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I am cooking some meat for tonight, and my girlfriend put the saucepan into the oven. It seems to be working fine, but I wonder what the advantages and disadvantages of this method is compared to just using the stove?

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Generally oven cooking gives a more even, surrounding heat rather than the direct and concentrated heat from below that a hob supplies.

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On the stovetop the heat applied to the bottom of pan is really extremely high and depending on what you make, can easily lead to scorching. In the oven, the heat never exceeds the temperature setting of the oven.

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Another consideration is space and timing. If there are many things happening at once, putting a pan in the oven can be convenient, but it is also out of sight, so if there are stages that need to be monitored, it calls for extra vigilance.

As long as your cookware can handle it, there is no problem. In restaurants, pans are in and out of the oven and on the stovetop, depending on stages and pacing, and an important consideration comes up: hot handles.

So, use it if you want, and be careful of the handles or missing an important step in the process.

  • Using the stove often works well, depending on what you want to do. You bring up a good point though. Most cheap cookware doesn't have handles that can handle the heat, plastic melts. And if you remove it - remember to use a double thick cloth or oven gloves, it WILL be hot. – Chef Jan 12 '11 at 7:08

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