Convection and Conventional Ovens Which One is Better
If you’re going to buy an oven, one of the things you’re going to come across is the convection vs. conventional ovens debate, which has been going on for a long time. Which is better and what should you use? Let’s find out the difference between the two.
Guide & Review : Best Convection Oven
What is The Difference between Convection and Conventional Ovens
The biggest difference between a convection oven and a conventional oven is the heating element. Convection ovens have three heating elements and a fan, while a conventional oven only has two heating elements. Don’t confuse convection ovens with microwaves that have convection settings, as they’re different.
The combination of the heating element and the fan allows for enhanced air circulation, allowing you to cook food faster. What this means is you’re going to get evenly cooked food even at a lower temperature, plus faster cooking time.
A conventional oven does not come with a circulating fan, which is why there are cold and hot spots when you cook food. This is also the reason why some areas are overcooked and others are undercooked. With a conventional oven you often get burnt crusts while the center is not fully baked.
This problem is common in conventional and toaster ovens especially if they don’t have a rotating carousel. One advantage of conventional ovens is they’re quieter. Because the oven doesn't have a fan, you don’t have to do any cleaning up there.
The Advantages of Using a Convection Oven?
If you have been using a conventional oven,is there any reason to change it? There are plenty.
● Convection ovens bake and brown faster and more uniformly. The fan and the heating element spread air evenly in the oven chamber. It’s this mode of cooking that provides consistent results
● There are no cold or hot spots. No matter what you’re cooking or baking, the results are the same. The edges of those pastries or that turkey will be as well cooked as the middle.
● The controls and settings on a convection oven allows you to fully manage the cooking process.
● The results are more consistent than a conventional oven.
● You’ll be able to cook at lower temperatures and still get excellent results. The extra heat goes into the chamber via the airflow and the fan, resulting in tastier food.
● You can bake several foods at the same time without compromising quality. The internal workings of convection oven puts emphasis on hot airflow than radiant heating patterns.
Because it does not rely more on airflow, the pans and trays can block burners and elements without a detrimental effect. Thanks to the even airflow you’re going to get evenly cooked.
The size of the fan has a direct effect on the oven’s cooking. While the performance may vary, it is still superior to what a conventional oven can do.
The Disadvantages of a Convection Oven?
● Convection ovens produce more noise than conventional ovens.
● The fan and fan blades need periodic cleaning for optimum performance.
● You need to lower the temperature and/or cooking times to get the best result.
This last part is the biggest hurdle for first time users. While reducing the temperature and/or cooking time is necessary, you will undergo trial and error to find the right combination. But the process has been made easier by an automatic convection converter.
Motor and fan failure are other concerns, something that won’t concern users of conventional ovens. However it won’t be a big issue if you buy from a reputable brand and a reliable vendor. Even with continuous use, a well-constructed motor / fan can run for years.
Convection and Conventional Ovens Head to Head
We already pointed out the differences between a convection and conventional oven, so no need to repeat that here. However, a head to head comparison further shows why convection ovens are better.
● Food placement is not as important in convection ovens as the airflow reaches the food regardless of its location in the oven. Whether you put the chicken on the top, bottom or center shelf, it will be cooked in the same degree.
● While food placement is not a major issue, you should leave an inch or two of space for every tray. Doing so allows air to flow without any disruption.
● Even if you are new to convection ovens, the amount of time needed to find the right timing usually does not take long.
● There is no significant effect when you line the shelves with foil. Since the airflow is even, there is less concern for radiant heating. Using aluminum foil in a conventional oven increases baking time, but not with a convection oven.
● Head to head comparison shows that convection ovens brown food more quickly.
● Convection ovens don’t generate as much heat as regular ovens. The fact that it has more heating elements than a regular oven works in its favor because it doesn't have to produce as much heat. The heat also circulates around the food more efficiently.
● A convection oven may be more expensive than a conventional oven. However it has a longer lifespan, making it a good investment. This is possible because the internal mechanisms run cooler.
● A convection oven blade has blades which may need replacing if they get damaged. But those built by reputable brands last longer and don’t need as much maintenance.
● Food just tastes better when cooked in a convection. Chicken and meat are moist and tender, vegetables and fruits retain juices better.
● Cooking and baking pizza crusts is quicker and have a more even texture.
● Convection ovens don’t use as much energy as regular ovens, saving you money and time.
To settle the issue: convection ovens are more versatile than conventional ovens. They cook food faster and the taste is better too. Having said that, there are a few recipes which are better prepared with a conventional oven. Since most ovens today have an automatic convection feature, you’ll abe to use whatever setting is appropriate. In short you can get the best of both worlds.