You already know that your conventional wall oven or free-standing stove uses radiant heat from the top and bottom burners in the oven to cook your food. The results are often uneven cooking and browning – more so depending on how much food is in the oven and its positioning on the internal racks.
With a convection oven, you have a fan located at the back of the oven with the sole purpose of circulating hot air around your food to distribute the heat evenly. The fan, depending on model and manufacturer, reverses direction for optimal distribution of heat and air circulation. The frequency of directional changes by the fan is based on the convection cooking mode. Some modes will reverse frequently while others not at all. Again, this depends on the model of your convection oven and its manufacturer.
Why Cook Convection?
Models with a Convection Baking Mode allow you to put more than one rack of food in the oven resulting in even baking on all racks in about the same time as one rack cooking in a traditional oven.
Most convection baking requires a temperature reduction of 25°F for optimal performance. Some oven models auto-adjust the temperature. For example, if you have a recipe that calls for baking at 350°F and enter that into the control panel, the oven will auto-adjust the temperature to 325°F for convection cooking.
Advantages over a Traditional Oven
Because a convection oven or convection features circulate air, evenly distributing the heat, you can cook more food in the oven at one time. This comes in handy if you’re cooking biscuits, appetizers, cookies and other finger foods for holidays, general baking or special events.
Foods cook faster. Evenly cooked meats and poultry are uniformly browned and the juices sealed in for more flavorful, moister food. Foods do not have a tendency to dry out as often seen with conventional cooking.
Because you can cook larger amounts of food in less time, you naturally save money as well. A shorter cooking time with the ability to cook more food saves you energy and utility costs.
Sizes to Accommodate All Kitchens
A Convection Cooking Appliance will cost you more money upfront than a traditional oven and not everyone can afford to get the full oven. There are others who a challenged by limited counter space or small kitchen.
Manufacturers have taken this into consideration by providing convection cooking features in various lines of microwave ovens, countertop ovens and toast oven/broilers so the benefits can be enjoyed by all who want to cook convection.