I have one but I've never used it much, except to burn some cookies in it once. What do you recommend I cook in a convection oven and how?
"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."
We have one where I work. I've often noticed because of the fact that the heat is being blown around inside it that the cooking times may need to be altered depending on what you're baking in there. Cookies tend to get overbaked in these. Perhaps a simple adjustment of a minute or two less might do the trick with cookies. I cook meats, potatoes, casseroles, breads, cakes and cookies in one with no trouble. We leave ours set on 350 degrees for everything. I make sure to set my timer and if it's something you know might burn easy just keep an eye on your food as it cooks. Once you figure out how long it takes to cook without burning it, you'll be able to pop it in the oven and know exactly how long to bake things for. Hope this is helpful.
Forced circulated heating insures no hot spots like conventional ov All items should be baked at 25 degrees less then recipe states for standard oven. ALL cookies should be double panned if possible to retard oveercooking on bottoms.
I installed one in our kitchen rebuild about a two years ago. It is a great piece of gear. Ours has an automatic temperature compensation built in. Say your recipe says cook for one hour at 350°, you set the convection oven temp at 350° and it automatically compensates the thermostat for the difference the convection needs.
The new oven we bought about a year back is a convection oven - my first one. The advantages are:
• drier heat
• more even temperature in the oven
• shorter cooking time
I use convection for example for roasts. A roast chicken cooked with convection off will have some brown spots and some white spots. A roast chicken cooked with convection on will be perfectly evenly golden.
Sometimes perfectly evenly golden can be boring though. For that reason I like to use a combination of both baking and convection when roasting chicken. Meaning I just turn the convection on at the beginning, then turn it off, sometimes back on... depending on the way the chicken looks.
There are different types of convection oven. True convection implies a heating element around the fan, generating circulating hot air. Fake (?) convection (which is what my oven has) implies a fan that circulates the air that was already heated by the normal heating element at the bottom of the oven.
I've had a Dacor convection oven for about 20 years. Much more even heat distribution. I think you get a better rise out of leavened items and better, more stable crusts out of pies. Roasts cook and brown better and more evenly. Typically, unless there is a built in correction as mentioned above, you set the temperature 25 degrees lower than the recipe and reduce the cooking time by 5-10%. You can do roasts at 300F because of this (which I think is better from a retained moisture/tenderness standpoint) and still have great browning. The manual that comes with the oven will usually suggest settings and modes (pure convection, convection/bake, etc.). As Chef Ed noted, you do have to be careful with delicate and quick baked items like cookies and quickbreads which will bake much faster. I double pan so that the bottoms don't get over done. They are common enough now in residential models that I wouldn't buy a non-convection model.
They are not fake. There is circulated air convections ans well as forced air convections. Commercial applications are in most cases circulating air convections.(Southbend, Garland. Vulcan) Some of the Japanese imports have a heting unit by the box fan.
So the key is to program the temperature at 25degrees less than I normally would. I will try it with a roast chicken later this week which I normally roast at 400 for about 1hr15min. I'm looking forward to using this feature.
My oven has a separate heating element with the fan in the center of the back wall of the oven. When it is on pure convection, only this element heats. When it is set on convection/bake, the bottom element heats also.
For roast chicken, the guidelines with my oven suggest 300F on pure convection for 25 minutes per pound for a 3-4 pound bird.
Or you can use your preferred recipe, lower the temp 25 degrees and start checking when the time is @ 85% up.
Once you have figured out the idiosyncrasies of your own oven, it gets a lot easier.
Thanks for correcting me. I knew "fake" wasn't the right word, I didn't know the proper terminology. My American Range is advertised as 'double innovection', I guess that's a form of circulated air (no heating element around the fan)?
I roasted a chicken yesterday in the convection oven along with some lemon garlic yukon potatoes. I roasted it at 400 on convection and it took 45min. It had a superb brown skin and was wonderfully moist and it cooked for about a half hour less than what it usually does. The potatoes on the other hand started to burn about 15 minutes in so I took them out and added them back in in the last 5min of cooking. They were awesome. I don't know why I never thought of using it before. Thanks for your help!