A convection oven is a more or less a traditional oven with a fan at the back. This fan is what brings all the difference between these 2 types of ovens as I have explained in another article on the best countertop convection oven to buy.
Although these ovens are just beginning to attract some serious attention from homeowners, you’ll be surprised that they have existed since 1914.
Now, it’s very easy to feel confused as to what you can do with a convection oven especially considering that they are portrayed as being complex machines compared to conventional ovens.
This could be partly true. In any case, these ovens run much hotter than the traditional alternative and they also cook much faster. While these 2 aspects suggest that you get your food on the table fast, they also mean that the risk of burning it is quite high if you are not experienced on the oven’s functionality.
But I don’t mean that they have a steep learning curve to them as most people put it. For those lost in thoughts as to how they can use their convection ovens, this article will give you deeper insights into the different types of meals that you could make from your convection oven.
When Can I Use My Convection Oven?
Provided your convection oven is functional, you can use it to cook pretty much anything that can be cooked in a conventional oven. Here are a few options:
1. Use it when roasting meat and vegetables
A convection oven is the best bet for roasting foods like vegetables and meats . Meat and vegetables roasted by use of a convection oven cook evenly and faster. Convection ovens provide a drier roasting environment, which helps caramelize and harden the meat exterior. See here how to make beef jerky in the oven.
2. When you are baking cookies
Baking cookies with a convection oven is fun and enjoyable. The mere fact that you can bake several cookie trays at once without needing to rotate them regularly makes the experience smoother and fun.
3. Baking pastries and pies
The heated air generated by convection ovens helps to melt fats quickly and develop steam faster. This lets your dough and pastries to be loftier, flakier, and lighter.
4. Use it to dehydrate and toast foods
Toasting and dehydrating require removing the moisture inside the foods faster and efficiently. Convection ovens are super-efficient and reliable when it comes to extracting moisture from foods.
5. Use it for covered foods
If the food you are cooking requires to be covered with a lid, a convection oven will be the most suitable source of heat for your cooking.
If you’ve done some research regarding baking cakes in a convection oven, you might have been discouraged by people who say that these ovens aren’t meant for cakes. I am of a different opinion, though.
As I have explained on another article on the type of cakes to bake in a convection oven, there are a lot of great cakes that you can make using these ovens provided you know how convection ovens work. I’d advise you to peruse that article too for some great tips on this area.
What You Should Never Cook With Convection Oven
The fan on convection ovens does a great job of ensuring steady and even food cooking. However, it proves a liability when preparing delicate foods that start cooking as batter and attains normal state while cooking.
Trying to blow the heated air on such foods will usually give skewed results. It would be better not to cook these foods rather than cooking them with a convection oven.
- Custards and plans
- Quick bread
- Preparing bread with a convection oven may deliver amazing browning and crusting results. However, some people say that it tends to dry the bread interior.
Convection Oven Tips
- When preparing recipes intended for conventional ovens, you must always set the temperature lower by 25°F.
- To reap real benefits of cooking your food with a convection oven, you should make use of baking pans that have lower sides.
- Always expect the food to cook faster than it would have done in conventional ovens. The 25°F temperature reduction won’t make your food cook a whole day. Instead, it will make it cook evenly and faster.
- Once in a while, the fan will blow the foil or parchment around it. Once that happens, a fork or metal spoon will do a great job in pressing the parchment down.
- The majority of modern ovens will allow you to easily turn off and on the convection settings. You can comfortably play with the settings to your satisfaction. You can always adjust the settings to your preferences.
Safety Precautions When Using A Convection Oven
When you decide to use the settings in your convection, you have to know certain important pointers. This will let you to comfortably play around with the settings.
- Always set the temperatures accordingly to avoid uneven cooking. Setting the temperatures higher or lower could slow and impact the cooking time and efficiency.
- Allow enough air for efficient air circulation. Convection works best when the air can efficiently circulate around and over the food. It will be best you use baking pans, trays, and roasting pans that have lower sides. Always make sure that the oven shelves aren’t covered with foil as this can affect the circulation.
