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Is this going to kill us all?

282 replies

HolidayDjinn · 27/09/2022 06:58

DH is flapping.

On busy days when no one is going to be home until 18:30 I sometimes make up a tray bake and put the oven on timer so it will be ready just as we walk in the door. The ingredients come out the fridge about 6am and oven comes on about 17:45 so that’s nearly 12 hours at room temp. Today’s has no raw meat but does have chorizo. Sometimes I do sausages. Have done chicken thighs before. I feel like this is probably fine but DH is convinced we will contract food poisoning. NB his worries don’t come with an offer to sort dinner.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1135 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
TokyoTen · 27/09/2022 07:32

Why not prepare the food but leave in the fridge, put the oven on timer to be up to temperature when you walk in. Then put the food in - 30 mins cooking and it's done.

Harridan1981 · 27/09/2022 07:32

I would have the oven turning on on a timer so it is hot when I got home, tray bake prepped in the fridge, straight in oven on my return before even taking shoes and coat off etc.

Canyousewcushions · 27/09/2022 07:32

Maybe you've got the wrong slow cooker then?

Ours allows us to heat up ingredients before we switch it to slow cooking meaning we can sear meat/cook onions and don't loose the flavours from this by bunging it all in together. The results are delicious- I was really dubious but being able to sear then cook means we've not noticed a difference over standard oven slow cooked casseroles. It also means the food is hot before we switch it over to slow mode.

Am sure I saw it in the news lately that putting raw chicken in a slow cooker from cold means it gets held at the bacterial growth zone for a looooooong period because slow cookers are so, well, slow. So I wouldn't recommend that as a plan....

But in your case, the only time I'd do that is sticking a frozen home made lasagne in the oven (basically a massive block of ice) it'll defrost during the day so won't get up to room temp before the oven clicks on. Probably still not ideal though as I'd guess I should be defrosting in the fridge really shrug

CrystalCoco · 27/09/2022 07:32

For me it would depend on the temperature of the room during the days you're doing this, it's cooling down at lot here now so probably not such an issue - I wouldn't do it in the middle of summer.

As a couple of PPs have mentioned - the bigger concern would be running an oven in an empty house, I definitely wouldn't be doing that.

Technosaurus · 27/09/2022 07:33

I agree about slow cooker tasting odd!

I've tried (and failed) with mine multiple times over the years - the watery thing is just practice but theres usually a weird almost metallic taste to the sauce.

I'm a good cook and can count on one hand the amount of times I've avoided that taste, usually only chicken dishes, ironically given the initial question. I've been served the same taste at other people's houses too on dishes they tell me are delicious, I think it might be one of those things in life that some people notice and some don't?

But no I wouldn't eat chicken that had been at room temp for 12 hours...

KendrickLamaze · 27/09/2022 07:33

I think you're ok health wise. I'd be more worried the timer would fail and your house would burn down. Probably also unlikely but...

TurtleSpurtle · 27/09/2022 07:37

Tell your DH he's on dinner on those days from this point forwards.

Loads of countries where raw meat is out of the fridge for longer periods and in warmer temperatures. Never had an issue.

SheWoreYellow · 27/09/2022 07:37

Sounds like a bad idea to me. Food poisoning is really not great, either.
I’d cook it the night before and microwave to heat up.
Chorizo is fine.

NumptiesIncorporated · 27/09/2022 07:38

I agree with you about show cookers too, op. Obviously I haven't tried every recipe out there, but I don't like how everything basically ends up pretty much the same flavour, a meld of all the ingredients. The best success I had was sticky toffee pudding, which was amazing, but it's not worth keeping a slow cooker for.

DontKeepTheFaith · 27/09/2022 07:38

I wouldn’t risk it!

I’ve always been a bit blasé about food but DH is in his 5th week of food poisoning and still unwell so it’s made me think twice. It wasn’t home cooking, it was a ready meal that he cooked but he has been so ill, it has made me think I need to be more cautious.

To be fair, I’d never leave meat at room temp all day anyway. Also do agree that the oven on when no one is home is a fire risk.

Luana1 · 27/09/2022 07:40

Why not just do a quick egg and chips meal, or microwaved jacket potatoes, or something equally as quick on a busy evening rather than leaving raw uncooked food in the oven all day? Have you thought about getting something like a Ninja Foodi where you can cook things like chicken thighs in 20 mins vs 45 in the oven. We recently got one and it's meant we can more substantial meals even on busy days where we don't get home until fairly late.

