When you are cooking something on the stove or in your oven, it’s important to know that there is a difference between cooking at 250 degrees instead of 350. If you’re not careful, you could end up with burnt food on one side and raw food on the other!
In this blog post, we will discuss how long different foods take to cook at both temperatures so that you can properly prepare them every time.
How to Adjust Cooking Times for Various Temperatures
Adjusting cooking times for different temperatures is pretty simple. Just remember and follow this simple formula and use it to work out the adjustments in oven temperature and time:
Starting Temperature/End Temperature = % Change
Using this formula, you can find the exact cooking times you need to adjust for by simply multiplying the initial time by the % difference caused by the change in temperature.
To give an example; let’s say we wanted to go from 350 degrees F to 450 degrees F. You take the starting temperature of 350 degrees and divide it by the new temperature of 450 degrees. So 350/450 which would give you a 0.77 or 77% difference.
So, now you take the initial cooking time, let’s say that was 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Multiply 30 by 0.77 which would now give you about 23 minutes.
So something that would require 30 minutes to cook at 350 degrees will now take about 23 minutes at 450 degrees.
A bit difficult to understand?
No worries, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions below:
Can I cook something at a lower temp for longer?
Yes, you can cook anything at a lower temperature for longer. Just remember the oven time conversion formula to help you out!
What happens if you bake something at a lower temperature?
In general, when you bake something at a lower temperature you will be increasing the cooking time and allowing the food to cook more evenly. Whatever, you choose to bake at a lower temperature will often come out softer and will be harder to overcook.
However, baking something at a lower temperature also increases the risk of undercooking. And it’s always safer to overcook than undercook although overcooked foods taste bad most times.
How do you convert cooking times to different temperatures?
- Work out how many degrees the temperature is different. By using the Start temp / End temp = % difference.
- Adjust expected time. Multiply initial time by % difference.
- Add a safety margin for when you open the oven door to check on food or add ingredients.
- Put space around food so it cooks evenly and doesn’t dry out in some places.
- Use the right oven shelf so the food cooks in the expected time and doesn’t burn.
How long to cook something at 250 instead of 350?
It will take something 1.4 times longer or 140% longer to cook at 250 degrees F instead of 350 degrees. So if something took 30 minutes to cook at 350, it will now take about 42 minutes to cook at 250 instead.
How long do I cook something at 350 instead of 450?
It will be about 1.28 times longer to cook something at 350 instead of 450. So if it took 30 minutes to cook at 450 it will now take about 38 minutes at 350 instead.
How much longer do I cook something at 350 instead of 400?
It will take something 1.14 times longer or 140% longer to cook at 350. So if it took that something 30 minutes to cook at 400 degrees, it will now take about 34 minutes to cook at 350 instead of 400.
How much longer does it take to cook at 325 instead of 350?
To cook something at 325 instead of 350 degrees F, whatever it is will require 1.07 times longer to be done cooking at 325. So if it took 30 minutes to cook at 350, it’ll now require 32 minutes to cook at 325 instead. This is a difference of about 2 minutes to the initial cooking time.
How much longer do I cook something at 350 instead of 375?
If you want to bake something at 350 instead of 375 then you need to cook it for 1.07 times longer or 107% increase in time to cook. So if it took 30 minutes to cook it would now require 32 minutes at 350 instead.
Can I cook something at 375 instead of 450?
Yes, you can cook something at 375 instead of 450. You just need to increase the cooking times by 1.2 or 120%. With that in mind, if it took 30 minutes to cook at 450 it would now require about 36 minutes to cook at 375 instead of 450.
Things To Consider When Adjusting Cooking Times For Different Temperatures
Before we get into how to adjust the cooking times at different temperatures, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when changing temperatures.
How often do you open the oven?
It doesn’t matter what temperature you want to cook your food at, every time you open the oven it will take about 5-15 minutes for the temperature to readjust. This means that every time you open the oven you’ll be increasing the cooking time by a few minutes.
Quantity of Food and Space around the Food
Another factor that can affect how quickly foods cook at different temperatures is how much food you are cooking at once and how close they are to each other. If the oven is too full or if your foods are touching, this can increase cooking times.
For example, if you bake a roast on the middle shelf, it will take 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you put two large roasts in the oven, the one on the middle shelf will take 15-20 minutes longer to cook. While the one on top might cook 15-30 minutes quicker.
Another scenario is if you have all the food concentrated in a single baking dish it would take longer than if they were spaced out on a baking sheet.
Position of the Food in the Oven
As given in the examples above, the position of the food in the oven can affect how quickly it cooks. Foods on the lower oven racks tend to be slower to cook than foods on the oven rack at the top because the heat rises to the top of the oven.
Now that we know a little more about the factors that affect oven time cooking times we can now accurately know how to adjust oven temperature and time.
Type and Size of the Baking Pan/Dish
The type and size of the baking pan or dish you use can also affect oven time. If you’re using a glass dish it will take longer for the oven to heat up and the oven temperature might have to be adjusted slightly higher than what’s written in your recipe. While if you use a steel baking pan it will heat more quickly and oven time might need to be adjusted slightly lower.
Oven time conversion is important if you want to change oven temperature or cooking time. You can figure out what the oven temperature needs to be and how long you need to cook your food if you know the oven time conversion formula we shared. Also, keep in mind that there are other factors that might affect how quickly foods cook.
It’s important to understand which factor might be slowing down or speeding up your oven process so you can adjust accordingly with more accurate information about how long it’ll take something to cook at a given temperature.
Once you’ve figured out what factors can affect your cooking time you can go ahead with the calculation for adjusting cook times for different temperatures by using the Start temp / End temp to get the % difference. After getting the percentage difference, go ahead and calculate the increase or decrease in cook times. Also, remember to give or take a few minutes to adjust for the different factors that can affect the time to cook your meal.