Last Updated on March 21, 2022
Many people don't exactly know what makes these ovens so special. Baking in a convection oven has a ton of benefits! Today, we will explore why!
There are a few things that are more frustrating than using a new unfamiliar appliance. The biggest struggle for people is switching over from a conventional (regular) oven to a modern convection oven. But, we are here to make that switch a lot less stressful! And trust us, you will never want to go back to regular ovens again!
What Is A Convection Oven?
We are obsessed with convection ovens. But, who wouldn't be once you've learned all the amazing benefits that this oven can give you? Most baking ovens for homes today are convection ovens.
They work with heating elements and a large fan that distributes the heat. Your specific oven can either have two heating elements (on the top and bottom of the oven) or three (with an additional element at the back). Then, the strong built-in fan helps circulate the hot air throughout the oven.
Convection ovens vs regular ovens (conventional ovens)
The main difference between these two ovens is the fan. Regular ovens (conventional ovens) don't have this fan that helps circulate the hot air. This ultimately causes a lot of issues when cooking food.
You have hot spots in your oven, the food doesn't evenly cook, and often, it comes out dry because you had to overcook it.
Now, this isn't necessarily true for all convection ovens, but most of them are often multi-functional appliances. A lot of convection ovens can also work without the fan. And, you can also find some models that have specific dehydrator functions, toaster oven functions, and built-in air fryers.
Benefits of baking in a convection oven
This system offers a ton of benefits for cooking and baking food items. For one, it creates a much more even temperature inside the oven itself. This means that your items will bake more evenly, especially because there aren't any hot spots left.
And, because the temperature is so evenly spread, it also often makes the oven operate at a slightly higher temperature. This means that most items will ultimately bake much quicker.
And, you will even find that because of the technology used for these ovens, they are often a lot more energy-friendly. You won't have nearly as high an electricity bill when using these ovens.
Is baking in a convection oven possible?
Not only can you bake in a convection oven, but we would highly recommend it. The only times you may want to switch off the fan setting is when you are baking delicate items such as souffles or airy cheesecakes (Japanese cheesecakes).
For most other baked items, the fan setting will help give them an even lift while baking the entire item evenly.
When Should You Bake In A Convection Oven?
Since we now know that baking in a convection oven helps bake items much faster and more evenly, the following items are perfect to bake in a convection oven. It is probably better to bake them in there than in a regular oven!
Pies and pastries
Because the convection ovens heat much faster and circulate the heat better, it allows the fat in the doughs to melt a lot easier and evenly.
This in turn creates a ton of high-quality steam which then gives the pastry its unique texture. Then, again because of the consistent heat, it helps set the structure quickly once the item has sufficient lift.
Cookies and cakes
Because the heat circulates and helps prevent hot spots, cookies don’t need to be rotated in the oven when using the convection setting. This will prevent one half of the sheet pan from being fully baked while the other half is still raw!
The same goes for cakes. Often in regular ovens, the center of the cake just simply doesn't want to fully bake while the edges are starting to brown too much. The fan setting will help fix this problem instantly!
Whenever you are dehydrating fruits, vegetables, or dairy products, the convection setting is perfect as the hot air circulates. This evenly dehydrates the food a lot quicker.
But, one thing to keep in mind is that light items will probably blow everywhere.
When Should You Not Bake In A Convection Oven?
As much as we would like to bake everything in a convection oven, certain bakes just don’t work with a fan! Luckily, for most models, you can put the convection fan setting off when needed!
Fan ovens are very powerful and could potentially misform your items. So, anything that is delicate shouldn't be baked with a fat setting. This includes items like souffles, flans, thin quick breads, and spongy aerated cakes.
How To Adjust The Time And Temperature When Baking In A Convection Oven
Convection ovens have a few tricks to them when it comes to baking or cooking. If you want to bake in a convection oven, you will have to lower the temperature by roughly 77°F (25°C). This happens because the air circulates the temperature much better, which creates an overall hotter internal environment.
But, the temperature is not the only thing that needs to be adjusted when you want to bake in a convection oven. The time should also be adapted according to the item you are making.
Convection ovens circulate hot air around the food making the food cook slightly quicker. Therefore, make sure to check on the products you're baking a few minutes before the recommended total time.
If you're baking cookies for 15 minutes in a regular oven, then check on them after 10 minutes. And, if you’re baking a cake for 60 minutes, check it inside a convection oven after 45-50 minutes.
You don't want to over-bake the items! This will change their texture and make the items dry and bland.
Convection ovens and conventional ovens all have their place when it comes to baking! Make sure to choose the correct setting for the correct item. If you still have any questions for us, let us know in the comments below!
What is the degree difference between baking in a convection oven and a conventional oven?
Because convection ovens work at higher temperatures (thanks to the even and consistent circulation of hot air), the temperature will have to be lowered. You can lower the ovens' temperature by roughly 77°F (25°C).
How to adjust time when baking a cake in a convection oven?
When baking in a convection oven, always check on the item roughly 5-10 minutes before it should be done baking. So, for example, if your cookies only needs too bake for 15 minutes, check them after about 10-12 minutes. Convection ovens bake a lot quicker, so don;t over bake the items.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.