What is a convection oven? A convection oven is an oven that uses a fan to evenly distribute the heat throughout the interior of the oven. Convection ovens can make cooking fasting and easier, which is especially helpful when you are preparing food for large parties or holiday meals. Anytime that multiple dishes need to be made at once, you know that it's a hectic and complicated process of monitoring the foods and waiting for one or the other dish to be done. Thankfully, many wall ovens and ranges now come with convection cooking capabilities, which accelerates the cooking process while providing superior results to traditional cooking.
What is Convection Cooking?
Ovens with convection cooking capabilities have a fan that distributes the hot air around the inside of the oven cavity. Without a fan, the heat simply rises from the heating element at the bottom of the oven. If you have two casserole dishes, one on each oven rack, the one at the bottom will get more direct heat than the one at the top.
With convection cooking, the air circulates, evenly distributing heat to all parts of the oven. Baking cookies in a convection oven goes faster because you can place two sheets of cookies on two different racks and they will both bake at the same rate. Cooking meat in a convection oven is less time-consuming because the heat moves all around the meat, speeding up the cooking process. You can also enjoy convection oven roasted vegetables as a side dish, cooking them at the same time as your meat. Because the air is constantly moving around, odors don't settle. You can cook a garlic-based casserole and a pumpkin pie at the same time without cross-contaminating the smells.
Upgrade to True European Convection
There is a difference between normal convection ovens and true European convection ovens. True European convection ovens have three heating elements: one at the bottom, one at the top, and one located behind the fan. With the heat source coming from three different directions, plus a fan circulating the air inside the oven, food is cooked even more uniformly than with a normal convection oven. If you are debating between convection vs. true convection, you should decide whether you want to pay more for the true convection oven's higher quality design.
This 30-in. slide-in electric range from Bosch is an excellent example of a true European convection oven. It has a fan located at the back of the oven, which continuously circulates the air while you are cooking or baking your food. There are three cooking racks inside the oven, so you can place multiple dishes or pans of baked goods on all three racks and expect them all to be heated consistently. This oven also automatically converts temperatures from the temperature you would normally use on a traditional oven to the temperature a convection oven should be set at, which means you don't have to guess while you're cooking.
Get an Oven that Can Do Both
If you have never tried convection cooking, and you don't know if you will like it, consider getting an oven that does both convection and static (or traditional) cooking. This allows you to use the method you are most comfortable with and experiment with recipes using the other method. An oven with both convection cooking capabilities and traditional cooking capabilities also accommodates a wider variety of cooking requirements. You won't have to throw away any of your old favorite recipe books!
This 36-in. freestanding gas range from ILVE's Majestic II Series can be used as a convection oven or a normal static oven. There's a way to cook whatever food you want to make as efficiently and effectively as possible! From roasted potatoes to juicy pork chops to golden biscuits, this Italian-crafted oven can do it all. Plus, if you are cooking multiple dishes at once, the convection oven capabilities get everything evenly cooked without contaminating one dish with the odor coming from another dish.
Cooking Meat with Convection
A convection oven is ideal for cooking meat. If you are cooking foods that you want to get brown and crispy on the outside while cooking evenly on the inside, you really can't go wrong with a convection oven! The hot air blowing forcefully around your meat will heat the outside of it more quickly and at a hotter temperature. The inside of the meat is not affected by the fan, but it still cooks consistently. You should usually reduce the temperature to adjust for convection cooking. For example, if you normally cook a roast at 350° F, you can change it to 325° F when cooking meat in a convection oven.
Cooking Vegetables with Convection
Using a convection oven for cooking roasted vegetables is a great idea because the vegetables will brown nicely on the exterior and be tenderly cooked on the interior. Roasted potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, and other vegetables all cook nicely when cut up, spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and whatever other spices you prefer.
Cooking Fish with Convection
Convection ovens also work well for cooking fish. If you have thicker cuts of fish, try using a Convection Roast or Convection Bake mode (if those are features on your oven). For thinner cuts of fish, use the Convection Broil mode to avoid drying out the fish. Cook a side dish right along with your fish without worrying about the side dish tasting "fishy." Just remember that convection cooking takes less time, so your fish will be cooked faster than usual.
Baking Cakes with Convection
Using a convection oven for baking cakes is not ideal. If you have the option to use a traditional baking method, then you should use that for your cake. Cakes and other baked goods that have dense batters and are supposed to rise and become soft and fluffy fare better with traditional static baking.
Baking Cookies with Convection
Many people want to know how to bake cookies in a convection oven. Baking cookies in a convection oven allows you to bake several sheets of cookies at once, cutting off a lot of baking time overall. The end result of your cookies is a bit different than in a traditional oven. Convection ovens cause the cookies to rise up higher and have a browner, crispier exterior. If you like your cookies crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, then convection baking is a must-try!
Is convection oven the same as an air fryer?
Convection ovens and air fryers function similarly, but air fryers are usually smaller appliances that provide a more intense heat. Convection ovens are the size of a normal oven and can fit more food inside.
Do convection ovens cook faster?
Yes, convection ovens cook faster than traditional ovens. A good rule of thumb is to reduce your cooking time by 25 percent.
What is the difference between conventional and convection oven?
A convection oven includes a fan to distribute heat evenly throughout the interior of the oven. A conventional oven uses radiant heat, which means it rises from the bottom element or goes down from the top element. It does not blow around. The fan in a convection oven swirls the heat around the food, hitting the outside of the food more forcefully and causing it to cook faster and get hotter. The circulating air also prevents odors and flavors from transferring from one dish to another, making it a useful way to get multiple dishes cooked at the same time.