Learn More About Convection Ovens
|Inside a convection oven, air circulates around the|
food being cooked.
How do convection ovens work?
Instead of heating the food from the bottom (like a regular oven does), a convection oven uses a built-in fan to circulate the hot air through the cooking area. Food heats faster because the moving air strips away the thin layer of air which otherwise would surround and insulate the food. The heat is also distributed more evenly, without "hot spots". Food cooked in a convection oven rarely burns and comes out nice, crispy and evenly cooked.
Advantages of using a convection oven
Compared to regular ovens, convection ovens offer the following advantages:
- Faster Cooking: When hot air is blowing onto food, as opposed to merely surrounding it, the food tends to cook up to 20% more quickly.
- Lower Temperature: The food in a convection oven is cooked at a lower temperature than in a regular oven. This saves you both time and energy.
- No Burns: Because food is cooked more evenly in a convection oven, it burns less frequently.
- Less Food Shrinkage: With a convection oven, you can probably squeeze an extra serving out of whatever you're cooking.
- No Flavor Transfer Between Foods: You can cook an entire meal in a convection oven and not have to worry about your vegetables tasting like fish, or the other way around.
- More Efficient Cooking: A convection oven can be filled from top to bottom as long as an inch of space is left for the air to circulate between the food and the oven walls. Also, since the air circulation in a convention oven is the same throughout, food will cook at the same rate no matter where it is placed in the oven.
- Superior for Roasting: Because the evenly distributed heat of a convection oven is better for roasting meat, many convection ovens come with built-in rotisserie racks.
|The big fan in the back of the oven circulates the|
air for faster cooking.
Cooking in a convection oven
Anything you can cook in a regular oven - meat, pizza, poultry, breads, pies, even delicate pastry - can be cooked in a convection oven. Experiment with your favorite recipes by cooking them at a slightly lower temperature and for a slightly shorter time than you normally would.
- When following a recipe designed for a conventional oven, heat the convection oven to a temperature 25°F lower than the recipe suggests.
- Expect food to be done in less time (as much as 25% less) than it would be in a conventional oven, even with the 25°F reduction. The longer you're cooking something, the greater the time savings; for instance, a turkey may cook an hour faster in a convection oven than in a regular oven, but you may only shave off a minute or two when baking cookies.
- Use baking pans with low sides to get the full benefits of convection.
- Go ahead and fill every rack in the oven, but still keep an eye on browning. Depending on your oven, you may have to rotate pans for even cooking.
- Most ovens let you turn convection on and off. Play around with it. If you want a well-browned roast that's also slowly cooked, turn the convection on at the start or at the end, but off during the rest of cooking.
- The fan sometimes blows parchment or foil around. Use a metal spoon or fork to hold down the parchment.
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