Many home cooks and professional chefs prefer convection ovens due to their efficient way of cooking and consumers’ increasing demand for combo appliances that can serve multiple purposes, save home space, and cut home improvement costs.
Using a fan and exhaust system, these ovens circulate hot air evenly around the food, resulting in faster and more uniform cooking. Convection ovens can cook various dishes, from roasted meats and vegetables to baked goods like cakes and cookies.
What Is a Convection Oven?
A convection oven distributes heat throughout its cavity using a fan and exhaust system, resulting in faster and more even cooking than traditional ovens. Hot spots in a conventional oven can be frustrating as they make it difficult to cook your food evenly with just one heating element.
Whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, adding a convection oven to your kitchen can be a great choice. Convection ovens are available in gas and electric models, with various sizes to suit your needs.
The appropriate oven size to purchase will vary based on the amount of food you plan to cook. Compact options are available for personal use, while larger commercial-grade models are better suited for larger cooking projects. Also, utilizing convection technology can help produce high-quality meals.
Certain convection ovens have added functionalities, like a probe thermometer integrated into the oven, enabling the user to check the food’s internal temperature without opening the oven door. Some other variants feature a steam injection mechanism that helps add moisture to the oven, particularly for baking bread or pastries.
In 2022, the market demand for convection ovens grew to $3.6 billion, indicating an estimated annual growth of 5% between 2018 and 2022, according to Future Market Insights.
Convection Oven vs. Conventional Oven
When it comes to cooking, whether to use a convection or conventional oven is a crucial decision. While both can bake, roast and broil, important differences between these ovens could affect your food’s quality.
How They Work
Consider incorporating a convection oven into your cooking routine to achieve perfectly crispy and evenly cooked food. Its fan and exhaust system circulate hot air evenly, eliminating the risk of soggy and unevenly cooked meals.
Compared to traditional ovens with natural convection currents creating hot air rising and cool air sinking, resulting in inconsistent cooking where the top cooks faster than the bottom, convection ovens are the optimal choice for evenly cooked and quick results.
A convection oven can cook food faster and more evenly than a conventional oven, reducing cooking time by up to 25%. Remember that cooking time may depend on the recipe, food type, and oven size, so it’s best to experiment. Still, a convection oven can make cooking hassle-free, saving you time and producing tasty meals.
Cooking in a convection oven is like having your own personal sous chef! Convection ovens cook food more efficiently than their conventional counterparts by circulating hot air, meaning lower temperatures and shorter cook times.
Adjusting the temperature settings for the best results is important to utilize your convection oven fully. However, it’s not as simple as just setting it and forgetting it. Sometimes, you may need to decrease the temperature by as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the desired level of doneness.
Although convection ovens use more electricity due to their fan and exhaust system, they can cook food faster than traditional ovens. This faster cooking time can ultimately result in greater energy efficiency as it reduces the overall running time of the oven.
Convection ovens are generally more expensive than conventional ones, as they require additional fan and exhaust system parts. In addition, repairs for convection ovens can also be more costly, as the extra parts can be more expensive to replace.
Benefits of Using a Convection Oven
If you want to cook your food faster and more evenly, use a convection oven. It has a fan that circulates hot air, providing several advantages.
Faster Cooking Times
One of the main benefits of using a convection oven is that it cooks food faster than a conventional oven. In addition, the hot air circulating inside the oven reduces cooking time by up to 25%, which is particularly useful for busy households or when cooking large meals.
A convection oven ensures thorough and uniform cooking by distributing heat evenly. This is particularly useful when cooking multiple dishes as they will all receive the same amount of heat, resulting in even cooking.
Better Roasting and Baking
A convection oven is great for baking and roasting because it creates a dry environment that helps sugars caramelize faster, resulting in crispy, brown crusts. Additionally, the food inside stays moist, making it an excellent choice for roasting meats and vegetables.
Are you aware that a convection oven is more energy-efficient than a conventional oven?
This is because a convection oven cooks food faster and at lower temperatures, potentially saving your electricity bill over time.
Air Fry Capabilities
Some convection ovens also have air fry capabilities, allowing you to fry food with little to no oil. This healthier alternative to traditional frying produces crispy and delicious results.
Cooking With a Convection Oven
If you enjoy cooking, a convection oven can revolutionize your experience. It produces even cooking, which is particularly advantageous for baking and achieving perfectly browned and juicy meat and poultry.
Here are some tips and tricks for cooking with a convection oven.
Cooking Time and Temperature
As a general rule, when cooking with a convection oven, decrease the temperature by 25°F and the cooking time by about 25%. So, for example, if a recipe calls for baking in a traditional oven at 350°F for 30 minutes, bake it in a convection oven at 325°F for approximately 22-23 minutes.
However, it is important to remember that some recipes may require additional adjustments. For example, delicate baked goods like souffles and cheesecakes may need to be baked at an even lower temperature to prevent them from collapsing.
A convection oven is versatile and can be used to cook a wide variety of dishes, including meat, chicken, vegetables, cakes, pies, cookies, quick bread, roasts, air-fried food, casseroles, souffle, cheesecake, prime rib, and pork.
Use recipes meant for convection ovens or adjust the temperature and cooking time as necessary.
