Preheating an oven is an important step to take when baking. Putting dough in a preheated oven exposes it to a quick burst of heat that ensures it rises properly. Plus, if you try to bake items in a cold oven, the recipe's recommended bake time will be inaccurate.
Many recipes remind you to preheat your oven in the instructions, but others simply tell you to bake at a specific temperature. If you're using the Bake function, assume you need to preheat your Whirlpool oven regardless of what the recipe states. If you're using the Broil function, preheating is not strictly necessary.
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Preheat a Whirlpool Oven
To preheat a Whirlpool oven, begin by pressing the Bake function. The oven will automatically display a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). If you need to bake at a higher or lower temperature, use the arrows to adjust. Then press Start.
Depending on your oven model, the display will either show "PrE" and the temperature progression once 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) has been reached or show "PrE" and a timer countdown to indicate that the oven is preheating. Either way, it will take several minutes for the oven to reach the proper temperature. The oven will beep to tell you that the desired temperature has been reached.
If you do not see these function buttons or arrows on your appliance, follow your Whirlpool oven manual's instructions for specific preheating directions. If you've lost your copy, you can find the serial number on the oven and type it into the Whirlpool website to read a digital copy of the manual. Whirlpool's oven serial numbers are located on the inside of the door frame. Open the door when the oven is cool and take a picture with your phone for easy reference.
Whirlpool Oven Preheat Problems
Is your oven not preheating? If you recently used your oven, the temperature may be above the threshold for initiating the preheating display (170 degrees Fahrenheit or 77 degrees Celsius). In this circumstance, pressing Bake, entering the desired temperature and pressing Start will increase the oven's temperature but will not activate the preheating sequence.
Are you broiling? Preheating the oven is not strictly necessary when using the Broil function and thus may not be displayed like it is when using the Bake function. Newer Whirlpool oven manuals recommend waiting about five minutes before putting food in to broil after starting this function. Older oven manuals state preheating is not necessary for broiling or roasting, so it's a matter of preference and following the instructions in your recipe.
Preheating for Baked Goods
Are your baked goods taking longer than the recommended time to come out done? The leavening process — which causes dough to rise — requires specific temperature conditions for peak performance. Whirlpool recommends waiting an additional ten minutes after the oven completes its preheating cycle before adding baked goods that contain yeast, baking soda, baking powder or eggs. This allows the oven temperature to stabilize further and could be the key to accurately following the bake time recommendations in recipes.