How To Preheat A Toaster Oven? 

A toaster oven is a convenient kitchen appliance that is extremely easy to operate because of the dials and LCD. Unfortunately, though, some people find it challenging to preheat the oven. 

Preheating is essential for making recipes that involve baking, broiling, and roasting. When you preheat the oven, it ensures even and faster cooking and provides adequate temperature for recipes. 

Preheating an oven (electric or gas) usually takes 5-20 minutes. Set the temperature to the range somewhere between 400 to 450 Fahrenheit. Make sure you turn on the oven 10 minutes before starting cooking. 

In this article, I’ll answer some exciting questions about toaster ovens, like How to preheat toaster ovens? How to tell if the toaster oven is preheated properly? Do you need to preheat the oven?

Moreover, I have shared some information about what happens when you do not preheat the oven before cooking. 

How to preheat a toaster oven?

Preheating the toaster oven is a straightforward process. You can preheat your oven by following the steps below; 

Step 1 

Set the temperature of a toaster oven according to the recipe you are making. Mainly the temperature ranges between 350-500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Step 2 

Close the door of the oven perfectly. Ensure there is no air leakage because it will prevent the range from reaching the desired temperature. 

Step 3 

Typically, the recipes include preheating time too. However, for other recipes, preheat the oven for 20 minutes. If the stove has an indicator light or beep, it will indicate when the preheating is done. 

After preheating the toaster oven, insert the food into the range and start cooking. Your meal will be ready within a few minutes. 

How long does preheating take?

The average time an oven takes for preheating depends on the factors below; 

  • Size of oven 
  • Toaster’s power rating

Unlike ordinary ovens, toaster ovens take less time to preheat properly. For example, gas and modern electric toaster ovens take 5 minutes maximum for preheating. 

The preheating time is when an oven takes to circulate hot air to raise the temperature inside. The preheating temperature is generally displayed on the LCD screen. Some ovens indicate the preheating temperature with light or beep. 

If you have an older oven in your kitchen, the average time it will take to heat 350 degrees Fahrenheit is 15 minutes. 

While setting the temperature, keep in mind the higher the temperature you selected, the more time it will take to preheat the oven. Smaller ovens preheat quicker than large multitasking ovens. 

How to tell that the toaster oven is preheated perfectly?

Well, it is straightforward to know, especially if you have a modern toaster oven with an indicator light or beep. 

Though, not all toaster ovens are the same in features. For example, some toaster ovens do not possess an indicator light and a beep that tells that oven is preheated. 

In this case, you should set the temperature of your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and wait for 20 minutes. It is the average time that a good toaster oven takes to preheat perfectly. 

You can even heat the oven for more than 20 minutes. No need to worry about overheating because you can give your oven as much time as you want to warm the interior while preheating. 


Another good way to check the preheating temperature of an oven is thermometer testing. I prefer an oven thermometer for this purpose instead of a standard thermometer. 

  • Place the oven thermometer in the middle rack of the oven. Make sure it doesn’t include the temperature of the frame. 
  • Set the temperature of the toaster oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Start preheating the oven for a few minutes. 
  • Please keep checking the thermometer until it attains the desired temperature. 

How to tell that the temperature of the toaster oven is accurate?

To check the accuracy of the toaster oven, you can measure the temperature. Apply the same process you used for checking the preheating temperature using an oven thermometer. 

With thermometer 

  • Take an oven thermometer and place it in the middle rack of the oven. Make sure the thermometer doesn’t give the temperature of the frame. 
  • Shut the door of the oven. 
  • Set the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Leave the toaster oven to warm up. It will take approximately 20 minutes. 
  • When the oven finishes preheating, it will show a light or beep. 
  • Hold the thermometer and check the temperature. It should be between 345-355 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Note the reading that you have taken. 
  • Rinse the thermometer and repeat the process several times. 

The best way to find the correct temperature is; to add the reading you have taken and divide them by the number you repeat. The figure you got, at last, is the correct temperature. 

For instance, if you have taken five readings of figures 345,350,355,348 and 352, the average temperature will be 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Without thermometer

If you don’t have an oven thermometer, you can still find the correct temperature. All you have to do is; 

  • Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Place a bowl of granulated sugar in the oven and start the timer. 
  • Wait for 10-15 minutes. 
  • When it is done, remove the sugar bowl from the toaster oven. If the sugar is melted, the temperature is accurate, and if not, the oven is not working correctly. 

Do you need to preheat the toaster oven?

Like ordinary ovens, the toaster oven doesn’t need to be preheated. Though, for best cooking results, the cooking experts recommend preheating the oven for a few minutes. 

For instance, preheating is not necessary for frying and toasting. However, it is essential for broiling, baking, and roasting. 

Make sure you don’t place the foods in the toaster oven while preheating because it will affect the taste of the food. 

