Convection ovens may seem complicated or confusing if you have never used one, but "Fine Cooking" notes that convection ovens are not difficult to master with a little trial and error. Whether you're considering a convection oven purchase or own one you haven't yet used, you may find some distinct advantages choosing your convection oven over your conventional oven, which often leaves food cooked unevenly.
A convection oven circulates the heated air throughout the oven, unlike a conventional oven that simple surrounds the food in heat. The moving hot air allows all food in the oven to be heated evenly. In a conventional oven, food closest to the heating elements cook faster than those further away, making food placement a consideration. All food should cook at the same rate in a convection oven so the placement isn't an issue. The moving air allows all sides of a larger item, such as a roast, to brown, according to "Fine Cooking."
Faster Coooking Time
The air circulation in a convection oven speeds up the cooking process, according to Georgia Power. The oven preheats quickly and the cooking time is reduced. This increased productivity is particularly beneficial to cooking-related business, but home cooks also enjoy faster food. Fine Cooking estimates that food cooked in a convection oven is done 25 percent faster than a conventional oven.
The faster cooking times produce a better flavor in many food dishes you might prepare. The air allows you to achieve an even, consistent brown on cookies and roasts, meaning all servings will taste similar. Pastries, such as pie crusts, are flakier when baked in a convection oven become the steam in the butter is released rapidly, according to "Fine Cooking." Meat is often juicier because the skin browns faster and locks in the juices. Vegetables roasted in a convection oven caramelize faster for a crisp edge and more intense flavors.
The faster cooking times result in a more efficient kitchen appliance. A quick preheat and shorter cooking time means you can shut your convection oven off sooner. You can fill the oven with several pans, which may reduce the amount of separate batches you need to bake, further reducing your operating time. Some food items bake well at lower temperatures in a convection oven, decreasing the energy consumption of the oven. A more efficient cooking method means lower utility bills for you.