While not everyone can make a good chef, somehow, you’d like to get the best out of your recipe. Nobody wants to present burnt food or poorly prepared meals on the table. For this reason, you’ll invest in the best cookware for quality cooking. Of course, it’s not enough to have sophisticated cooking equipment to make fine meals. You need to top it up with some kitchen skills.
So, which cooking equipment should you invest in? Well, the list is endless. But even then, one item stands out – a convection oven. At least if you’ve not used it before, you’ve heard it mentioned somewhere. It works well with most recipes.
What Is a Convection Oven?
A convection oven looks more or less the same as a regular oven. However, the difference comes in their features and how they function. For instance, a convection oven has a fan and an exhaust system that you’ll not find in a regular oven. Sometimes, the convection oven also has a third heating element. The fan and the exhaust system blow hot air evenly around the food and then vent it out. The hot air covers the food so that it cooks evenly. The heat in a convection oven is a bit more consistent compared to a regular oven.
Modern ovens come with convection settings. Therefore, you can always switch between regular and convection oven settings.
Why Should You Use the Convection Setting?
If you’re used to the regular oven, you must be wondering what makes the convection setting better. Well, you can get so much more with a convection oven. From evenly cooked food to excellent baking results, this oven setting works with almost all recipes.
Here’s why you should consider convection setting for most of your recipes.
Cooks Faster –Nobody would like to keep their guests waiting for long. That’s why you’d opt for a faster means of cooking. With a convection oven, you’re sure to serve meals on time. Since the hot air blows directly on to the food instead of surrounding it, a convection oven cooks 25% faster than a regular oven.
Even Cooking –While hot spots are quite common with regular ovens, don’t expect that with a convection oven. Convection cooking is much more even compared to a regular oven. The fan circulates hot air around the food so that it’s cooked evenly. Additionally, the third heating element ensures heat is distributed evenly for even cooking. With convection setting, expect nothing like under-cooked or burnt foods.
Saves Energy –If you’re working hard to cut on energy costs, you’ll find a convection oven useful. Since food cooks faster and at lower temperatures, a convection oven is a bit more efficient than a regular oven.
Good At Browning –The fan and the exhaust system in a convection oven reduces the moisture inside the oven. This creates a dry atmosphere that caramelizes sugars faster during cooking. As a result, you get food with perfect brown crisp skin while the inside remains juicy. Foods like meat tend to get browner on the outside, while the interiors remain moist.
When Should You Use the Convection Setting?
While there are many benefits of convection cooking, you’ll not always use the convection setting.
So, when should your switch to a regular oven?
Whenever you’re roasting –Convection cooking gives the best roast for foods like meat and vegetables. They cook faster, and due to the dry atmosphere created by the fan and the exhaust system, they get crispy skins with juicy interiors.
Baking Pies And Pastries –Since convection oven cooks evenly and at low temperatures, it gives the best baking results. Expect no burnt or under-baked pies or pastries. Additionally, since the temperature in a convection oven is more consistent, you can bake multiple items.
Cooking With Cover –If you need to cook with a cover, it’s advisable to use a convection setting. A convection oven cooks faster even with the lid on.
Dehydrating Or Toasting –The aim of toasting or dehydrating food is to remove moisture from it. Convection oven removes moisture from the food faster than a regular oven.
When Should You Use the Regular Oven Setting?
For delicate foods, it’s recommended that you use a regular oven setting. Convection cooking can give uneven results with such foods. These foods include custards and flans, souffles, cakes, quick-breads, and bread. While some argue that convection cooking creates even browning for bread, others say it dries the interior of the bread. Even so, you can try baking bread using both settings to see which one works best.
How to Use the Convection oven
Now that you know something about a convection oven, you need to know how to use it to get the best cooking results. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll always get fine meals with convection cooking. That’s why you need to use the cooking equipment properly.
Here are a few tips to help you out.
Lower The Cooking Temperature –The recommended cooking temperature for convection setting should be lowered by 25°F before you start cooking.
Check Earlier –Convection oven cooks fast. Therefore, check the food before the recommended cooking time. You can do it three-quarter way through the recommended cooking time.
Make Sure There’s Proper Air Circulation – Convection cooking is only effective if there’s proper air circulation over the food. To ensure this, use trays, roasting pans, and baking pan with lower sides. Additionally, don’t cover the oven shelves with foil.
What Is a Convection Oven in Video
The benefits of using a convection oven are numerous. If you’d like to get the best cooking results out of your recipes, convection cooking is mostly preferred. Even then, sometimes you need to switch to regular oven depending on the type of food you’re cooking. So, you should know when and how to use both settings for the best cooking results.