A Convection Oven: What it Is and Why You Need One
A convection oven may look like your typical oven, but it’s not the same. These ovens come in different styles, but what they all share in common is it will let you bake and cook more quickly.
How a Convection Oven Works
Convection ovens are equipped with an exhaust system and a fan, circulating air around the food you’re cooking. This combination of the heat and air circulation is what enables a convection oven to cook faster than your typical oven. But the benefits are not just limited to speed.There are different types of Convection Oven
Evenly Cooked Food
Heated air is circulated evenly over the food, whereas with regular ovens the heat is just around the heating element. Because hot air moves, the food is cooked uniformly and heated properly.
In a regular oven, the food nearest the heating component will be the most cooked, but the part furthest won’t be cooked at the same level. The end result is unevenly cooked food with ragged textures and looks. With a convection oven, the cooking rate is the same regardless of its size.
Air contained in a typical oven can get humid because the moisture cannot get out. What happens is the oven steams food rather than roast it. In contrast, convection keeps the atmosphere dry, allowing sugars to caramelize quickly when food is roasting. The end result is vegetables and meats get better browning but still maintain a moist interior.
The convection process is the reason why you’ll be able to cook and bake faster in a convection oven. Preheating, a process that usually takes a long time in regular ovens, is faster here as well.
Since you’re able to cook more food, productivity increases. Fast and reliable cooking is essential for restaurants and cooking businesses, but even those who cook in homes will appreciate the increase in speed. The speed increase varies depending on what the food, but a 25% boost is not uncommon.
More Flavorful Food
Just because food is cooked faster doesn’t mean you lose out on quality. On the contrary you’re going to get more flavors out of the food you’re cooking or baking. Again this comes down to the airflow as it cooks food properly and keeps the taste and flavor consistent.
Baking cookies in convection ovens will produce more flavor and even browning. You’ll see the effect as each cookie or pastry has the same texture and taste per serving. Pie crusts and pastries will have a flakier texture because the butter melts faster and steam is rapidly released.
The benefits are not limited to sweets and pastries as even meat will gain from the air circulation and the rapid cooking, so you will end up with a juicier seal. This is possible because the cooking method locks the juices in and also browns the skin more quickly.
Roasting vegetables in a convection oven also produces better results: the food is crisper and it caramelizes rapidly, giving your veggies a unique edge and more flavors
When is the Best Time to Use a Convection?
As ae have shown here, there are a lot of benefits to convection cooking, but there are specific times and situations when convection is most appropriate.
The best times to use the convection setting in your oven are the following:
● Roasting: vegetables, meats and any food which needs roasting will get a boost if you go with convection cooking. These foods are going to cook faster, caramelization is better and the skin will be crisper.
● Pastries and Pies: convection ovens are perfect for pastries and pies because it steams rapidly and melts fat quickly. This helps produce greater lift in croissants, pie doughs and other pastries.
● Cookies: convection ovens are especially good for cookies as you can bake several at a time. Because food is heated evenly, you don’t have to turn the cookies around.
● Any Food Cooked Covered: you’ll want to use a convection oven for braise or any dish that needs a cover. A convection oven is also ideal for casserole as food will be cooked quickly.
● Dehydrating and Toasting: if you need to dehydrate or toast food, a convection oven is more effective than a regular one because it rapidly removes moisture and does so more efficiently than other means.
When Not to Use Convection Setting
There’s a reason why ovens have convection settings, s they’re very useful. However there are a few instances when you may be better off with the regular oven setting. In general, convection cooking is not suitable for delicate recipes which begin as batter and have to set.
Regular oven setting are preferable if you’re going to bake / cook quickbreads, cakes, souffle and custards. As for for regular bread, this is a matter of personal opinion: some say the heat dries the bread’s interior, while others say the convection makes for excellent crust and even browning. The only way to find out is to try it yourself.
Tips for Using a Convection Oven
● The recommended temperature for your recipe should be reduced by 25 F.
● Check up on the food earlier than you would with regular ovens. Because convection ovens cook faster, you need to check earlier to make sure the food does not get overcooked.
● Ensure there is enough space for air to circulate as you’re using the oven. Convection will only provide the benefits mentioned earlier if there is sufficient room for air to circulate.
● For optimum cooking results, use low sided baking pans, roasting pans, trays.
● There is no need to use foil to cover the oven shelves.
● Try different settings with your convection oven. That is the only way you will be able to maximize its output and get the best tasting food possible.
Being able to cook and bake quickly makes you a more efficient cook. All you need is to do a quick preheat and the oven is good to go. Because a convection oven is effective at cooking, you can also cook at a lower temperature without sacrificing flavor. Since cooking is quicker, the appliance consumes less power.