We get questions all the time about what a convection oven does. People are confused and intimidated by it, so let us shed some light on how cooking with convection can make you a better cook!
Why use convection?
You may think you need special training to use it, but it’s actually really simple. Convection makes everything better because rather than cooking from the bottom up, it cooks food from the outside in. Convection ovens have fans that constantly circulate the air around your food so that the top, bottom and sides are all experiencing the same temperature. Also, because it constantly introduces fresh hot air, it is more efficient. This means you will not only be able to cook things quicker, but you’ll be able to cook things BETTER!
Myths about cooking with convection
- The first is the fear it that the fan will dry out your food. That would be true if we cooked with the door open, but we don’t. The moisture stays in the oven cavity and is constantly circulated back into your dish, so you will actually lose less moisture than in standard baking.
- The second concern is that you will have to adjust all your favorite recipes. Nearly all consumer ovens come with an automatic conversion feature. This will calculate the appropriate convection temperature for whatever you enter based on your old recipe. It will automatically drop the temperature by a certain percent based on how that oven has tested. (You can turn this feature off if you prefer manually setting the temperature). Even if you don’t have this feature, you can just drop your temperature by 30 degrees and you’ll be fine. If you want to be more precise, you can visit www.convection-calculator.com.
Types of Convection
- Standard convection means that the heat is coming from elements on the bottom, just like your classic oven, and that the fan is circulating the air. Some electric ovens use this method, as do all gas ovens. This will do a great job on roasts, casseroles, and single sheet baking. Where it will struggle is baking multiple racks at the same time. Because the heat is still coming from the bottom up, you will see different results for the top, middle, and bottom racks.
- The second type is true convection. If you hear the term European or True European, it is the same thing. The difference is that heating elements are added to the fans, so the heat is coming from the back rather than the bottom. Now you are able to bake on all of your racks and get the same result.
Tips on Cooking with Convection
Since we have 12 live ovens in the showroom, we are always experimenting with different recipes and cooking methods. This has really helped us learn and given us confidence in what we recommend to our customers. Here are some things our experience has taught us:
- We bake absolutely everything on convection and find that the results are always superior to standard thermal oven cooking.
- Baking enthusiasts should avoid gas ovens and get true convection electric ovens. If you prefer to cook with gas, we offer dual fuel ranges that offer gas cooking on top and electric baking in the oven.
- The size of the fan means nothing. Don’t assume that a model with a large fan will perform better than one with a smaller fan. The importance is how even the air flow is, not the speed of the air.
- Listen to our finicky bakers. When customers love to bake, we avoid trying to recommend a particular model. Instead, we invite them to bring in their favorite recipe and try it in as many of our ovens as they like. No matter how many bakers have taken us up on this challenge, the results are always the same. The top performer is always a Wolf wall oven. If this works with her budget, that is what she’ll select. If she doesn’t want to spend the money on the Wolf, she will select a GE Profile or GE Café convection oven. They are fantastic baking ovens at an affordable price.
- Give yourself some credit. If your current oven has a heating element you can see in the bottom (appliance people call these coat hangers) and if you don’t have convection, you have no idea if you are a good baker. Try using convection, and see how great you can be!