The Beauty of the Convection Oven

in Oven

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 one 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 cooking before moving on to the side dishes.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when using these fixtures:

  • When following a recipe designed for a conventional oven, reduce the heat to a temperature 25°F lower than the recipe suggests.
  • Expect food to be done in less time (as much as 25% 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.

Convection settings

There are three settings to use when cooking with convection:

  • 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 convection and microwave ovens to cook food. For example, a microwave convection oven can be preheated to bake cakes whereas it is not possible with standard microwave ovens.

What is a European convection oven?

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," they 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 so that it's ineffective. For that reason, European convection ovens have made a recent push in popularity.

With the possibilities of cooking food faster and combined with the browning capabilities and even cooking, it is hard to not see the benefits of convection ovens.

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

 

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Sean Murphy has 1 articles online

Sean Murphy is a copywriter at Build.com, one of the largest online home improvement companies. Build.com offers a huge range of home improvement products, such as plumbing, lighting, door hardware and ventilation, as well as home decor. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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The Beauty of the Convection Oven

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This article was published on 2010/12/18