Why You Need a Convection Oven

Appliances Connection answers the question on Convection Ovens

What is Convection cooking?

Convection ovens use a fan and exhaust system to circulate the air providing a more effective way to cook with the oven. The circulation of air promotes a more even distribution of heat and, in effect, requires a lower temperature overall compared to conventional ovens. They are more effective at keeping a consistent temperature inside the oven interior. This process is faster when compared to conventional oven cooking. When using a convection oven, the atmosphere is intended to be dry and hot. Now usually, convection ovens come with the option to use or not use the feature. Certain foods benefit greatly with convection cooking whereas some foods dont fare so well and dont benefit from a convection cooking feature. What is True or European Convection? Ovens traditionally use two heating elements, a true or European convection incorporates a third heating element, usually, in the back of the oven with fan assistance.

Conventional Ovens

Conventional ovens utilize radiant heat from heating elements. Traditionally, conventional ovens rely on a heating element placed below the oven cavity as heat is predisposed to rise. In addition, conventional heating relies on the containment of heat reflected off the oven walls. Generally, conventional heating requires food to be rotated while cooking in the oven because certain areas of the oven become hotter overall. If you have ever used an oven to prepare a meal, you may have realized the back of the oven is typically much hotter than the front.

Why Convection Ovens?

The best thing about using convection oven cooking is that it eliminates cold spots inside the oven. Convection oven cooking do not require rotating food at all. Some of us may never have had the privilege in using a convection oven as conventional ovens are still quite common because of its price. Or perhaps, some never feel the need to use the feature overall. Nowadays, new cooking ranges and wall ovens come with a convection setting as, generally, it is regarded as a better way to oven cook. There are a lot of advantages to using a convection oven. The following food and techniques benefit the most.

Using Your Convection Oven

Convection ovens are great for roasting food. The circulation of hot air really elevates the crispy texture of meats and veggies by way of roasting.

Cookies are one of the best examples why convection ovens are better. They benefit from the even heat distribution and bake faster without any fiddling or rotation at all.

Braises are also great for convection ovens because they wont dry out because they are submerged in liquid.

On the contrary, some foods dont benefit from convection cooking and may even prove detrimental.

Cakes dont require convection cooking because it would cause the outside to cook much faster than the middle and the end result would be a crusty cake with a wet center. The air circulation from convection setting can also cause a lopsided cake.

Desserts like custards or cheesecakes dont benefit from the circulating dry heat from convection cooking as well. These desserts require a low and slow approach and using a convection setting may render them unappetizing.

Now overall, convection ovens are regarded as a better way to oven cook and experienced cooks are able to use it regardless the recipe or application. For those in consideration of upgrading to a new convection oven or have decided to use the convection feature, some general rules of thumb apply.

Tips for Convection Cooking

  • Allow your convection oven time to preheat, it gives a precise control of temperature and an optimal cooking environment overall.
  • Generally, a traditional recipe will require about 25 F to 30 F lower than what is required on a convection oven.
  • Additionally, because convection is more effective at cooking food faster, expect food to be done 25% faster.
  • Use pans with lower walls or baking sheets and racks to allow for a better air circulation around your food.
  • Since convection is great at crisping and browning the exterior of roasts, try using it at the beginning and turning it off towards the end to allow for the center of your roasts to cook thoroughly.

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