5

I have three dishes that need to be baked but all have different temps.
My oven is a standard, 80's range with oven and broiler - nothing special. I am cooking

  • a Leg of Lamb of 5 lbs at 450, which gets reduced after 20mins to 400 degrees for an hour.
  • Hasselback Potatoes at 425 degrees for about 45 mins
  • a green bean casserole at 350 for 30 mins.

How do I do this, practically for this Easter dinner? I've got other things that I'm serving, but those are all stove-top dishes or cold dishes.

10

If you're going to cook all three at the same time, something is going to be hotter than it should be or colder than it should be. If you're not making a soufflé, or something very small like cookies, you have a little flexibility and variation in temperatures.

  • if something is in a hotter oven than called for, it will cook more quickly and perhaps brown more than you wanted as well,
  • if something is in a cooler oven than called for, it will cook more slowly and perhaps brown less than you wanted as well.

You can adjust for the speed issues by having it in the oven for a longer or shorter time than called for. You can fix the browning by covering it with foil, or giving it some time under the broiler at the end - the latter being more reliable than the former.

I don't know about your potatoes but I'll assume they need to brown. Here is how I would run it, for a 6pm dinner:

  • 4:00 preheat the oven to 450
  • 4:10 put the lamb in
  • 4:30 turn the oven down to 400
  • 5:00 put the potatoes in. They're going to get 15 minutes extra time to make up for the cooler temps
  • 5:30 take the lamb out for a 30 minute rest (sure, your recipe probably says 15, but the extra time won't hurt.) Turn the oven down to 350 and put the beans in.
  • this final half hour is when you make the gravy and whatever other side dishes are involved, set the table, etc
  • 5:55 check the beans. You can probably take them out and let them sit for 5 minutes. Check the potatoes. If you want them browned, now's a good time to put the broiler on above them.
  • 6 pm serve

By the way, I wrote this timeline from the bottom up and you can do the same next time you're trying to work out timings.

  • 1
    The green beans casserole could be done in advance (in the morning) and just re-heated before diner. – Max Mar 25 '16 at 13:23
  • Sure, there are lots of options. But since the meat needs to rest anyway, I chose this schedule. The potatoes could also be precooked and warmed at the end. – Kate Gregory Mar 25 '16 at 13:30
  • that is why I +1 your answer. Good writing, especially writing the timelime from the bottom up. – Max Mar 25 '16 at 13:44

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