Can you put food in the toaster oven without preheating?

It depends on the food you put inside the toaster oven and the recipe you are using to cook because some foods like toast and bagels don’t need preheating. Likewise, the frozen leftover food doesn’t need preheating either. 

In contrast, some foods need preheating before cooking. The major examples are frozen vegetables, cakes, bread, and egg dishes that require a suitable preheating temperature. 

Besides that, when you put food inside the toaster oven for baking, broiling, or roasting without preheating, it will alter the texture and taste of the food. It also slows down the process of cooking. 

That’s why preheating is essential, as it ensures even & fast cooking and changes the temperature of foods from refrigerator cold to blazing hot within a few minutes. 

What happens when you put the food inside the oven while preheating? 

When you place the food inside the oven while preheating, the low temperatures affect the food. These effects vary significantly because of the food type and the method you are using for cooking. 

Baking process

The main ingredients for baking goods include yeasts, baking powder, and baking soda, which require a suitable temperature for rising.

When you put the dough of cake, bread, cookies, or cupcakes in the cold toaster oven, the oven’s low temperature activates the rising agent too early or too late and makes the bread deflated. 


The broiling process includes cooking meat, vegetables, and fish at a high temperature for a particular time. 

At the beginning of the broiling process, the meat cooks in its juice for the first 15 minutes, and by the time the oven reaches your desired temperature, it becomes chewy and tasteless. 


Roasting is the same as broiling. The meat and vegetables in the toaster oven without proper preheating can make them undercook, overcook or dry out. 

How long does it take to preheat an oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit?

The most preferred temperature of a toaster oven for preheating is 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you can adjust the temperature of your toaster oven somewhere. 

If you have to bake a large batch of cupcakes, biscuits, cookies, or cake, set the temperature of the toaster oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It will bake faster and evenly than ordinary ovens. 

Modern high-end electric ovens usually take 5-15 minutes to preheat to 500 degrees Fahrenheit whereas gas toaster ovens take 5-10 minutes at high heat. 

Are 10 minutes enough to preheat an oven? 

Mostly the oven and cooking range takes 10-15 minutes to reach the right preheating temperature. Older models of the oven usually take 20 minutes to preheat. 

Once the oven beeps after reaching the right temperature, insert the food inside for the best cooking results. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why is preheating important? 

It is preheating the toaster oven before cooking is essential because it changes the temperature of refrigerator cold food to blazing hot quickly. It minimizes the risks of bacterial growth in moist foods. 

Preheating the oven ensures faster baking and boiling, which reduces cooking time. It also makes sure that the food is evenly heated at that particular time. 

Though, while preheating, you must be very careful, especially if you have a gas toaster oven, because high temperatures can burn the food.  

How long does it take to preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit? 

Ordinary ovens take 10-15 minutes, modern electric ovens take 5-10 minutes, whereas the gas oven takes 5 minutes for preheating. 

Start your oven, prepare the racks and wait for the toaster oven to reach the set temperature. 

You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oven. Place the thermometer in the center of the middle rack of the oven and set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Should you preheat the toaster oven? 

Preheating is not necessary every time you cook food. Some cooking experts highly recommend preheating the toaster oven before baking and broiling because it provides a suitable temperature for instant cooking. 

Can you bake frozen pizza in a toaster oven? 

Yes, you can bake frozen pizza in a toaster oven—Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. If the oven is large, set the timer for 10 minutes; if the oven is small, do not preheat it for more than five minutes. 

Put the frozen pizza on a baking tray and place the tray on the middle rack of the oven. Set the timer and wait for the pizza to bake evenly. Ensure you do not overheat the pizza because it will burn the crush and affect the taste. 

Does the oven beep when the preheating is done? 

It depends on the model and functions of the toaster oven you have in your kitchen because some modern ovens beep, and some show a bright red light when they reach their specific temperature. 

If your toaster oven is old and doesn’t have an indicator light or sound, you can check the preheating temperature every time with the help of a thermometer. 

Modern toaster ovens have an indicator light or sound and heating coils that tell the buyer when to start cooking. 

Wrap up 

A toaster oven is a great kitchen appliance that enhances the beauty of your kitchen. Besides toasting, it bakes, broils, and roasts the foods perfectly. It is elementary to operate because of the LCDs and temperature dialers. 

However, some people find difficulty in setting the preheating temperature for the toaster oven. 

The preheating temperature of toaster ovens (electric or gas) lies between 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Electric toaster ovens take almost 5-20 minutes to preheat, whereas gas toaster ovens take 5-10 minutes because of high temperature. 

Preheating the oven is necessary because it provides a suitable temperature for food and ensures fast & even cooking. 

If you put the food inside the oven without preheating, the food will cook slowly and become chewy & tasteless. 

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