Regardless if you’re a professional chef or someone who just enjoys cooking at home, you can level up your game using a convection oven. Its most significant benefit is the hot air that circulates inside, which lets you cook food evenly and in a shorter amount of time.
Compared to a traditional oven, though, learning to use this oven to its full potential might take some time. Even so, a countertop convection oven would be a great addition to any kitchen.
Like any new device, the best way to get the hang of using this contraption is by putting it to work frequently, experimenting with different recipes. Before you do that, you might want to get to know your oven first.
Understanding How a Convection Oven Works
A convection oven comes with a built-in fan that helps blow the hot air around the food, allowing faster and more even cooking. This feature is what makes convection cooking different from cooking with a conventional oven.
Because of the hot air, the temperature in the oven becomes 25 degrees hotter than its traditional counterpart. This results in lesser cooking time. With this, you can bake cookies and pies, as well as small pastries. It might not be as effective for baking cakes, though. A cake batter has a lighter consistency than other pastries. The problem with this is that the circulating air in the oven changes its texture and stability. As a result, you get a dense and flat cake.
Nonetheless, it is still possible to use this appliance for cake baking; you just have to find one that functions both as convection and conventional oven. These ovens have a separate button for the convection function.
Here, the oven functions as a conventional kind if you keep the convection switch turned off. Turning on the convection function means you are utilizing the fan and exhaust. The fan will blow air around the food for quick and even cooking, while the exhaust system pulls the moisture out of the food, turning it brown and crispy.
Baking Using the Convection Setting
The best way to maximize your convection oven’s functions is to understand all the features it has to offer. Get familiar with all its controls and different settings to ensure excellent results.
Convection ovens are almost similar to standard ones but with a touch of modern technology. However, it might look a bit complicated to use for first-timers. It would be beneficial to check out the user manual before using your oven.
Here are some useful tips for baking with a convection oven:
1. Adjust the temperature.
Because of its efficient heating technology, you don’t need to use a high cooking temperature when using a convection oven. Instead, you have to lower the temperature by at least 25 degrees from the recipe’s recommended setting.
2. Frequently check the food.
Since food cooks faster in a convection oven, it’s best to check on the dish a few minutes before the end of its cooking time. Don’t rely too much on your set cooking time, especially if you are new to using a convection oven.
If you think the food looks and smells good, follow your instincts. Just trust the process. In time, you will get used to baking with convection technology and will know how much time you need to cook certain foods.
3. Don’t crowd the oven.
Convection ovens cook food evenly thanks to the hot air circulating inside. For this reason, you should avoid overcrowding the oven so as not to defeat the purpose of convection cooking. Baking on multiple racks is fine, but do not overcrowd each layer.
4. Use low-sided baking pans.
One of the best techniques to benefit from convection cooking involves the baking pans you are using. We recommend using low-sided pans or rimless sheets when roasting vegetables or baking cookies for maximum air distribution around the food.
5. Know when to use the convection setting.
Avoid using the convection setting when baking cakes, custards, quickbreads, and souffles. The air movement from the exhaust and fan system will result in uneven cooking.
Do You Need a Countertop Convection Oven?
A countertop convection oven offers plenty of uses and benefits, maybe even a lot more than the conventional type. If you love baking, you might have noticed a significant increase in your utility bills when using a conventional oven.
Countertop convection ovens, on the other hand, allow faster cooking using lower temperatures, thus saving energy in the long run. More than the quick and even cooking, you also get to cook mouthwatering dishes using a convection oven. It even boasts a variety of uses and applications, such as baking, broiling, roasting, and more.
Countertop Convection Oven for Baking: Is It Worth It?
A countertop convection oven is a versatile appliance that can cook almost anything in less time than with a traditional oven. This kitchen appliance comes in different sizes and variations, so you have plenty of options to find the one that will work well with your needs.
Look for a feature-packed model to help you with all kinds of meal prep you can do for your family. From roasting veggies to meats, it can do it all. The only real issue is that it might not be the oven of choice for baking cake.