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How many things can go in an oven?

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Hi everyone. I'm sorry if this is a ridiculous question, but I don't want to wait until Thanksgiving to find out. If I have two different dishes (cornish hen and lasagna) which both need to be baked at the same temperature, can I stick them in the oven at the same time? Would this affect the cooking time or flavor? Thanks for your help!

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  1. Yes you can cook them at the same time. Make sure your oven has had plenty of time to preheat. IFyou have a pizza stone in it at all time, that will be better. Might have to add a little bit of time to compensate but it shouldn't make that much of a difference.

    1. It might affect the cooking time and browning - for example, our oven is noticably hotter near the top. Halfway through you might want to swap their places in the oven to minimize that effect.

      1. You should be able to bake two things at once, if they are at the same temp and your oven is big enough. When I put two things in, I try to stagger them -- i.e. one toward the back on the top shelf, the other toward the front on the bottom shelf, and switch them part-way through cooking. I find that staggering helps the air flow in the oven and the items cook more evenly.

        1. In addition to what's already been mentioned, try fitting the pans in now and see if they'll both fit. I've tried eyeballing ahead of time, only to be wrong. It might take a little longer to cook.

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          1. re: chowser

            Yeah, among other things, you want at least a little (say 1/2"-1") between the pans, if on the same rack, to allow proper heat circulation.