Cookware and Accessories
Selecting suitable cookware and accessories is crucial to cooking properly in a convection oven. For example, you can use a sheet pan with low sides to facilitate quicker hot air circulation around the food, leading to a more uniform cook.
A temperature probe can be beneficial in tracking the internal temperature of meat and poultry. Silicone baking mats, parchment paper, and oven-safe thermometers are some useful additional accessories.
Types of Convection Ovens
This section will review different types of convection ovens available in the market. Each has its own unique features and benefits.
Countertop Convection Ovens
Countertop convection ovens are small and compact and can fit on any kitchen countertop. They are mainly used for baking, roasting, and toasting, but some models can also air fry and broil.
They’re made by popular brands like KitchenAid, Hamilton Beach, and Frigidaire Gallery. As they’re space-saving and portable, they’re ideal for those with limited kitchen space.
Built-in Convection Ovens
If you have enough space in your kitchen and want a permanent fixture, a built-in convection oven is a great option. They’re larger than countertop ovens, come in stainless steel, and are available in different sizes. Plus, they are designed to be installed directly into your kitchen cabinetry.
Convection Microwave Ovens
Convection microwave ovens combine the features of a microwave and a convection oven. They are designed to cook food quickly and evenly, making them perfect for those short on time.
In addition, convection microwave ovens are the right pick for those who want a microwave’s convenience but also want a convection oven’s benefits.
Dual Convection Ovens
Dual convection ovens use two fans to evenly circulate hot air and provide uniform cooking throughout the oven. Some models may also include other features like a range or microwave.
For those seeking portability with the benefits of a dual convection oven, KitchenAid offers a suitable option in the form of a dual convection countertop oven.
Tips for Using a Convection Oven
To get the best results and use your convection oven safely, remember these important tips:
Preheating and Ventilation
A convection oven has the advantage of not needing preheating. However, certain recipes may still benefit from preheating for the best outcome. Follow the recipe’s instructions for preheating.
To ensure a crispy finish when using a convection oven, it’s important to consider ventilation. While circulating hot air can dry out your food, it can also cause hot spots and make your oven too hot.
To prevent this, simply open the oven door slightly while cooking to ensure proper ventilation.
Convection ovens are excellent for achieving browned and crisp food, making them an ideal choice for roasting and baking. Moreover, they can also be used for steaming and slow cooking. For slow cooking in a convection oven, using a lower temperature and covering the food is recommended to prevent it from drying out.
Using a baking sheet or roasting pan with low sides is ideal for a crispy finish. This allows hot air to circulate around the food and achieve a crispy texture. Additionally, it is recommended to use a light-colored pan to prevent over-browning.
For uniform baking and to avoid areas of high heat, it is suggested that you rotate the baking sheet or pan during cooking. This will guarantee that the food is evenly cooked and not burnt in some areas.
Safety and Maintenance
To operate a convection oven safely, it’s crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines. These guidelines may entail wearing oven mitts while handling hot cookware, refraining from placing objects on top of the oven, and maintaining cleanliness and debris-free condition of the oven.
Regular cleaning is also important for maintaining a convection oven. This may include wiping down the interior with a damp cloth, removing any debris from the vents, and following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the oven.
These tips will help you maximize the use of your convection oven and consistently achieve tasty results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Cook a Pizza in a Convection Oven?
Yes, you can cook a pizza in a convection oven. In fact, a convection oven is an excellent choice for cooking pizza because it cooks the pizza evenly and quickly. The hot air from the fan circulates the pizza, ensuring it is cooked evenly on all sides.
What Types of Food Are Best Cooked in a Convection Oven?
Convection ovens are great for cooking various foods, including roasted meats, poultry, vegetables, baked goods, and pizza. The hot air from the fan circulates around the food, ensuring that it is cooked evenly on all sides. This makes it an excellent choice for cooking foods that require even cooking, such as cakes and bread.
Do Convection Ovens Require Special Cookware?
Convection ovens do not require special cookware. However, it is recommended that you use low-sided pans and baking sheets to allow the hot air to circulate the food. High-sided pans can block the flow of hot air and prevent the food from cooking evenly.
Convection ovens are a great addition to any kitchen, providing faster and more even cooking results for a variety of dishes. They are especially useful for baking, roasting, and broiling. Still, they can also be used for other cooking methods, such as dehydrating and air frying.
However, it is important to note that not all dishes are suitable for cooking in a convection oven. For example, some delicate items such as soufflés, custards, and flaky pastries may not fare well in a convection oven due to the high velocity of the hot air.
When considering purchasing a convection oven, evaluate your cooking needs and preferences. Some models offer additional features such as steam cooking, self-cleaning functions, and multiple cooking modes.
You must also consider the oven size, as larger models may be more suitable for families or frequently entertaining guests. Overall, a convection oven is a great investment for any home cook or chef.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Author: Olu Ojo (Frenz Hub) Olu is a passionate entrepreneur who loves to blog on his site- frenzhub about life-saving lifestyle habits, hacks, and travel. He lives in the Western part of Canada. Olu has two bachelor’s degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. He currently shuffles time between completing a Master of Business Administration degree education, Accounting professional practice, and Blogging. He has freelanced lifestyle write-ups and articles for many websites since 2010.