I have noticed that some people will say that, when you put more mass in an oven, it takes longer for both to cook than if just were one.

Some others will say that timings are the same. Assume we have an oven that's heated to 350 degrees fahrenheit, and it's 10 cubic feet(it should hold about 340 liters of liquid, volume-wise).

If we stick a 1 lb, 6 ounce cake in the oven in a 9x9 aluminum pan, let's say that it cooks until succinct in about 25 minutes.

If we were to add the exact same mass, but in another cake and equivalent pan (with the exact same ingredients to the nearest degree possible on the atomic scale), and we place that pan right next to it in the center of the one-rack oven, will cooking times differ?

Basically, does thermal energy become affected when you place more mass over an area of heat within a chamber?

It takes different cooking times for different things(molecule-wise, etc.), and mass is always a factor(e.g. a chicken drumstick will cook at 350F in less than 15 minutes, but a whole 5 lb chicken, say, will most definitely take quite longer).

So my question is, in an enclosure of 10 cubic feet (or the like), if you add more mass/volume to the chamber, will thermal energy change, will cooking times change with varying mass and volume, distributions and placement inside the chamber, and why or why not?

PS: I know this is broad, but we can narrow it down by just taking my aforementioned examples as just examples, and provide answers relevant to the idea within any scope of measurements desired.

  • $\begingroup$ Does the weird numbers and units have any relevance for your question? $\endgroup$ – hpekristiansen Dec 27 '13 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_capacity $\endgroup$ – hpekristiansen Dec 27 '13 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Hans-PeterE.Kristiansen What's weird about cubic-feet and fahrenheit? $\endgroup$ – IWishForGreatAnswers Dec 27 '13 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ Nothing is wrong with cubic-feet and fahrenheit in everyday use in parts of the wold. You also write lb and ounce and 9x9 nothing. All of it seems irrelevant to what you are asking. $\endgroup$ – hpekristiansen Dec 28 '13 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ On a serious level: temperature is an indicator of mean energy level, but not of total energy content , nor of heat transfer efficiency. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 28 '13 at 13:47

An oven is not an insulated system containing "thermal energy." It is an open system which can provide a limited amount of energy per unit time. If you put in, say one ice cube, that ice cube can absorb all the X watts being generated. If you put in 10 such ice cubes, they each get, in an ideal situation, X/10 watts and obviously take 10 times as long to melt.

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  • $\begingroup$ So two cakes would take longer? PS: I never said an oven is insulating, I said it's an enclosed chamber with thermal energy. $\endgroup$ – IWishForGreatAnswers Dec 27 '13 at 21:39

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