There is a subtle difference between a conventional oven and a convection oven. A convection oven has a fan that continuously circulates air through the oven cavity. When the hot air is blowing onto food, as opposed to merely surrounding it as with a conventional oven, the food tends to cook more evenly.
You can cook just about anything in a convection oven, and the results are something we all strive for—evenly cooked cookies, crisp pastries, and juicy, well-browned meats. Becoming acquainted with a convection oven is simple. Nearly every convection oven includes some kind of a conversion table. It takes the standard cook time and temperature for a conventional oven and converts it to the proper convection oven cook time and temperature.
Because the heat from a convection oven comes from the top, bottom, and sides, and is circulated by a fan, you can place your favorite baked dish on any rack position without fear of cooking inconsistencies. Another benefit to cooking with convection is that flavors don’t transfer between different dishes being baked at the same time. This saves time in the kitchen by cooking your entire meal at once instead of waiting for your main dish to finish before moving on to side dishes.Back to top.
- When following a recipe designed for a conventional oven, reduce the heat of the convection oven to a temperature 25°F lower than the recipe suggests.
- Expect food to be done in less time (as much as 25 percent less) than it would be in a conventional oven, even with the 25°F reduction. The longer you're cooking something, the greater the time savings. For instance, a turkey may cook an hour faster in a convection oven than in a regular oven, but you may only shave off a minute or two when baking cookies.
- Use baking pans with low sides to enjoy the full benefits.
- Go ahead and fill every rack in the oven, but still keep an eye on browning. Depending on your oven, you may have to rotate pans for even cooking. Look for a true convection oven to avoid this problem.
- Most ovens let you turn convection on and off. Play around with it. If you want a well-browned roast that's also slowly cooked, turn the convection on at the start or at the end, but off during the rest of cooking.
- For ideal results, it is important that you leave the items you are cooking uncovered.
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There are three settings to use when cooking with convection: convection bake, convection broil, and convection roast.
- Convection bake
uses only the third element hidden behind the convection fan located in the rear of the oven to deliver consistent temperatures throughout the oven. This setting is best for multi-rack cooking.
- Convection broil
combines fan-circulated hot air with the direct heat of the broil element. The circulating air creates a seal on all sides of the food so that turning the food is oftentimes not necessary.
- Convection roast
is perfect when roasting whole poultry or large cuts of meat. This setting uses the hidden element, as well as the upper and lower oven elements. This allows you to effectively lower oven temperature settings, and substantially reduce cooking times.
Convection microwave ovens can help to cook your food even quicker. They combine a convection oven with a microwave to cook food with the speed of a microwave and the browning ability of a convection oven. For example, a microwave convection oven can be preheated to bake cakes whereas it is not possible with standard microwave ovens.Back to top
If you’re considering a convection oven purchase, this is the kind you’re going to want. Also called “true convection” and “third-element convection,” European convection ovens use all three elements: heat from the top, heat from the bottom, and heat from a source located near or around the fan at the back of the oven (conventional ovens, or radiant ovens, use just the first two heating elements).
While convection ovens generally cook more evenly, units which lack the third heating element typically cook less evenly than their third-element counterparts. In these ovens, a panel covers the third heating element. For this reason, European convection ovens have made a recent push in popularity. So, if you want to enjoy all of the benefits that convection ovens are designed to provide, we recommend that you look for a European convection oven.
With the possibilities of cooking food faster combined with the browning capabilities and even cooking, it’s easy to see the benefits of convection ovens and microwave convection ovens.
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Until next time, Happy Home Improving From Build.com, Inc!
by Sean Murphy