Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Nov 13, 2006 06:33 PM

Am I going to burn my house down?

I have a 6 lb. roaster chicken I want to cook for dinner tonight, which will take a couple of hours to cook, which means putting it in the oven by about 3:00. But, I have to go get my daughter at daycare at 4pm and it's about a 30-minute round trip. Do I:

a) Put the chicken in and leave the oven on while I go get her (please don't tell my insurance company);

b) Put the chicken in and turn the oven off while I'm gone, and turn it back on when I return (will I have Sam and Ella over for dinner?); or

c) Just cook the damn bird tomorrow?

I have stuff in the oven right now which should be done by 3pm, so I can't put it in there now.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I wouldn't leave it unattended for fear of the smoke detector. Anytime I roast a chicken, the drippings set off the smoke alarm which could be a serious concern if you aren't home.

    Roast it tomorrow or late at night, at a time when you will be there to monitor the progress.

    1. I wouldn't leave it in the oven while you're gone - on or off. Off is asking for sickness, and on... well the splatters that set off the smoke detector are splatters that can easily start a fire. I'd go with the "Just cook the damn bird tomorrow" option.


      1. I've never cooked a 6lb bird, but I've done a 4lb one in an hour ... at the highest temp for 20 minutes then down to 425 or 450 - that may be a solution for you.

        1. You could also cut it up and cook it more quickly as parts.

          1. While the prudent thing is to err on the side of caution, how many times in the past have you roasted a chicken and "burnt the house down" or even had to put out a fire in your oven so as to avoid burning the house down?

            1 Reply
            1. re: DanaB

              Perhaps I shouldn't admit it "in public", but even though I'm an accomplished cook, many times I have opened my oven to alarming amounts of smoke, which - left unchecked - quite easily could have been a fire to put out. Funny - I almost never cut myself, but burn myself or my food with embarrassing frequency!