How to Cook Two Or More Things In The Oven At Once


Hosting a holiday is a serious undertaking, especially when you have about 20 dishes to make, and you only have one oven. While it seems like the only solution is to jump ship and have someone else host, don’t give up yet. There’s another way on how to make this works. If you are wondering if baking two things at once are possible, here is a quick answer.

When it comes to efficiency, baking two things at once is an excellent solution to prepare dinner on the table, especially when everyone is hungry. While this method is convenient, it needs a basic understanding of the effect and results that you want to achieve on each dish.

While most ovens can handle multiple items at a time, there are some guidelines to follow when using this efficient and time-saving cooking technique.

baking multiple dishes

Cooking Two Things In The Oven At Once

In case you hosted a holiday meal or prepared two dishes that require both oven time, then you know how convenient it is to put multiple pans in the oven. While this technique is quite convenient, you need to know first how does it affect the final output for each dish.

The first thing to consider when baking two things at once is the temperature. Since both items require to be in the oven at the same temperature setting, you’ll want to pick foods that have the same temperature requirements. For instance, baking two cakes at once, the temperature needs to be consistent.

However, you may modify the temperature on one item so that you can allow multiple pans in the oven as long as you thick to certain foods that need to be heated thoroughly.

When cooking two things at varying temperatures, stick to non-baked goods such as meat or steak, and poultry since you can leave the items in the oven until they meet the ideal internal temperature.

If you have a poultry dish that requires an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it might have a different cooking temperature recommendation than a ground beef casserole that requires an internal temperature reaching 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is because that temperature is safe to eat according to the safe minimum internal temperature chart from the USDA. Therefore, you can cook both items in the oven at the same temperature until they reach their ideal serving temperature.

Time and Taste Considerations

Aside from the temperature, you also need to consider the recommended baking time, especially with baked goodies. Unlike meat and other food that can stay in the oven until they are done, baked items like cakes and pies will be a colossal failure if they stayed too much time in the heat.

The simplest way to address the time issues, as long as the temperature is constant, is to start with the item that needs to stay in the oven for the longest period. This should go first followed by the second dish that needs less time to cook and bake. Make sure to preheat the oven and wait for it to be ready before placing the first item inside.

For example, you are baking two cakes at once or two pies, it is recommended to rotate the items. If the top of your oven cooks faster than the bottom, make sure to rotate the baked goods or turn the pans, then move them from top to bottom at the halfway point.

If possible, try to avoid pairing up the dish, which has a strong flavor with a food item that does not. For example, avoid placing a piece of meat covered in garlic in the oven with a sweet-smelling apple pie. Instead, pair the items that have similar ingredients and aroma such as two apple pies or a steak with baked potatoes.

Food Items That Can Be Cooked Together At Each Temperature

300 degrees

This temperature is suitable for drying out whipped egg whites and slowly braising tough cuts of meat. You may keep the lid on the pot to avoid crossover smells. At the same time, gently roast tomatoes or bake-apple slices to be served as chips.

350 degrees

This temperature is most common because it is just high enough for browning, but not high enough to burn quickly what you’re baking or cooking. This is true for a simple roast chicken as well as chocolate chip cookies.

400 degrees

Fish and veggies love this temperature. You may use it when cooking baked salmon or for any similar fish fillets. Start checking for doneness after 10 minutes. For roast cut veggies, flip it halfway through for even browning. If you make roasted garlic, wrap the whole garlic heads in foil. Do the same technique for sweet potatoes and whole beets.

450 degrees

At this temperature, the blast of heat creates a crunchy crust on bread and pizzas. It also gives you the ultimate crispy edges on roasted potatoes. However, be careful with this temperature, so make sure to turn on your exhaust fan and have oven mitts readily available.

two meatball trays in oven

Cooking And Baking Two Dishes Simultaneously

In general, you can bake and cook two dishes at the same time, but there are some guidelines you need to follow. Ensure that the main dish, the meat, doesn’t have a strong flavor, such as garlic. In that case, it’s best to cook the items separately so that the flavors aren’t mixed.

Baked goods are not flexible when it comes to temperature. Preheat the oven to the right temperature for the baked good. Lots of cooked dishes are flexible when it comes to temperature, including meat, casseroles, veggies, baked potatoes, and many more.

It may take a little or more of your time to cook the dishes, but it will turn out the same. When it comes to baked goods, it is more of a science, and each variable ought to be precise.

5 Tips When Cooking Multiple Dishes In The Oven

Here are some tips that you may follow if you opt to cook multiple dishes in the oven:

Allow some space

Provide enough couple of inches for air to circulate between the dishes and between the dishes and the walls of your heaven. It helps in distributing the heat and cook the dishes more evenly. You may sheet pans so that the dripping juices will not cause any smoke or grease fires.

Don’t trust the oven temp

The displayed temperature on your oven is not always accurate, which may shift up or down depending on how full your oven is or how long you leave your oven door open. You may invest in an oven thermometer to tell you the real temperature and adjust it as necessary.

Meet in the middle when cooking

For example, one dish requires a roasting temp of 325 degrees Fahrenheit, while another calls for 375 degrees Fahrenheit, you can just meet halfway and cook both at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Most ovens are usually off by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, so both should be fine. The only exception for these is baked goodies, which require a specific temperature.

Pair the food with the dish

Use baking dishes and pans that have the same size, just like the food you’re cooking (not too bigger nor too small); therefore, you won’t lose oven real estate and your food has enough room to get browned excellently.

Do a test run

While the oven is off, you may place empty dishes you’re planning to use, so you know what can fit inside with enough space in between and what racks to move. Dishes that will not suffer from extra crisping on the bottom should be placed on the lowest rack. Those that need to get more browned, should be put on top.

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