My gas stove manual warns not leave food in the oven while it's off for:
- More than an hour before cooking, or
- More than an hour after cooking
I can't seem to find the reason why. What exactly happens in this situation?
Does your stove have a feature that allows you to set a timer for either beginning a cook cycle and/or ending one?
Even if it doesn't, the warning is likely related to temperature and food safety, rather than a concern about the oven itself or gas (which would not be present because it would either be burning or off). It may be on the conservative side of that warning, but makes sense from a company standpoint.
Food should not be kept between 40F (4.5C) and 140F (60C) for more than two hours. This is called the danger zone and it is where the conditions are best for pathogen growth. It is also important to recognize that the time is cumulative, meaning, for example, that if your food is at that temperature for 20 minutes, then you place it in the fridge, the 2 hour clock does not start over again. You've used up a portion of that 2 hour time.