Convection Ovens Explained: What Makes Them Better?
For those looking to buy a new oven, you may have seen the term ‘convection oven‘ when browsing through different options. However, you might not quite know what that means. Not to worry, we’re here with this blog to give you a comprehensive guide to convection ovens, and the reasons behind why you should consider buying one.
Convection Ovens Defined
To put it simply, a convection oven differs from a regular oven in that it has both a fan and an exhaust system. Most convection ovens still have a regular oven setting that will not use the fan.
Four Key Advantages to Owning a Convection Oven
There are a number of reasons why you should own a convection oven over a regular oven. Here are four:
1. Cooked to Perfection
Convection ovens ensure that your food is cooked more evenly throughout as the fan blows the hot air throughout the oven, rather than having the hot air centered around particular hot spots within the oven (e.g. heating element). So while a regular oven may cook one half of, say, a pizza more than the other, a convection oven will spread the heat so that both sides of, the pizza are cooked. No need to start a fight over who gets the more burnt side!
2. Brown-y Points
Due to creating a drier environment than regular ovens, convection is able to caramelise sugars faster. This ensures that while food is a lovely shade of brown on the outside, it’s still deliciously moist on the inside too.
3. Faster, Oven! Cook! Cook!
Due to the way in which the heat surrounds the food more evenly, convection ovens cook food faster than regular ovens. This is why when you look at oven directions on the back of your pizza packet, you’ll see that fan-assisted ovens are often somewhere between 2-5 minutes faster at cooking when compared to a regular oven.
4. Energy Boost
While looking at that oven directions for that pizza again (other foods are available, we just love pizza), you may notice that you have to set the oven at a lower temperature for fan-assisted ovens. Whether it’s the saving in cooking duration or the lower temperature, or both, convection ovens reduce the energy you’re using and, therefore, reduce your energy bills.
One Slight Disadvantage
As a convection oven contains more parts than a regular oven (thanks to the fan and exhaust system), it can slightly increase the potential for something to break. However, this can be easily remedied by an oven repairs company. At Repair Aid, we can easily sort out a non-functioning fan in no time at all.
When Shouldn’t you use a Convection Setting
Despite the brilliance of convection ovens, they do have some pitfalls when it comes to cooking or baking. This is precisely why most convection ovens still have a regular oven setting.
For example, foods that aren’t fully formed – such as batter that you’re cooking from scratch – will be better suited to a regular oven setting.
This includes the likes of soufflés, cakes, flans and custards.
When cooked in a convection oven, bread can end up more evenly browned with a lovely crust. However, some argue that it actually reduces the moisture within the bread – leaving it quite dry.
As a regular oven setting traps moisture, this ensures a moist loaf. Which setting is best for breads? It’s your choice.
When Should you use a Convection Setting
There are a number of food types that do benefit from a convection setting. For example, foods that are roasted will be better cooked throughout, and at a quicker pace, while also delivering a caramelised, crispy skin (due to the dry atmosphere).
Multiple trays of cookies can be baked in a convection oven due to the heated air being evenly distributed throughout – meaning you don’t need to be restricted to one tray that has to be rotated throughout. Pastries and pies also gain a bit of a lift when baked on a convection setting.
Lastly, when cooking something that is covered, the convection setting is the best. As the lid is trapping the moisture in the dish already, then it will not be exposed to the drier atmosphere of a convection setting. With no disadvantage to consider, your dish will benefit from being cooked about 25% faster – saving you time, energy and money.
Convection ovens can do everything a regular oven can do, and more, so there is no reason not to buy one if you have the ability to do so.