Do your cookies take an eternity in the oven to get ready? We feel your pain!
Does your chicken roast come out overdone even after using the specified temperatures in your recipe book? It’s time for a change!
You probably need a new oven.
Still, you won’t solve all your baking problems with just any new oven!
Your kitchen deserves the best, which can be either convection or a regular oven depending on your cooking needs.
This guide will take you through all there is to know about a oven to help you know what’s best for your food.
Convectional Oven vs Regular Oven: Key Differences
Convection and conventional ovens are similar types of ovens that use a heating element for cooking. Still, primary differences exist to help you distinguish between the two and make the right decision based on your cooking needs.
Has a fixed heating source that lets you control the temperature and includes a fan to distribute heat.
Special convectional ovens come with an additional heating element for faster and more even cooking.
Has a fixed element usually located at the bottom of the oven, which makes heat distribution slow.
Hot air is constantly blown directly onto the food cooking it evenly and about 25% faster than the regular oven.
Most of the heat surrounds the dish making the process slower than in convection ovens.
It also takes longer to preheat regular ovens than conventional ones.
Supports multi-rack cooking without having to shuffle the oven racks because of sufficient air circulation.
You must switch racks regularly to ensure even cooking of each oven dish or sheet pan.
Includes a convection fan that circulates hot air evenly throughout the space to ensure every angle of the dish receives the same temperature.
Requires you to turn the sheet pan a few times during cooking for even heat distribution.
The moving hot air in a convection oven creates drier conditions that give a desired crispy or crunchy coating on foods like fries and roast chicken.
You must turn the sheet pan regularly to achieve a crispy coating or texture on all sides of the food.
Costs more because of the convection fan and exhaust system.
Costs less because it lacks a fan and exhaust system.
Are Convection Ovens Better Than Regular Ovens?
The answer depends on your cooking or baking needs that determine the type of oven best for your kitchen.
These two types of ovens are almost similar with an extra feature to distinguish them.
Manufacturers make convection ovens with a fan and exhaust system that evenly circulates hot air throughout the appliance as your food cooks.
On the other hand, a regular oven has one source of heat, usually at the bottom of the oven, which is used to heat food gradually.
The best part about having a convection oven is that you can cook your food just like a regular oven without turning on the convection settings. This makes the oven a more suitable alternative to the regular one but at a higher cost.
Is a convection oven beneficial for baking and cooking?
Yes, convection ovens have several benefits, especially with the fan creating sufficient heat distribution for faster cooking and baking.
Still, this fan can also become a liability around sensitive foods that require more time to cook, including
What Is Convection Cooking?
Convection cooking uses a fan in your convection oven to circulate hot hair and cook food faster than a thermal oven.
Regular ovens depend on a primary heating element located at the bottom of the oven cavity. There’s usually another heating element at the top that helps with broiling without a broiler.
On the other hand, convectional ovens rely on a fan to circulate the air throughout the oven cavity and help reduce hot or cold spots during convection baking. Unlike traditional ovens, convection cooking involves blowing hot air onto food to cook it faster.
Cooking is, therefore, more efficient than a regular oven because the food cooks up to 25% faster. Similarly, this cooking method reduces the need to rotate food items for even heating or rearrange oven racks after intervals.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Convection Oven?
1. They’re More Fragile Than Convectional Ovens
Convection ovens have more functioning parts than regular ovens, including an exhaust system, convection fan, and active heating elements.
These parts require occasional repairs after use for extended periods and have higher maintenance demands than a traditional oven.
2. Requires Recipe Adjustments
Many recipes are based on a traditional oven whose heat distribution differs from the modern convection method.
Thus, you must always assume that your intended recipe was composed using a conventional oven to get the best results under a convection setting unless stated otherwise.
Without the right adjustments to these traditional recipes, you risk overcooking your dishes using a convection oven set.
3. Requires Special Oven Dishes
The baking dishes in a convection oven sometimes differ from those used in a regular one.
