Can I raise the oven temperature to shorten baking time?
By Patty from Westminster, MD
As far as i was taught, no. if you raise the cooking temp and shorten the time, the outer crust will be over done or burned, while the inner part of whatever you're cooking will remain raw or undercooked. with meat especially, this is dangerous. if you have your meals planed out in advance, it will make starting them earlier much easier.
Well, it depends. Ladyscorpio raises completely valid points, but sometimes I start my chicken if roasting at a higher heat for 15 minutes to get the crisping going or finish at higher heat for crisping, but then the goal is not really to hurry it, but to crisp it.
You probably can crank up over 25 degrees and take 10-15 minutes off baking time, but that would still be in normal range for the item, also some ovens run hotter or cooler. Might check temp to know what your oven normally does, ie is 350 degrees really that or 340 or 360.
But a thing isn't done until it's done. You have to look at the object..Chicken legs move easily no pink to fluid if you poke it at thickest part. Cake withdraws slightly from edges of pan and top does not cave in.
The temps in recipes are there based on general experience as to quality of finished product and health issues, ie doneness.
One way to decrease baking time is to increase the surface area of the food. Cupcakes bake faster than cakes, tarts than pies, chicken pieces than whole chickens. Bake casseroles in a 9x13 pan, not a casserole dish. If the food has to be in a certain form, increase the oven temp by 25 degrees, no more, or ladyscorpio's warnings will be true.
As the chefs say on tv there is a reason for temperatures and times on recipes. Don't raise the temperature because the food may not get completely done! You could think it is and it isn't and you could get sick. It is not worth taking that chance. Just cook smaller pieces of meat if you are in a hurry!
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