Preparing two meals at the same time makes an energy-efficiency sense because ovens tend to take less electricity/gas when making several meals at ago than separately.
It also helps get the full dinner on the family table on time.
Can You Bake a Cake and Cook Meat in The Same Oven, Simultaneously?
Yes, certainly, just make sure you keep an eye on the cooking time and temperature (plus a few other things we’ll glance at later).
First off, baked goods and cooked food are different. Cooking involves food with an existing structure such as vegetables, chicken, and potatoes. Baking, on another hand, involves foods that lack initial structure, like cookies and cupcakes. As such, these two types of food are normally subjected to different preparation temperatures for varying periods.
An average cooking/roasting task requires 400°F (or 200°C) or slightly higher. A baking process, on another hand, takes slightly lower temperatures, the north of 375°F (or 191°C) or a bit lower.
Even the most basic ovens would bake and cook simultaneously, perfectly.
If your oven is limited to side-by-side placement of food items, you will need to wrap each in a thick, carefully-put tin foil so that the flavors don’t leak between them.
However, a smart and more modern oven would save you the trouble.
Virtually all smart ovens sold today come with a dual cook functionality of some sort.
Such ovens are sometimes equipped with a special removable shelf that can be used to split the single large cooking space into two, each capable of supporting a certain range (or distinct) temperature settings.
With one of these machines, the user can roast chicken, say, at 180-degrees in one compartment and make chocolate pudding, say, at 150-degrees in the remaining section.
Double ovens like the LG Double Wall Oven lets you bake and cook simultaneously, thanks to not just the design but lots of enabling features like Infrared Heating And Steam Cooking.
.Of course, there are a few more things you need to pay attention to before multitasking.
Let’s start by expounding on temperature:
So, first of all, find out whether your oven can support two different temperatures settings at the same time.
Some ovens are equipped with two compartments, yes, but may not generate two temperature points exactly as you want.
As mentioned earlier, most ovens with dual cook functionality will allow you to prepare two meals at different temperatures.
For those that don’t, the trick would be to bake and cook two meals with similar temperature requirements (400°F and 375°F don’t appear to be too far apart either).
Since baked foods don’t allow temperature flexibility but cooked foods do, you might want to lower your cooking temperature closer to 375°F.
Taste and Time Consideration
Remember that baking and cooking take different periods.
As such, consider your baking time and cooking time before trying to multitask.
For better results, start with food with the longest cooking time, wait, then add the other with a shorter time. Preheat your oven before everything.
Trying to prepare two meals with contrasting flavors simultaneously would be a bad idea.
It would be great to avoid pairing your baked goods with strongly flavored foods or pungent smells like garlic, pepper, and onions altogether.
If you must pair them no matter what, at least cover one or both food items with tin foil to reduce the chances of bleeding the taste between them.
If your food item must be heated sufficiently up to a certain internal temperature to remove the danger of food-borne disease, don’t pair it with your baked food.
For instance, the FDA recommends that you heat your poultry to 165°F. Meats (uncooked lamb, beef, fish, etc.) should be heated to 145°F safety temperature point.
In these situations, it only makes sense that you finish with your baked goods first, then cook the main meal thereafter.
Beware of Temperature Variations
If it were a cooking task only, temperature variations wouldn’t matter at all.
But since you are baking and cooking at the same time, you need to be aware of one little secret about ovens– the temperature written on the knobs isn’t exactly what you will get.
The variation can be as tiny as 25°F in some ovens.
While this slight variation may be immaterial in regular cooking tasks, it needs to be put into consideration immediately you insert a tray of your baked goods if you want to get everything right.
Leave Some Room
Although your baked goods and cooked food will be on different racks, it would be still prudent to leave plenty of space between each food item.
For instance, if you are baking several pieces of cookies on the bottom rack, ensure they are well spaced from each other for better results.
Do the same with overhead food.
Also, leave plenty of space between both foods and the walls of the oven for sufficient air circulation.
If it involves sheet pans, remember to arrange them in such a way that they sit completely flat.
This helps prevent any dripping juices from causing grease fire or fumes.
Match Your Dishes to The Food
It just goes without saying, but still worth mentioning, that the size of food and pans/baking dishes should match.
Oven real estate can be costly if you don’t utilize it properly, especially when it comes to browning your food.
Let Them Meet in The Middle
You can actually bake and cook simultaneously without much thought about the distinct temperature requirements.
As mentioned earlier, you can adjust the two (cooking at 400°F and baking at 375°F) and settle on a middle point suitable for both –350°F sounds about right.
Do A Brief Dry Run
If you didn’t know, the position of the food in the rack can influence the browning or crisping process.
So, start by placing the dishes/pans in the compartment of the empty oven to know if they’ll fit.
If they fit, place the food that requires the least crisping beneath it on the lower rack. On another hand, put the food that should be browned on top of the topmost rack.
Subsequently, If I am cooking 2 different kinds of foods simultaneously (no baked goods), what temperature setting is appropriate? Does it even matter?
Unless the two kinds of food you’re cooking have 2 different temperature requirements, don’t fret –it would be perfectly OK to cook them at one reasonable temperature.
However, if they demand different cooking temperatures, those specific temperatures MUST be used if you want to get the best results.
If one meal is more temperature-specific than the other and might experience ‘issues’ if you don’t observe it, then prioritize that specific food’s needs.
Does it matter?
Absolutely. If you are preparing a stew consisting of beef and vegetables, the beef should start before the vegetables and should stay in there for 2 – 3 hours.
The green bean should cook for a shorter period to prevent overcooking.
For that reason, your oven must provide two different temperatures if you want to cook them simultaneously. Otherwise, you’ll have to cook them separately.
To summarize everything, it’s perfectly, OK to bake and cook simultaneously with your oven, just pay attention to the temperatures.
It might as well save you a few bucks on your energy bills.