FRANCE - CIRCA 1900:  Range And Casseroles At High Alps In Nevache, France - The Refuge de Buffere.  (Photo by Pierre WITT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Real Reason Recipes Tell You To Preheat Your Cooking Oil
While preparing the oven, stove, or air fryer may seem time-consuming, especially in a rush, preheating can often save time in the long run. Throwing food into the oven before it preheats, for example, will result in uneven cooking, as the food is heating slowly along with the oven.
When it comes to frying, preheating oil when cooking meats in a pan is also important, because it prevents them from sticking. Since the meat’s proteins bind to the pan, heating the oil in the pan first allows the oil to flash fry the meat's surface before it sticks to the metal, thus preventing burnt residue.
Another reason is that when food is added to a hot pan, it creates a “steam effect,” lifting the food above the cooking surface and cooking it fast before it settles in the pan. Remember that a hot pan doesn't mean sitting over a high flame, but instead, placing the pan over a medium flame, adding the oil, and letting them come to temperature together.