What Is A Convection Oven?

Convection ovens get a lot of praise among chefs and home cooks alike for their ability to cook food fast and evenly, but the way they do so is completely different than a traditional oven.

While convection ovens have a heating element like traditional ovens, they also use a fan to circulate the air throughout the interior.

Because of this difference, you can’t simply follow your regular recipes. Since they heat food more quickly, you’ll need to change the time and temperature to keep from burning your dishes.

Another benefit that convection ovens have is that they can help save on energy, since you don’t have to run them as hot or for as long as traditional ovens.

How Do Convection Ovens Work?

Convection Oven

Convection ovens and conventional ovens both have heating elements, but only convection ovens use a fan to circulate the heat. Basically, convection ovens use both radiant heat and hot air transfer to cook food.

This combination is what speeds up the cooking process, provides even heating, and aids in the browning process with fewer hot spots than traditional ovens.

With that in mind, you’ll have to make some adjustments when cooking in a convection oven compared to a traditional oven. Here’s some tips so you don’t end up with burned or overcooked food.

  • Lower the temperature. Convection ovens tend to run hotter than conventional ovens, so if you’re following a recipe intended for a conventional oven, decrease the temperature by about 25 degrees F to prevent overheating.
  • Reduce cooking time. Check on your food five to ten minutes earlier than you normally would, since convection ovens usually cook foods quicker than traditional ovens.
  • Leave enough space for air flow. Don’t pack the oven full, since proper air flow is key to good results. Low-sided pans work best in convection ovens, too.

Different Types of Convection Ovens

What Is A Convection Oven

There’s more than one type of convection oven available – convective and true convective.

Both of these use fans to circulate the heat, but true convective ovens have additional heating elements behind the fan, too. This allows the most optimal heat levels throughout the oven so there’s no cold spots.

A convection oven has the same heating elements as a regular oven, but with an added fan. Some models allow you to turn the fan on and off, so you can use the convection feature when you want it.

While convection ovens provide more even results than a traditional oven, they’re not as ideal as true convection ovens since they can still leave some spots colder than others.

Some convection ovens even offer a setting called automatic conversion, which allows you to follow recipes that you would use in a traditional oven without changing the time or temperature.

You just enter the time and temperature settings, and the oven automatically adjusts itself to produce the desired results.

Using a convection oven can produce fantastic pastries, roasts, pies, and vegetables. While it might take some practice and experimentation, a convection oven can help you prepare your meals faster and with better results than a traditional oven.

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