Though convection ovens aren’t new technology, not everyone knows what sets them apart from regular ovens. What’s the difference between a convection oven vs conventional oven? Convection models use a fan to circulate the hot air, cooking food faster. Learn more about what distinguishes convection ovens from standard models and how to use this cooking method best.
A Convection Oven vs Conventional Oven: The Facts that Set Them Apart
While both ovens use heated air for cooking food, the biggest difference between a convection oven vs conventional oven is how that air is used. This leads to differences in cooking times and temperatures that influence what and how to cook with convection capabilities.
What Are Convection Ovens?
A convection oven uses a fan to circulate the hot air that’s generated from a traditional gas or electric heating element. When this hot air is circulated, it creates extra energy that cooks food faster and more evenly than a standard oven.
Depending on how fast the fan circulates, a convection oven vs standard oven can create 25-30% more power. While this power has its benefits, it presents some drawbacks as well. Here are some convection oven pros and cons:
- Foods are cooked faster and more evenly
- Multiple dishes can be cooked at once without elongating cooking times or lowering the temperature
- Promotes a deeper browning and crispier exterior when roasting and baking
- Cooking times and temperatures often have to be lowered or reduced to prevent overcooking.
- Using cookware with higher walls or sides can slow the cooking process and limit the flow of heated air, elongating cooking times.
- Certain baked goods don’t rise as well on convection settings.
What Are Conventional Ovens?
Like convection ovens, conventional models use gas or electric heating elements at the top and bottom to heat the air inside. However, a conventional oven doesn’t have a fan to circulate the air. This radiant heat surrounds food, cooking it from the outside in.
While a convection oven vs conventional oven cooks faster, conventional oven cooking times and temperatures correspond to most recipes without requiring a change. However, as with all standard ovens, uneven cooking due to hot and cold spots can occur and require unexpected temperature or time changes when cooking.
When Should You Use Convection Settings?
While faster cooking certainly seems like a perk of convection settings, not every food benefits from a faster convection oven cooking time. Is convection better for baking? Some baked goods, like cookies, pies, and pastries, benefit from the crispier exterior and deeper browning of convection cooking.
Others, like cakes and quick breads, can suffer when cooked in circulated air. This often results in a rippling of the exterior or excessive dryness when the convection fan removes too much moisture.
The following foods have best results when cooked on a convection setting:
- Large roasted meats such as beef roasts and whole turkey and chicken
- Roasted vegetables
- Pies and flaky pastries
These foods are best cooked on a conventional setting:
- Smaller pieces of meat such as chops, fillets of beef or fish, or chicken parts.
- Cakes and cupcakes
- Quick breads and muffins
Whether you have a convection oven vs conventional oven, the team at Appliance Repair Specialists can provide any needed assistance. If your oven doesn’t heat up or suffers a malfunction, call the oven repair Tampa experts!