A convection oven cooks food differently than a conventional oven does, but they both can cook the same types of foods. Basically, the biggest difference between the two is convection ovens use forced heated air to cook food while conventional ovens use radiant heat.
Many improvements have been made over the years to both types of ovens. Conventional ovens now have self-cleaning options which most convection ovens do not have. Programmable timers can be found on both types of ovens. Some models for both oven types now use digital controls.
Conventional ovens can operate using natural gas or electricity, depending on the model. Most convection ovens for the home use electricity but some commercial models use gas. Most conventional ovens have two heating elements and in the past, most convection ovens only had two. Today, many convection ovens have three heating elements, one each for the top, bottom, and side.
Air is not a good heat conductor; however, it is a very good insulator. The basic principle of convection is heat is directly transferred from one area to another. A convection oven uses a fan to circulate the heated air inside the oven and standard ovens do not have this feature. The circulating air transfers heat to foods more efficiently than stagnant air does. This feature makes it possible to cook foods faster than conventional ovens.
Cooking times for some recipes have to be reduced by twenty to thirty percent when the food is being cooked in the convection oven. Additionally, the temperature may also have to be lowered approximately twenty five or thirty degrees. When roasting foods, cooks should lower the time rather than the temperature.
Advantages and Disadvantages
In convection ovens, food can be cooked on the top or bottom rack without the top or bottom of the food burning. Many times with conventional ovens, cooking on the lower rack will burn the bottom of the food. With convection ovens, two pans of cookies can be baked at the same time and there is no need to rotate the pans. The circulating heat will cook both pans of cookies evenly. Most of the time, the pans have to be rotated midway in the cooking cycle when using a standard oven.
To get the best results in convection cooking certain types of dishes or pans should be used. It is best to use shallow pans and baking dishes that have low sides. Pans that have high sides will shield the food from the heated circulating air. Dark pans transfer heat better which could result in food getting burnt. Shallow pans do not have to be used in standard ovens to get great results and dark pans can be used without burning food.
Some convection ovens use more energy compared to conventional ovens because the fan needs power. Convection ovens do emit noise when the fan is operating and sometimes the noise is quite noticeable. Convection ovens are usually higher priced than similar sized conventional ovens. Oven differences do exist and it is important for cooks to learn these facts when they want to cook food correctly.
Top 5 Selling Convection Ovens on Amazon
• Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven 1800-Watt
• Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven with Convection and Rotisserie
• Shef 10 1/2 Quart Premium 1200w Halogen
• Calphalon Electric Extra Large Digital
• Black & Decker CTO6335S Stainless Steel