Oven Preheating Times: Everything You Need to Know

By Nick Evans •  Last Updated: 11/08/21 •  8 min read

Preheating your oven is essential if you want your meal to cook perfectly. Cooking in an oven that’s not properly preheated can lead to uneven cooking and leave areas of your meal uncooked. Therefore, it’s important to learn about how long it takes to preheat an oven to various temperatures. Our guide can save you time and help you learn more about ovens and how they work. 

We’re going to take you through how an oven works, how long it takes to preheat, and why preheating is a necessary part of cooking. While no two ovens are the same, our estimates will get you through your next meal.

How long does it take to preheat an oven

How Ovens Work

Ovens work by raising the temperature of a chamber to heat food. When an oven raises the temperature inside the chamber the heat makes changes to the physical and chemical properties of food, which cooks the food. There are two types of ovens (with some hybrid options as well). The two types of ovens are gas and electric. While they use different methods to heat the chamber the goal and function are the same. We’ll take you through the basics of both gas and electric ovens to bring you up to speed.

Gas Ovens 

Gas ovens work by using gas as fuel to heat a heating element (often metal) inside of the oven chamber. Inside of a gas oven, there is a lighter that ignites the gas and it creates flames at the base of the oven compartment to heat the heating elements. Gas Ovens use thermostats to regulate how hot the internal compartment gets. 

Gas ovens come in two versions. There are gas ovens that use a heating element towards the bottom of the oven and other gas ovens heat the cooking area directly. That said, both types of gas ovens use thermal energy from below or above to heat and cook food items.

Electric Ovens 

Electric ovens are similar to gas ovens but don’t rely on gas to heat heating elements. Instead, electrical ovens typically send an electrical current through a heating element to heat it. These are known as thermal electric ovens and they perform as well as gas ovens in most cases. That said, eclectic ovens do take longer to preheat on average.

There is also another type of electric oven. The latter is called a convection oven. Convection ovens use fans to distribute hot air throughout the oven, which provides a more even cook to food. Convection ovens work by spreading the hot air generated by the heating element around.

Regardless of the oven type you have, the preheating time shouldn’t vary by much. Just note that gas ovens typically reach preheated temperatures a few minutes faster on average.

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How Long Does it Take To Preheat an Oven?

The time it takes to preheat an oven varies depending on your goal temperature. That said, the average gas oven takes about 7-10 minutes to preheat whereas an electric oven takes about 10-15 minutes to preheat. While there are other factors in play, these are the average times for most household ovens. As a general rule, the lower the temperature the shorter amount of time an oven takes to preheat. The opposite also applies to higher temperatures.

We’re going to take you through some specific temperatures and provide you with the averages for electric and gas ovens.

How Long Does It Take to Preheat an oven for Broiling?

Broilers use heat from the top of the oven to cook food, which can make things crisper. While you don’t always have to preheat an oven to broil foods, we recommend doing so. You should preheat your oven on the broil setting for between 5 and 10 minutes if you have a gas oven and between 7-12 minutes if you have an electric oven.

How Long Does It Take to Preheat an Oven to 450?

450 degrees Fahrenheit is one of the hottest temperatures an oven can reach, which means it takes longer for ovens to preheat to this temperature. Gas ovens take about 17 to 19 minutes to reach 450 degrees Fahrenheit, while electric ovens take between 22 and 25 minutes to reach the same temperature.

How Long Does It Take To Preheat an Oven to 425?

425 degrees Fahrenheit is a common cooking temperature found on most ovens and is useful for cooking pizza, fish, chicken, and even some types of baking. While it’s cooler than 450 degrees Fahrenheit ovens will take a long time to reach 425. A gas oven will take between 14 and 16 minutes, while an electric oven takes about 20 minutes. 

How Long Does It Take To Preheat an Oven to 400?

Preheating an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit doesn’t take too much time. While it’s quicker than preheating an oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit you’ll still have to wait for about 15 minutes depending on your oven. Most gas ovens can preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit in about 12 to 13 minutes. On the other hand, most electric ovens will take between 17 and 19 minutes to reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Does It Take To Preheat an Oven to 375?

Preheating an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit can take between 10 and 20 minutes depending on your oven. For gas ovens, it will take about 10 to 12 minutes and for an electric oven, it will take between 15 and 16 minutes. On average, gas ovens preheat faster than electric ovens but there are some exceptions.

How Long Does It Take To Preheat an Oven to 350?

Preheating an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit is quicker than most cooking temperatures because it’s one of the lower settings on an oven. For example, a gas oven can reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 10 minutes (about 8-10 minutes). On the other hand, an electric oven takes longer. Electric ovens take about 11-13 minutes to reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

The preheating times we provided are subject to change depending on your oven. There are several factors that can affect oven preheating.

Factors that Affect Oven Preheating 

When preheating an oven there are several factors that can influence the time it takes to reach your goal temperature. While some of these are out of your control, there are some tips and tricks you can use to ensure your oven heats up quickly.

Here are some of the most common features that influence an oven’s preheating time:

These are the most common factors that increase the time it takes for an oven to preheat.

Preparing Your Oven for Preheating

Preparing your oven for preheating can save you time. There are several things you can do to prepare your oven for preheating and most of them are straightforward.

To prepare your oven, make sure do the following:

If you take these precautions before preheating an oven you can reduce preheating times and cook a better meal.

Oven Safety 

When you’re cooking with an oven you need to practice proper oven safety. Oven safety is the difference between having burned hands and a smoking oven, so it’s important to understand how to properly add food and remove food without hurting yourself or damaging the oven.

The good news is that oven safety is simple. Just follow these tips below and you’ll be an oven pro in no time!

As long as you follow these tips you won’t run into any problems during oven use.

Wrapping Up 

Ovens are a great way to cook your favorite meal. While preheating the oven can be a hassle, knowing how long an oven takes to preheat beforehand can save you time and frustration. While every oven varies depending on factors like age, model, and oven type, the variations are typically within a few minutes. That said, who couldn’t use a few extra minutes to prepare in the kitchen?