Gone is the time when most home cooks were mystified by their neighbor’s new convection oven. Of course, only the people who were in the know could rattle off the virtues of convection cooking. But today, convection may just be a setting on your oven or your microwave and you don’t need to drop it into the conversation to impress anyone. Although convection cooking has gone mainstream, do you know what the difference is and which foods require which cooking methods?
Your conventional oven, also know as a thermal bake oven, is what you have used since you made cookies with grandma. It works with a heat source at the bottom of the oven and relies on heat rising. Unfortunately, that makes the conventional oven a little tricky when it comes to heat distribution. Everything on the top shelf tends to cook faster and the things on the bottom…well, they may take awhile unless they burn on the bottom first.
Enter the handy convection oven. The convection oven relies on a fan that circulates the hot air and provides a more consistent temperature throughout the oven cavity. This is good for the food on the top shelf as well as the food on the bottom shelf. What it is tricky for is the standard recipe. Recipes were developed with the conventional oven in mind so convection cooking can get done quicker and require less temperature to do so. Cooking with convection takes a bit of getting used to but is far superior when it comes to browning and roasting.
When it comes to baking, there can be a bigger difference between convection and conventional. Because of moving air inside the convection baking cycle, it is not recommended for things like soufflès, cakes, and custards. Convection baking requires air circulation so you want to make sure you are using low-sided cooking sheets and pans unless you aren’t concerned with browning. And make sure not to crowd items inside the oven to ensure that circulation. The good news is that you can make use of every single shelf in the oven.
Using Standard Recipes
Unless your recipe has a conversion for convection cooking, the rule of thumb is to reduce the temperature by 25°F and begin to check for doneness well before when the recipe calls for.
So there really is not much mystique when it comes to convection cooking. When you know the few simple tricks, you may find that you love your convection setting even more than grandma’s conventional oven. And when you need an oven repair, count on the Stoney Creek appliance repair professionals at AG Appliance Repair. We can get any oven up and running like new again.