a recipe seems to be a rite of passage for the culinary enthusiast. After all, whenever I read a recipe, it begins with “preheat oven”.  Most of the time, whenever I write a recipe, it also begins with “preheat oven”.

So, am I a hypocrite?

Probably, but my recipes come out just fine without preheating the oven.

Preheating the oven is necessary for certain precise recipes and I do preheat the outside grill.  But, simpletowow is really not about precision.  It’s about culinary license.  Like poetic license, this blog is allowed to break some rules in favor of creativity and simplicity.

After all, most of the feedback that I get is that this blog introduced them to a new ingredient (take Farro: A Simple, Ancient and Fabulous Grain, for instance) or a new way of preparing an age-old ingredient (like Balsamic Beet Slaw: Easy, Fresh and Delicious) or trying new varieties of simple vegetables (see You Say Tomato…I Say Heirloom Tomato Salad.

It is about healthier cooking preparations, like baking instead of frying (see Onion-Battered Baked Tilapia) and finding one’s own cooking voice.  Really, progressive cooking could stand to shed some of the annoying conventions like preheating.  Simplicity and producing delicious, wholesome food with minimal effort does reign supreme.

So, I leave it to you.  Preheat or don’t preheat.  It’s your choice.

But, I still will start my recipes with “preheat oven”.  Shhh…don’t let my secret out.

 

 

 

7 comments

  1. I do pre-heat my oven but not right away–I start to turn it on when I’m near to finishing preparing the raw ingredients–otherwise, it just keeps going and that’s a waste of electricity!

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