AndTwoFilmsByFrancoisTruffaut · 27/09/2022 07:40

No way would I be risking my family’s health by serving meat that has been left out. Way too risky.

The PP who eats chicken left in the microwave overnight. Just why Confused

Slow cooked food is amazing when cooked properly. The v nature of slowly cooked food should result in super flavoursome, healthy food, definitely never watery or bland in our house 🤷🏻‍♀️

NumptiesIncorporated · 27/09/2022 07:42

Slow cooked food is amazing when cooked properly

I totally agree with this.

I just don't think a slow cooker is the best way to achieve amazing slow cooked food.

Henddraig · 27/09/2022 07:43

I’m another one who thinks slow cooked food all tastes bad in the same way. I think it might be like coriander - a taste that some people love but others find horrific.

picklemewalnuts · 27/09/2022 07:44

Electric ovens with clocks have built in timers. You set the temperature, end time and the length of cook.

The oven does the rest. Great for a roast dinner. Set it up in the morning, come back to a full roast.

You get good at guesstimating how to prepare food so it's ready at the same time. Cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes and chicken work well.
Roast pork and jacket potatoes.

Cheeseandcrackers86 · 27/09/2022 07:44

I wouldn't worry too much if you're ensuring it's cooked through but as per pp I'd get a slow cooker OP. We have a ninja and it's fantastic x

Tiredoftiers · 27/09/2022 07:45

@Canyousewcushions that’s my concern regarding slow cookers. The low temperature setting is around 88C so how long does it take for a something like a chicken thigh to get up to temperature? In my mind it will stay at bacteria multiplying temperature for much longer than you think.
Just now my house is around 16C during the day, I’m not sure that a long time at 16C is worse than a good few hours at temperatures above that but below bacteria killing temperature which I believe to be 74C.
It would be interesting to experiment with a meater temperature probe.

nannybeach · 27/09/2022 07:46

Assuming you wouldn't slo cook a tray bake. Love my slo cooker,last year I made a full blown traditional Christmas cake in mine have batched soup this year. In reply to question,no I wouldn't eat it after being at room temperature more than an hour

mountainsunsets · 27/09/2022 07:47

I would eat something left out if it was vegetarian or cured meat, but I definitely wouldn't touch a meal made with raw chicken that had been sat at room temperature for 10-12 hours 😬

strengthinnumber · 27/09/2022 07:48

Could you freeze the meat so it defrosts in the oven?

WandaWomblesaurus · 27/09/2022 07:48

Betahydroxybutyrate · 27/09/2022 07:00


The fact that it’s cooked after being out of the fridge will kill any potential nasties.

We leave cooked chicken in the microwave overnight and eat it the next day. We’ve never had any problems.

You do?!!!!

DogInATent · 27/09/2022 07:49

HolidayDjinn · 27/09/2022 07:02

Slow cooker food is so gross though. Bland and watery.

Learn to use it. You can be a good cook and still not be able to use a piece of equipment. Slowcookers needs a very different approach to either the hob or the oven. Fluid and seasonings need to be adjusted, they need very little liquid adding. If your results are bland and watery then it sounds like you're using your usual recipes and techniques, and they will not work with a slowcooker.

Leaving chicken and sausages out at room temperature all day is not good. Your DH is right on this one.


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AndTwoFilmsByFrancoisTruffaut · 27/09/2022 07:49

TurtleSpurtle · 27/09/2022 07:37

Tell your DH he's on dinner on those days from this point forwards.

Loads of countries where raw meat is out of the fridge for longer periods and in warmer temperatures. Never had an issue.

Have you not heard of the two hour rule? After this time, pathogenic bacterias can start to develop on raw meat left at room temp and this is where serious food poisoning starts to take shape. Really dangerous to eat raw meat that’s been left out after two hours. Just because it hasn’t happened to you yet, doesn’t meant it won’t 🤷🏻‍♀️

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 27/09/2022 07:50

If you work late on Tuesday then just cook two dinners at the same time on Monday and reheat in the microwave on Tuesday evening

Soproudoflionesses · 27/09/2022 07:50

I am an eat anything cast iron stomach type of a girl but even l would probably give this a miss

Not a fan of my slow cooker either

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