Once you settle for a convection oven, you must review the manufacturer’s recommended baking utensils for the best cooking method available.
Most of these dishes include rimless baking sheets and low-sided pans that encourage the efficient distribution of hot air to your baked goods.
4. Multiple Dishes Is Sometimes Inefficient
Manufacturers design convection ovens with a large oven cavity that accommodates multiple dishes.
Yet, stacking multiple dishes inside your oven can sometimes be too much for your machine to handle.
Too many casserole dishes in your oven at the same time can overcrowd the fan forcing your food to cook slower than usual.
5. Cakes Just Aren’t the Same
There have been many complaints about the difficulty of convection baking cakes or bread.
The active heating element cooks food faster in a convection oven because the fan blows hot air throughout the oven cavity.
Nonetheless, bread and cakes need sufficient time for the rising agents to take effect and thus, tend to fail in convection ovens.
Still, if you’re considering baking using a convection oven, it’s best to look for an oven whose fan can be controlled or turned on and off.
Types Of Convection Ovens
Convection ovens can be gas ovens or electric ovens, while others can accommodate both energy sources.
All convection ovens have a similar concept of using a fan to circulate the heat inside the oven but are still manufactured differently.
Most typical convection ovens have a fan for efficient heat distribution. However, the more advanced versions or true convection, referred to as third element convection or European convection ovens, come with an additional heating element near the fan.
This extra heating element creates a more conducive baking environment than without it making these types of ovens more desirable and expensive.
Can You Use a Convection Oven Like a Regular Oven?
Yes, you can use a convection oven as a regular oven by just turning off the fan. However, there are convection ovens whose fans cannot be switched off when the oven is on, and thus, you can opt for a model with the feature included.
Both convection and convectional ovens use either gas or electricity to heat food. Still, a regular oven has a stationary heat source, while that of a convection oven is circulated all through the oven cavity using a fan.
Using Your Convection Oven Appropriately
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and a convection oven could be the best investment for your turkey.
Though, unlike your traditional oven, you can’t just pop your bird into the new oven and, using the same settings, switch on the convection roast setting to cut the cooking time by half.
You must make certain adjustments to the normal settings you’re used to because convection ovens cook faster and more consistently.
Here are a few cooking tips when working with a convection oven:
Lower the Temperature.
Say you’re baking cookies for the kids or easing your sweet tooth. The standard temperature that produces the best chocolate chip cookies is about 375F.
Yet, this recommended temperature is based on baking using a regular oven instead of a conventional one. It would, thus, be best to lower the temperature by about 25 degrees when using convectional settings.
These ovens cook more efficiently using consistent heat and thus, don’t need you to turn up the heat.
Frequently Check on Your Food
You must check on your food regularly, especially towards the end of the cooking time.
Unlike traditional ovens, conventional cooking doesn’t require you to leave your baked goods inside the oven for extended periods after the time has expired.
Always check on your food using the oven light to ensure it doesn’t burn. Opening the oven door disrupts the convection process because the oven relies on hot air circulation.
Avoid Overcrowding the Oven Cavity
Convection ovens are suitable for multi-rack cooking because they have large oven cavities. Still, you must avoid overloading the oven when cooking using convection settings because doing so might block the fan and prevent efficient air circulation within the space.
Your patience will be highly rewarded when making multiple dishes separately since cooking will be evenly done and the food uniformly prepared.
Use Manufacturer Recommended Utensils
While you can use old baking dishes from your regular oven in your new convection, they still won’t be as efficient during the convection process.
Convection oven manufacturers recommend using low-sided dishes and pans to help with air circulation and give your food more cooking space.
For instance, sheet pans are more suitable than casserole dishes as it allows more heat directly to the food instead of just around it.
Crisp, Fresh, Oven Baked
Searching for the next baking assistant for your kitchen? We hope this guide gives you a more detailed outlook on what type of oven to consider. If you’re ready to give your cookies that ooey-gooey perfection, visit our website at http://kitchengearoid.com/ for insight on some of the best convection oven options available.