- Stay alert. Food in convection ovens cook faster so staying watchful will avoid it from overcooking. Always make the necessary temperature and cooking time adjustments.
- Don’t be afraid to use the convection. The convection oven is a simple yet efficient cooking machine. It isn’t risky if used according to the set cooking standards. You can always play around with it and you will be astonished to discover how powerful and amazing it is.
Common FAQs On The Use Of Convection Ovens
1. Can I Use a Pizza Stone in a Convection Oven?
As a pizza lover, I am sure you have always wondered if you can use the pizza stones in a convection oven. The process of preparing pizza stones in a convection oven is easy and fun. You can successfully use your baking or pizza stone on a convection oven.
Convection ovens generate and distribute heat evenly to allow for even browning while the pizza stone allows for even browning of the bottom pizza crust.
2. Can High Altitude Affect Your Convection Cooking Temperature?
There is a big difference as to how you should use convection ovens in regions based in higher altitudes and those in sea leveled altitudes. Obviously, convection ovens should be adjusted by lowering the cooking temperatures by 25°F for smooth and efficient cooking regardless of the food being cooked.
If you live in a region that’s above sea level by more than 3000 feet, your traditional oven will need to be adjusted to about 25°F higher. That simply means that in the case of a convection oven, you shouldn’t make any adjustment.
3. Can I Use Glass Bakeware In A Convection Oven?
When using glass bakeware, it’s required you lower the oven temperature by 25°F. This applies to all ovens regardless of size and advancement. However, it doesn’t usually apply to convection ovens.
Be keen with convection ovens that come with this temperature adjustment already made as it means that you won’t need to lower the degrees further.
4. Can I Baste My Food With A Convection Oven?
When you are roasting or cooking meat or vegetables in a convection oven, you don’t need to baste it. Convection cooking allows the meat or vegetables to dry evenly while the even heat distribution lets your food brown smoothly and even, which eliminates the need to baste.
5. Should You Use Special Pans When Convection Cooking?
Convection cooking works well with almost all kinds of pans. However, professional cooks have already made it vividly clear that some pans work best compared to others. That’s usually true in the case of lower-sided baking pans that are known to perform better than the higher-sided baking pans.
6. How Much Time Can I Save When Convection Cooking?
Convection ovens are the fastest and most efficient cooking appliances found in modern kitchens. They are known to outperform their microwave oven counterparts when it comes to cooking speed. It’s roughly estimated that convection cooking saves you up to 10 minutes in most food recipes.
6. Can I Use My Convection Oven as a Dehydrator?
Because dehydrating requires removing the moisture from inside the foods, convection ovens are super-efficient and reliable when it comes to extracting moisture from foods, so yes, you can use the convection oven as a dehydrator!
Roasting, baking, and cooking with a convection oven is fun, fast, and easy. Convection cooking will always save you up to 15 minutes in every recipe you prepare. The appliance is simple and user-friendly so you can comfortably operate it without needing any professional guidance.
Fitted with a powerful fan and efficient exhaust system, the oven operates smoothly to distribute heat over and around the food being cooked, which allows for even cooking. The unit settings are easy and fun to adjust which makes convection cooking more enjoyable.
If you are contemplating getting one of these advanced cookers, our reviews of the best countertop convection ovens might be the best place to start your search.
Eric MitchellEric is the owner, author, content director and founder of dehydratorlab.com. He is the lead architect and the main man in matters concerning dehydrators, their accessories, guides, reviews and all the accompaniments.Whenever he is not figuring out simple solutions (hacks) involving cookery and their eventual storage, you will find him testing out the different types of dehydrators, to bring us the juicy details regarding these devices.He is a foodie enthusiast, pasionate about making jerky has a knack for healthy and tasty food and won't hesitate to share out any ideas that might be of value around this subject.
Convection Oven Conversion Chart – Temperature & Cooking Time Chart
Read here a convection oven conversion chart to help do your calculations right regarding the temperature & cooking time settings
Conventional vs Convection Oven vs Microwave Oven. Which Is Better For Your Kitchen?
In this article, we will touch on the differences and similarities of a convection oven, conventional oven, and microwave oven. Pros and cons of each.