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Just How Hot (and Safe) is a Turned-Off Oven?

I preheated my oven to cook drumsticks and thighs at 220C (425F). I then was distracted and turned off the main switch. I then put the chicken in for about 20 minutes thinking it was cooking. The oven was still hot as it had been preheated, but because the main switch was off it wasn't cooking. I realised this after 20 minutes and after switching on the main switch, I put the chicken back in for 35 minutes. Is there a danger from those 20 minutes that the chicken wasn't cooking? Remember, the oven was warm.

Even though you are in England, our government watchdogs give you a good 2 hours to fiddle with your food before there is a risk of such explosive bacterial growth that the food becomes potentially dangerous.

In general food safety terms, it generally takes 4 hours before bacterial growth reaches the danger point. You don't want your food to linger between 40F and 140F (5C and 60C) longer than necessary, but even if your preheated oven sank below 60C in the 20 minutes that it was off, the chicken was in the "danger zone" for such a short time, you should have no worry.

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