A guide to how to preheat oven for cookies the right way so that they are cooked evenly and you get consistent results instead of dry and hard cookies.
Baking cookies in the oven is an art. But there’s also a science to it.
You must understand how to preheat the oven and then bake your cookies correctly. This can make all the difference in the quality of your cookies.
You may be wondering how to preheat your oven for cookies, and whether or not it’s necessary.
Why Do You Need To Preheat Your Oven For Cookies?
Whether you’re baking chocolate chip cookies or oats cookies, your oven must be preheated correctly.
Cookies get their fine crumb from the expansion of trapped air or moisture in the dough.
Leavening agents such as baking soda or baking powder help the dough to rise.
But for this baking process to start, there needs to be a good amount of heat, in the beginning, to get things going.
Preheating your oven to the correct temperature will allow the cookies to cook evenly without becoming dry or brittle.
In a cold oven, the cookie dough will spread as it takes more time to heat the dough to the right temperature and you’ll end up with a batch of flat, dry, and hard cookies.
How Long To Preheat Oven For Baking Cookies
The time required for preheating depends on the type of oven you have and the temperature at which you plan to bake your cookies.
You’ll bake most cookies including chocolate chip cookies at 350°F (177°C) or close to it.
However, if some recipes call for a higher temperature, then you need to know how long to preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Even though some recent oven models feature quick preheat settings, most ovens need roughly 20 minutes to reach this temperature after being turned on.
Besides time, there is also a correct method for preheating oven.
You need to know how to preheat oven with the baking tray so that your cookies are not overbaked on direct heat.
Make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle and you put the baking tray in the center for cooking evenly.
Next, to avoid uneven cooking, don’t put more than one baking sheet of cookies at a time.
However, if you are cooking two sheets of cookies at the same time, remember to take the baking tray out from the bottom rack and turn it 180 degrees before placing it on the top rack of the oven when you have reached halfway through.
Do the same for the cookie tray on the top rack.
This will ensure both the baking trays are cooked evenly.
How To Tell If Oven Is Preheated
How to preheat the oven for cookies the right way depends on whether you are using an electric or gas oven.
So, how do you know when your oven has been preheated and your cookie dough should be ready to bake?
Here are four ways to check depending on the kind of oven you have:
- Interior temperature gauge
- Oven thermometer
- Indicator light
- The sound of oven turning off
Many electric ovens have an indicator light that illuminates while the oven heats up and shuts once the oven reaches the proper temperature.
A built-in interior temperature gauge in a gas oven indicates when the oven is preheated and the oven shuts off.
You’ll hear a noise when the oven turns off.
If you’re using an oven that has neither an indicator light nor an interior temperature gauge, get an oven thermometer like this that stays inside the oven and you can read the temperature on it from the outside.
Tips To Make Sure Your Cookies Come Out Perfect
- Whisk the dry ingredients well so that there are no lumps in the dough.
- Once you mix the dry and wet ingredients, take care not to over-mix them as this will lead to tough chocolate chip cookies.
- The dough should be chilled for 30 minutes before baking because the butter has melted while getting mixed with the dough, making it too soft.
While the cookies bake, the butter melts to give them a uniform shape, and your cookies will be thick as well.
- Before you begin assembling your ingredients and baking, turn on your oven.
In this way, the preheated oven will be ready by the time your cookie dough is ready.
Otherwise, the cookie dough that has been sitting too long will give you flat cookies.
- Start checking your cookies 5 minutes before the recipe mentions the end of baking time.
For example, if the recipe says your cookies will be done in 20 minutes, you should start checking them after 15 minutes have elapsed.
- Try not to open the oven door to check if your cookies have turned golden.
Instead, look through the oven door to get a glimpse.
If there’s no choice but to open the door, close it quickly to avoid the heat from escaping.
Otherwise, your oven will have to do extra work to get the temperature back up and the dough will lose its texture.
- Check the expiry date of the baking powder or baking soda to ensure your cookies rise properly.
Two ways to check if the leavening agents are working well are by adding baking soda to vinegar and by adding baking powder to hot water.
If you see bubbles forming, then they are working well.
- Always use baking ingredients like eggs, milk, flour, and others at room temperature as they are easier to beat and combine.
You will also get light and airy cookies as room temperature ingredients allow them to trap air inside that expands during baking.
- Correct measurements using a scale and measuring the exact amounts by weight (in ounces or grams) are more effective than volume measuring using spoons or scoops.
But sometimes it’s easier to measure by volume when the ingredients are neither dry nor liquid, for example, when you want to know how many tablespoons is a stick of butter.
- If you prefer to use spoons, do use the standard-sized ones.
Always flatten the top of the measuring cup with the back of a knife or spatula to accurately measure dry ingredients.
- Choose a flat baking tray without sides when baking cookies to allow the heat from the oven to evenly touch all the cookies.
- Always use parchment paper to make it easy to clean up after baking, remove the cookies from the tray, and allow the bottom of the cookies to cook perfectly without over-browning.
- Use a scoop to put the cookie dough on the baking sheet and leave some space between each so they are all the same size and shape.
- Always remember to turn the baking tray halfway through cooking.
- If by the looks of it, your cookies seem to be soft after the baking time is over, don’t worry as they will firm up when they cool down.
Don’t leave them in the oven to bake anymore, as this will make them dry and hard.
- Allow a standing time of 5 minutes on the baking tray before putting the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
Do I Need To Preheat The Oven For Cookies?
Yes, you should preheat your oven for cookies to make sure the dough rises properly and the cookies are baked evenly to give them the right texture and color.
How Hot Should The Oven Be To Bake Cookies?
Most cookie recipes require preheating and baking in an oven with a temperature of 350°F (177°C).
How Long Do You Preheat An Oven Before Baking?
15 to 20 minutes is required to preheat an oven before baking.
However, for pizza and bread baking, it takes an hour for the oven to preheat with a Dutch oven inside.
Where To Put Hot Baking Pan?
Put the hot baking pan on a glass cooktop to cool down.