A lot of people buy kitchen appliances only to find out that they don’t know how to make it use of them. Well, in the case of a convection toaster oven, you have to understand how it works first before answering the question how to use a convection toaster oven?
When cooking with a convection toaster oven, the trick is to bear in mind that it is hotter and faster than the regular toaster oven. And by this- always supervise.
A convection oven simply put, is a kind of toaster oven that differs only in the mode of heat distribution. This is as a result of the provision of in-built fans which helps to blow hot air around the interior of the appliance.
This hot hair enhances cooking time as well as uniformity in the level of cooking; due to this difference in the mechanism when compared to a conventional toaster oven.
Also Read: Best Convection Ovens for Baking
What is a Convection Oven?
If you are unfamiliar with the term, basically convection ovens are ovens that feature a built-in fan that circulates the hot air inside.
While regular ovens simply radian heat from the heating elements in a single direction, convection ovens, with the help of the fan, circulate heat to all corners of the oven chamber.
Whereas in regular ovens the heat affects the side of the food facing the heating element the most, in a convection oven, all sides get affected to about an equal degree.
Also Read: Best Small Convection Toaster Ovens
Why Convection Oven
Convection ovens are preferred for a few reasons
- They are faster
- They promote even cooking for all sides
- They are more efficient (use less energy)
To make more sense of the last point, convection ovens are more energy efficient because first they operate at a lower temperature for the same standard recipe (i.e regular recipes have to be adjusted to about 25 degree Fahrenheit lower), and second, they take less time which in turn saves energy.
How it Heats
The heat from a convection toaster oven emanates through three sources:
- Source 1 (Heat from the heating elements that also radiates through the toaster oven walls)
- Source 2 (Very hot air blown through the aid of in-built fan located inside the walls of the toaster oven)
- Source 3 (Conduction of heat from baking pan to food item placed on it)
All this source of heat helps to cook food faster, improve browning, and promote evenly cooked food.
So when cooking in a convection toaster oven, be sure to minus 25 degrees from the temperature stated in the recipe. This is to prevent burnt food or overcooking.
How to Use a Convection Toaster Oven?
Now that you know what they are, let us review how to use a convection toaster oven properly.
Settings of a Convection Toaster Oven
Convection toaster ovens and regular toaster ovens are similar when it comes to removable parts, general description, size, color, and such. What separates these two kinds of toaster oven is the settings.
Convection function in most toaster oven can be switched on or off depending on the user’s preference. You can control this function by pushing the convection button on or off.
If you cannot find the convection button on your convection toaster oven, consult its instructional manual.
Some of the convection toaster oven settings include;
- Start/Cancel button
- Function Dial
- Temperature Dial/Browning control
- Time Dial
- Convection button
- Temperature conversion button
- Frozen food button
- Other functions might include “preheating”
Also Read: Can Toaster Oven Replace Normal Oven?
When Using the Convection Feature
- Modify recipe by reducing the given temperature to 25 degrees lesser and also the time.
- Ensure that the racks are placed in the right position for cooking. (Check the manual for rack positioning) – general in the center most position.
- Check-in on the food 10 minutes before the suggested cooking time to prevent burning your meal – note that there are more chances of overcooking in a convection oven as compared to a normal oven.
- Sometimes the heating element might not glow but they are still heating up – so be patient. The air circulating insides will still be hot even if the heating elements are not glowing.
- To get an evenly cooked food with a nice brown surface, it is advisable to not cover the food while cooking as convection toasters work by heat circulation.
- Space your food properly and avoid cooking too much at a time.
- Position your food at the center of the rack, baking tray for maximum airflow.
- For optimum results, use low side dishes and pans.
- Be familiar with the beeps and alerts that your toaster oven makes. Consult the instructional manual.
Also Read: Toaster Ovens vs Convection Microwave
Cooking in a Convection Toaster Oven
Making toast in a convection toaster oven is extremely convenient. Using the middle rack position, turn the function dial to indicate “Toast,” set the number of slices to be toasted, and control your browning preference.
Press the start button, after toasting cycle the toaster oven will alert you.
Baking, especially quick baking, is highly advisable in convection toaster ovens. While not everyone prefers to bake with the convection feature on, some recipes actually call for it.
When baking chicken or large potatoes, due to the average small size of toaster ovens, it is advisable to avoid cooking whole chickens that are too big – even if it fits. Also, keep in mind before baking to preheat the convection toaster oven.
If you want to bring the outside texture of your food to a crisp, then broiling with convection feature can work wonders.
While convection can slow cook your chicken from the inside, broiling can help you give a nice brown finishing on the top.
Convection Toaster Oven Do’s and Benefits
- Always unplug a convection toaster oven before and after use.
- Always lower the cooking time and temperature. Don’t be afraid to modify your recipe.
- Preheat your convection toaster ovens before cooking.
- Use convection appropriate pans and trays while cooking.
- Expose your food more for optimum heat circulation and uniformity.
- Always check on your food when using a convection toaster oven.
- Read the instruction manual before use and know which kind of food cooks best in a convection toaster oven.
- You can use glass bakeware or cookware in a convection toaster oven.
- Let your food- especially meat dish- rest for about 10 minutes before eating or serving
- Clean your convection toaster ovens regularly.
- They are easy to clean
- They cook food evenly
- They are space savers.
- Saves time and reduces cooking stress.
- Saves spending because they are affordable and require no installations.
- They are environmentally friendly.
- They lock-in flavor and nutrients. They are a better alternative to frying.
Convection toaster ovens are a very reliable kitchen appliance. All its benefits and advantages attest to this. When you bring home a new convection toaster oven, We hope that this article will help you answer all your questions on how to use a convection toaster oven.
After a little practice with the tips above and a study of the instruction manual. You are well on your way to getting a handle on how to use your new convection toaster ovens.
Also, try converting most of the recipes you have to suit your new convection toaster oven.