How to lower oven temperature & lengthen cooking times

Written by jessica newton
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How to lower oven temperature & lengthen cooking times
Conventional ovens use heating elements to cook meats. (stuffed dumplings in oven image by ewa kubicka from

There are several reasons you might want to lower the oven temperature to lengthen cooking times. You might be scaling a recipe (cooking more or less than the written amount) or want to produce more tender meat dishes. Keep in mind the type of oven you are using, and thus the amount of cooking time the dish will require.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Meat thermometer
  • Conventional oven
  • Kitchen timer

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  1. 1

    Use a proven recipe and make alterations. Keep notes as you go along regarding the results you achieve. If the meat turns out underdone, try lengthening the cooking time.

  2. 2

    Ellen's Kitchen recommends thoroughly preheating the oven to the desired heat so that the bottom of the baking pan is not scorched by the heat rising from the element below. A stable cooking environment will produce better results.

  3. 3

    Slow-cook roasts at 93.3C to achieve a slice that is medium-rare almost to the edge of the meat, according to What's Cooking America. Cooking a roast at 93.3 degrees C about twice as long as you would cook it at 176 degrees C. Measure the temperature at the centre of the roast with a meat thermometer.

    How to lower oven temperature & lengthen cooking times
    A safe rare temperature for roasts is between 48.8 to 51.6 degrees C. (Venison roast with roasted potatos image by Elzbieta Sekowska from
  4. 4

    To cook a whole chicken for a greater length of time, use a method from Chowhound, which involves placing tinfoil over the whole chicken like a tent. Cook at 149 degrees C for three hours; remove the foil before the last half-hour of cooking.

    How to lower oven temperature & lengthen cooking times
    Chicken should reach a centre temperature of 73.9 degrees C. (roast chicken image by Vladislav Gajic from
  5. 5

    Slow-cook pork by using a 275-degree oven for six to eight hours, as recommended in the example on the Food Network website. A medium pork roast will cook to 60 to 62.8 degrees C, and will be well-done when the centre temperature is above 71.1C.

  6. 6

    For sweets, bake a double portion of cake batter in a larger, double-sized pan. Lower the oven temperature -9.44 to -3.88 degrees C while increasing the baking time to allow the centre to get done without burning the edges, according to Ellen's Kitchen.

Tips and warnings

  • Altitude affects cooking times and outcomes. "Low air pressure at high elevations can cause cakes to rise too quickly and then fall," advises All While this can be corrected by changing the leavening agents, you can also try altering the baking temperature.
  • Conventional vs. convection: your oven type can make a drastic difference in the baking time and temperature. A general guideline used by Gourmet Sleuth: if you have a convection oven, bake for a slightly shorter period of time at a reduced temperature.
  • Be sure to heed the FDA recommendations for safety, when you cook meat for long periods of time. Keep your thermometer handy and always check internal temperatures.

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