So you’ve heard about it, but you’re not really sure exactly what a convection oven is. The convection oven adds a very effective feature to the traditional oven, circulation of heated air just like we see in the best smokers for salmon etc. Convection ovens have a switch that activates a simple fan inside the oven that moves air inside the oven cavity. The movement of heated air does two things. First, it “smoothes out” the heat within the oven so you don’t have to worry about the food you are roasting or baking drying out where it is closer to the heating element. Second, it speeds up the cooking time dramatically.
Why Do Convection Ovens Cook More Evenly?
A traditional oven can have hot and cold spots within the oven cavity. Most simply, the closer the food is to the heating element, the hotter it is. If you are using two racks at the same time you will create additional inconsistencies as the food on the higher rack blocks the heat of the upper heating element and the food on the lower rack blocks the heat from the lower element. The circulation of air from the convection fan helps to distribute the heat to create a more even temperature to improve the cooking process. It ensures that a uniform heat reaches the top and bottom of foods in and around multiple racks. For this reason, convection ovens are especially favored by bakers who need even browning and often use multiple racks at the same time for baking pies or cookies.
Is a Convection Oven Really Faster?
Yes it is, as much as 25% faster on some recipes saving time and energy costs. Circulating air transfers heat more quickly than still air. To transfer the same amount of heat with a convection oven you have to actually reduce the cooking temperature. This means you will need to adjust your cooking times and temperatures, but with a little experimentation you will no doubt be rewarded for the effort.
Tips to Get You Started
So you asked what a convection oven is and now you know. What’s next? Buy an oven and start experimenting! A good place to start is by reducing your recipe temperature by 25 degrees and the cooking time by 25%. Check for doneness and adjust based on your results. Convection experts also recommend using baking pans with low sides and roasting racks to improve air flow. Use cookie sheets without sides. Never cover racks with aluminum foil. And if you need help choosing the right countertop convection oven just click the link below to learn more about the various types available in the market today.