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Old 02-08-2016, 11:34 AM   #1
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Using oven self-timer?

New here so apologies if Im posting in the wrong section. If so admin feel free to move it.
My partner has recently left me (Its okay im fine about it so no need for sympathy!!) and my stepdaughter (whos 25) to fend for ourselves. The problem I/we have is that neither of us gets in from work until around 6 oclock in the evening so its become difficult to plan and cook a meal to eat a decent time. My question is, can I place a chicken (or any other meat) in the oven before I leave for work at 06:30, set the oven to come on at the correct time and come home to a nicely cooked dinner at 18:00?
If so should the meat be totally thawed out before I leave in the morning or be partly frozen so it defrosts in the oven during the day ?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Regards
Pete

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Old 02-08-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
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I understand today's appliances are much smarter. So, I guess its entirely possible to do what you want to do. But I don't know what you have as far as an oven and how smart it is.
I would look into a crock pot.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:51 AM   #3
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wow that was a quick reply so thank you for that. I have a rangemaster double oven with electric oven. it has a self timer that I can set .
regards
pete
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:53 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome to Discuss Cooking

You can delay cooking with some appliances, but as far as I know, none of them have a refrigeration feature. I think it would be very dangerous to leave food at room temperature for that long.

I suggest doing some advance prep that makes meals easier to put together. Make a large batch of a main dish on Sunday and heat up or repurpose it through the week. For example, you can cook several chicken breasts or thighs or a meat roast on Sunday. Cut some into cubes and some into strips. You can use these in different recipes like quesadillas, a quick soup or sandwich, a casserole, a pasta dish, etc. Then you just need to make maybe a potato or rice and a salad or hot vegetable for a side and dinner is done.

You can also make something in the evening after dinner and plan to eat it the next day. Lots of stews and casseroles taste better after the flavors continue to develop overnight.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:16 PM   #5
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As GG said, you will be running a pretty good chance of food poisoning if you leave meat unrefrigerated for that long. Some crock pots have a feature where they will change to a keep warm setting after a period of time, but I think that most meals will be overcooked after 12 hours in a crock pot.

When I was working full time I had a repertoire of recipes that could be prepped in an hour or less, in addition to planned leftover meals. If I was still a full timer I would look at a pressure cooker.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:22 PM   #6
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Welcome to Discuss Cooking, peterpiper!

I agree with GG and tenspeed - I wouldn't leave uncooked meat in the oven for that long, especially chicken. As mentioned above, your best bet would be to cook it the night before and warm up the leftovers the next few days in a nice soup or stew, casseroles, hot sandwiches, etc.
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Old 02-08-2016, 02:30 PM   #7
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Completely make or partially make meals that can be heated up or finished as needed. We make meals ahead all the time and either freeze them or refrigerate them until needed. This works great with soups, stews and gumbos. Baked pasta dishes can be frozen and go straight into the oven, we do this with stuffed shells and lasagna. Moussaka can be done this way as well.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:53 AM   #8
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I would go crock pot. one thing you can do is to put stuff in the crock pot before you go to bed. Use a Crock pot liner and get up the next morning, remove it, let it cool until you get ready to go to work. Pop it into the fridge for the day, remove right when you get home, re-heat in the oven, whola
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Home Cook View Post
I would go crock pot. one thing you can do is to put stuff in the crock pot before you go to bed. Use a Crock pot liner and get up the next morning, remove it, let it cool until you get ready to go to work. Pop it into the fridge for the day, remove right when you get home, re-heat in the oven, whola
Good advice. Recommendations are not to put the crock in the refrigerator with food in it, as the crock retains heat and it takes too long to get the temperature of the food down to safe levels (below 40F).
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
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So there you have it. The answer to your question. DO NOT put raw meat in the oven to sit there all day until you come home.

Either invest in a crockpot or dedicate a weekend to making dishes and freezing them to be popped in the oven as soon as you get home from work. You can take out the dish from the freezer the night before and place it in the fridge to be thawed out by the time you get home the next day. Think of the fun you and your stepdaughter can have cooking and learning together. Plan meals that are cooked in the oven. Then you can put a couple in at the same time. Soups in a crockpot are great at this time of year.

Plan on making at least seven meals to get you through the week. Even if you use a crockpot for one meal. Or two.

Welcome to DC. Lots of fun, lots of information. Stick around and so glad you decided to join us.
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