A convection toaster oven is a type of toaster oven enhanced with built-in fan which promotes better cooking.
It is important to note that some regular toaster ovens also have convection properties that can be turned on with a button.
In this article we will look in depth in to what is a convection toaster oven. We will learn its definition, operating principle and its uses.
Also Read: Best Non Convection Toaster Ovens in 2020
So What is a Convection Toaster Oven?
Primarily, a convection toaster oven is a miniature oven that has a fan inside to circulate hot air inside the oven cavity.
The circulation of hot air not only speeds up the cooking air but also promotes even cooking. This is because the hot air penetrates through all sides of the food and not just through the side facing the element only.
The Main Difference in Operating Principle
Let us review what differentiates a regular toaster oven from a convection toaster oven scientifically speaking.
When using a regular toaster oven, there are three main sources of heat that contribute to cooking. They are:
1. Radiant Heat which emanates from the heating elements and oven walls of the appliance
2. Warm Air within the toaster oven envelops your food thereby heating it up
3. Conduction of heat from the baking pan to the food item placed inside the baking pan.
In a convection toaster oven, the fan circulates the air inside.
Although the convection oven makes use of all three heat sources, the unique thing about this oven is that it revs-up the warm air (source 2#) thereby increasing temperature to a stable and accurate level, encouraging browning and promoting evenly cooking.
Also Read: Toaster Ovens vs Convection Microwave
Difference Between Radiation, Conduction and Convection
If you ever paid attention in your physics class in high school, you have heard of these terms before.
These terms perfectly apply to an oven.
Radiation is a process by which heat is transmitted WITHOUT any physical contact. It is one of the fastest ways to transfer heat.
The heating element basically radiate heat thus cooking the food ‘remotely’ so to speak.
Conduction refers to the process where heat is transferred directly between objects. In the case of an oven, it alludes to the transfer of heat between the pan to the food inside the pan or from the grill to food placed on the grill.
Basically, as the pan or the grill heats up, it speeds up the cooking process by heating the food placed directly on top of it.
In this process, the hot air rises as it is heated. As the air rises, it loses some of its temperature and then falls only to be reheated again.
In a forced convection, such as in a convection oven with a fan, this process is sped up and the air is pumped to all surfaces of the food rather quickly.
Without a fan, the convection process in an oven is rather slow, albeit it not nonexistent.
Also Read: Best Small Convection Toaster Ovens
Differences Between a Normal and a Convection Toaster Oven
We talked about the operating principle earlier.
To properly understand the difference between these two gadgets, one has to consider some major factors such as:
1. Time Usage
A convection toaster oven is faster when cooking compared to regular toaster because of the increased temperature.
In so doing, it reduces the time spent when cooking.
2. Heat Distribution
Convection toaster engages in more heat distribution and circulation than a regular toaster oven.
This is because of the in-built mechanism which helps in heat circulation.
This promotes even cooking and texture on the food.
3. Raising the Dough
The regular toaster oven does a better job at raising of baked goods as opposed to a convection toaster oven.
The fan present in the convection toaster oven is responsible for the lack of dough rise.
To remedy this, all one has to do is switch off the fan where possible.
Also Read: Can Toaster Oven Replace Normal Oven?
To cut costs when purchasing a toaster oven, a regular toaster oven is more convenient.
Convection toaster ovens are more expensive than a regular toaster oven.
Advantages of a Convection Toaster Oven
To appreciate convection toaster ovens, we have to peruse through some of its important advantages.
Convection toaster oven cooks very fast because of the increase in temperature due to the extra heat caused by the built-in fan.
So if you are in haste to whip up some cookies, convection toasters should be your go-to choice.
2. Uniform Cooking
Since heat is circulated faster, thanks to the sped up convection process, the heat evenly affects all sides of the food.
As such, you would not have to worry about one side of the food getting overcooked while the other left almost raw.
3. Saves Cost and Time
The cost of purchasing a convection toaster oven and any other regular toaster oven might be the same but convection toasters save cost in the long run.
Convection toaster ovens run at a lower temperature which results in saving up on electricity bills. Since they also cook faster, you will have to keep them on for shorter amount of time, which too results in saving up on electricity bills.
In fact, convection ovens are a one of the recommended purchase by Federal Energy Management Program for improving efficiency.
Disadvantages of a Convection Toaster Oven
Some of the setbacks of owning a convection toaster are:
1. Modifying Recipes
To enjoy using a convection toaster, one has to take time to adjust recipe cook time and temperature seeing that it cooks faster than the average toaster oven.
2. NOT IDEAL FOR BAKING – Doesn’t Facilitate Raise in Baked Foods
Unlike the conventional oven, a convection oven does not raise baked foods. This is a letdown for users who love to bake.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t bake in a convection oven –but rather you need to be pretty experienced.
3. More Breakable Parts
The addition of a fan leaves a convection oven open to more damage because it does the most work.
The fan is a fragile item that could easily fail, especially, if it is of low quality.
How to Use a Convection Toaster Oven
A convection toaster oven is far easier than people give them credit for. What do we know about convection toaster oven? They are pretty hot.
They heat fast and they cook evenly. So how do we use a convection oven differently than a regular oven?
Adjust the Temperature – Converting Recipes
Because of the fan that blows hot air thereby circulating it around the toaster oven, it heats up way quicker than a regular oven.
Therefore, your recipe temperature won’t do. To cook a perfectly done meal in a convection toaster oven, baking recipes suggest lowering the temperature by 20-25 degrees. Some even suggest lowering up to 50 degrees lower (in Fahrenheit)
Albeit, most food items have recipes made specifically for convection ovens.
Adjust Cooking Time
When adjusting temperature, you also have to reduce the cooking time since convection ovens cook faster than your average toaster oven.
Also Read: Can Toaster Oven Replace Microwave?
Keep a Constant Watch
When using a toaster oven, be vigilant. Especially if you have not gotten the right adjustment for your temperature and time or if you are new to this cooking style.
Use the Right Pans
Since the advantage of using a convection oven is hot airflow. Maximize this advantage by cooking in bowls that have lower sides to increase airflow.
Also Read: Best Toaster Ovens for RV
What Food Can I Cook with a Convection Toaster Oven?
Numerous kinds of food can be cooked in a convection oven, but some work well than others.
A convection toaster oven cooks drier than a regular toaster oven so it’s better to cook food where you want the outside to be crispy or crunchy. Some foods more suited to convection toaster oven are:
Pies and Cookies
For a crisp and crunchy look, a convection toaster oven is your go-to.
In cooking meat, whether roasting or grilling, convection toaster oven helps to bring out the desired finish.
The basically work like a rotisserie mechanism by allowing the meat to be cooked from all corners.
Again, vegetable require to be cooked from every corner for them to be great tasting. A convection oven would promote a well cooked mix vegetable dish.
Here we covered most of the common questions asked in relation to what is a convection toaster oven.
Basically, it is a oven with a fan for circulating the air. However, you should note that while it is excellent for certain types of food, it is not ideal for baking cakes, bread etc
Most convection ovens have the option to turn off the fan which essentially makes it a regular oven. Therefore, you will need to become adept at when to and when not to use the convection feature of the oven.