Don't Overlook The 'Delay Start' Function On Your Oven

Your oven may have loads of buttons you never use, but there's one you should stop neglecting: the "Delay Start" function. This time-saving culinary hack has the potential to streamline a huge chunk of your kitchen operations because you can set not just an exact time for your oven to heat up but a precise temperature as well. This means you can speed up meal prep on busy nights by setting it just prior to your arrival home from commuting. Or it can save those precious extra minutes in the morning as you enjoy your first cup of coffee. Then, without having to remember to turn on the oven before you'd like to bake biscuits, an already-warmed oven will be waiting for you.  

Turning your oven on without having to turn the oven on can also help you focus on other tasks like mixing drinks or greeting guests when you're playing host. With a hot oven ready to go, you don't need to waste any time waiting around for it to pre-heat and can get started on making those trays of oven-baked flank steak. With all the other things that can go wrong when trying to put a homemade meal together, don't let forgetting to preheat the oven be one of them.

Planning tonight's meal in advance

Though not every oven comes with a delay start feature (sorry, gas stove owners), it's worth checking to see if this option is included for your electric appliance. Generally, if your oven has a digital screen and clock feature, you'll be able to find out how to set your oven for a specific heating time. Google is your friend here if you've misplaced the user manual, and once you've mastered the planning required to calculate at what time you'd like your oven to be warm, your kitchen game could forever be changed. 

If you are fortunate enough to be in possession of this oven button, that delay start button can have you well on your way to serving up a hot batch of scalloped potatoes or a satisfying dish of mushroom lasagna without wasting any time standing around waiting for the oven to heat up. And if you are prone to burning dishes, don't forget about those standard timer features, which can turn your oven off as well as "Delay Start" can turn it on!