What is convection oven?

What Is Convection Oven – How Do You Use It?

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If you are fortunate enough to own a convection setting on the oven, you might still be confused and scratching the head and wondering what the settings do differently than when you use the oven without any setting. Many questions come to the head of the users of the convection oven. Suppose, why should we use convection setting during baking? Why should we use the standard setting while defrosting?

If you want to know more about the convection ovens then, this is the right article for you. Before we get into details about this oven, let us get to know about the basics of the convection oven.

In simple words, the convection ovens have a fan as well as an exhaust system that the general ovens that we use in our kitchen do not have. These two, fan and exhaust help in blowing the hot oven air around and over the food and then gradually vent it back out. In this way, the hot air that surrounds the food helps to cook it more precisely, evenly and quickly.

It is one of the finest ways of cooking. In this way, the food will not just be cooked properly, but also the taste of the food will increase.

If you still have not understood the idea of a convection oven, then here is an example for you. Suppose it is a blustery winter day, and cold air blows directly to you. You will feel chilled more quickly than you do on a day with no air but same temperature. This same example applies to the convection cooking as well. The hot air blows around the food and the food get cooked perfectly in less time. So, if you have a convection oven but have not used the setting then, kick the gear of the fan and the exhaust right away.

How to use a convection oven? 

The shiny convectional oven makes your kitchen look hot but, there are more functions of this all-rounder oven. So, if you do not know how to operate it correctly, then you will not be able to enjoy the great features of this oven.

However, with just a little practice you can start cooking with these ovens. You need practice because the amount of heat and the mode of this oven can affect your cooking correctly. So, if you have a big event ahead then, do not use it on that day instead start using it way before the event. In this short time, you will understand how much cooking time and which mode need to be selected for making the perfect meal.

Here are the few steps which will help you to work accurately with the convection oven in your kitchen.

The first step: To set the temperature 

The meaning of the word convection is heating with air. The convection ovens use the traditional ways of cooking, but it adds the flow of hot air that goes across the dish and then, vents back again.

Therefore, it means that the food you are cooking is being cooked by both heated air and the radiant heat. This oven takes a lot lesser time than usual to prepare a meal. Well, there are other advantages to such type of cooking. Your food will be cooked more evenly than the regular ovens.

The convection cooking is so fast and efficient that at the beginning you need to start by adjusting the temperature to low. It does not only saves the energy but also makes sure that the food will be cooked in an expected way instead of being too fast. Here we have three tips that you need as a basic guideline:

  • For easy recipes and short cooking times, lower the temperature of the oven by 10 to 15 percent of the original. It will help you a lot if you are making cookies in the oven.
  • For the bigger recipes likes roasts, lower the temperature of the oven by at least 30 percent. It will give you more reliable and even cook.
  • If you are in doubt and don’t know what to do then, lower the temperature by at least 25 t 30 degrees. It will not ruin food, and at the same time, you can rely on this cooking method.

The second step: Give the air more room 

Like we already said, this type of cooking depends a lot on the air, so it is essential to give the oven enough space to work the rotating air room. Convection cooking is not for every time you cook a meal. It is for the times you exclusively want to prepare a dish for yourself. Do not just squeeze every pan inside the oven rack. Rather, limit to one dish per rack so that it has plenty of space to move and as a result, the food gets enough air to get cooked.

And also, do not forget to use low=profile baking dish or pans. Expose the surface area of the food as much as possible so that the hot moving air can cook the food reliably. The roasting trays or pans that are available in the market have low sides mostly, but if you have the ones with the high profile, then it is high time you should start upgrading your kitchen wares for improving the result.

The third step: Set the timer a bit early and check the dish 

Even if you have lowered the temperature, these ovens can cook the dish within no time, and this is the reason you need to set the timer a bit earlier than given time. If you do not want unpleasant surprises, then set the time for at least 5 to 10 minutes earlier than the usual. So, after the timer goes off if you think the food looks okay to look like it is done nicely when taking it out of the oven. Or, if it seems like the foods are not wholly prepared then add just a few minutes. Do not add 5 to 10 minutes at a once rather go for smaller additional minutes like 2 or 3 minutes.

The fourth step: Know your food

It is essential to know the food you are cooking. You cannot just cook anything or everything you want in the convection ovens. The foods that caramelize or roast are perfect for these ovens. Here are the times you should use the convection setting:

  • Roasting the turkey, ham, beef-cuts or even similar types of meats
  • For extra crisp, you c  roast vegetables
  • Muffins and cookies-if you want to bake a large quantity at a time then go for such cooking setting.
  • Pastry and pies
  • Toasting the buns and bread
  • Drying the food as a part of the meal preparation etc.

These are the times you should use your convection cooking setting to make the perfect meal for yourself and your family. In other cases, the food may come out dry or overcooked or undercooked. It is the reason you need to know which food you should cook with the convection setting and which you should not.

Step five: Avoid the convection with some foods

You already know which foods you are going to cook with the convection oven. But, here is a list which will show you which one to avoid.

  • Cooking the flans or custard- the spongy and delicate surface o these foods flares very badly with this oven
  • Soufflés- you need a careful baking surface for baking a soufflé
  • Cakes and similar bakery items- these types of  foods tend to rise within a short time, and it will then collapse or end up cooking too fast
  • The quick bread- this can get confusing, but some cookies and pastries are considered as shortbreads as well. But, we are here talking about the bread that does not use the traditional yeasts for rising.

Some of the modern convection kitchen settings come with sensor cooking and other automatic temperature selection options. So, it depends on what you want to cook using these ovens. So, these are the things that you need to know about a convection oven.

About the Author Kevin Fox

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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