If you are one of those thinking of buying the best convection oven in the market then you have found yourself in the right place. In this post, i will take time to explain what a convection oven is and why you must have one in your kitchen. Before going into details, a simple question I would want you to ask yourself is: “What will my kitchen look like if I have one equipment that replaces about two or three?”
Most kitchens you walk into today are filled with appliances; and you probably wouldn’t find space on the counter to place your hands. Although it is great to have appliances in the kitchen as they make life easy, it doesn’t make sense if it makes the whole place look cluttered. The easiest solution is to try and get a multi-functional equipment such as a microwave oven, or convection oven. With microwave and convection ovens, you can heat, roast, bake, grill, and perform several other cooking functions. If you don’t have one at home already, you have been missing. Spend time on this post and you will see the reason why you need one in your kitchen as soon as possible.
what is a convection oven?
A few years back, an oven was simply a metal box compartment, specifically used for baking. However these days, technology has brought about several types and design of ovens used for multiple purposes.
In order to understand what a convection oven is, you need to know what the word “convection” means.If you are a physics student or tech savvy person, you have probably come across it before. Convection according to Wikipedia means the transfer of heat due to mass movement of molecules within fluids such as gasses and liquids.
So now that you know what convection means, you can easily understand what a convection oven is. It is an oven that use technology to ensure heat is transferred in mass to your food thereby leading to even and intense cooking. It also saves you time and energy.
How Does a Convection Oven work?
While it may take a whole lot of effort and technical knowhow to manufacture a convection oven, it is fairly easy to understand the technology behind it. To start with, imagine yourself in a relaxation center on a cool winter night. You feel cool quite alright, but not as much as when a mild wind blows across your direction. If the wind remains that way for a few minutes, you may be forced to wrap yourself with some extra clothing, as you will feel cold more intense than before. This is quite similar to how convection ovens work.
A fan and an exhaust system are the additional components added to conventional ovens to come up with convection ovens. The fan does the job of blowing the heat being produced by the heater across the walls of the oven creating a fast stream of hot air bouncing back and forth the oven at the same speed and temperature. The exhaust on the other hand sucks out moisture during operation to help keep the air within the oven dry. In summary, while the fan ensures that your food cooks faster and more evenly, the exhaust ensures that your food maintains a crisp and golden color. Both components explained combine together with a conventional oven to form a convection oven. That’s the simple explanation on how convection oven works.
How to use a Convection Oven
One fact you should put at the back of your mind is that convection is a setting in most ovens usually activated by a button or switch. Now you must be wondering why you have to learn how to operate it when you can just push a button. Well, I have seen an instance where a novice got her cookies burnt beyond “repair” just because she felt all she needed to do was to turn on the convection switch and be done in a jiffy.
In order not to put yourself in a similar situation, you’ll need to follow this few easy steps if you have never used the convection setting on your oven before.
Subtract 27oF Always
Various foods come with diverse range of cooking temperature. If you maintain the same temperature you would use in conventional cooking for convection cooking, then you will have yourself to blame. How fast your food is prepared doesn’t always depend on high temperatures. For the last time, don’t forget to lower your cooking temperature by 27oF.
Check your Food at Intervals
This is true especially towards the end of cooking. As time goes on, you may become accustomed to the time it takes for some of your frequently prepared dishes to be ready but before then, make sure you check at intervals to ensure you don’t have a burnt offering on your plate.
Maintain Space within the Oven
A professional caterer knows how important it is to maintain, but maximize space within an oven. If you crowd your conventional oven, your food will not receive adequate heat and may end up being unevenly cooked. The same is true for convection oven because air will not be able to circulate, thereby defeating the purpose of convection.
Convection vs Convectional Ovens
Just as I have elucidated in the paragraphs above, convection oven isn’t so different from conventional ovens except for the Fan and Exhaust. Below are the significant differences in their operation.
Time: It takes about 25% less time to cook with a convection oven than with a conventional oven. And that’s almost at 10 – 30% less temperature. Although it is faster to cook with a convection oven, you have to follow the steps laid down above in order not to get yourfood burnt
Even Cooking: Everyone at one point or the other in the past must have eaten a food that wasn’t cooked evenly. You’ll notice the texture change as you bite down. The reason for this isn’t inadequate heat, as it’s possible to have your oven on its highest heating capacity and still have unevenly cooked food. In most cases, it is poor circulation of heat. While a conventional oven doesn’t have a medium to improve circulation of heat, the convection oven has a fan which does that.
Browning: The convection oven is better at browning and this is as a result of its exhaust technology which sucks moisture out of the oven. This creates a dry atmosphere thereby causing your meat or fish to become brown on the outside and moist on the inside.
Energy: One would expect the convection oven to consume more energy than the conventional oven due to the extra components in it but the reverse is the case. Remember that time is a factor in energy consumption. Since the convection energy prepares food at a lesser time than the conventional, a significant chunk of energy will be saved each time you use it for cooking.
Convection Oven Recipes
Cookies: If you are a lover of cookies then you must be glad to find out that it is one of the several convection oven recipes available. When using conventional oven, you need to always stay alert to rotate the sides at regular intervals to ensure it doesn’t get burnt. You also need to put a few per time as the heat close to the heating element is usually more intense than at other areas within the oven. For convection oven, you can put a lot more since the temperature across the nook and crannies of the oven remains constant.
Toasted Bread: Isn’t it great that toasted breads are convection oven recipes? You can now do away with the toaster in your kitchen as your oven will toast far more quantities than what your toaster can. Apart from bread, you can also use the oven to toast all other kinds of food. And probably make pizza and sharwama.
Roasted foods: A lot of people love eating roasted foods such as meat, fish, vegetables, etc. and the best appliance to make such foods indoor is a convection oven. Apart from the fact that it cooks faster and more evenly, the lack of moisture within the oven makes the skin of the food brown and crispy, while the interior remains moist.
Snacks and Pastries: Snacks and pastries have always been a traditional food that people cannot do without even in years to come. The best pastry is that which is not just rich in quality, but also crunchy. Conventional ovens have always been used to prepare snacks and pastries, but it has now become a convection oven recipe. If you still use conventional oven to prepare your pastries then I must say, you have been missing a lot. Get one convection oven today and see the difference.
Miscellaneous Foods: With the diverse types of foods in the world today, it is practically impossible to have a full list of convection oven recipes. But notwithstanding, they type of foods in the miscellaneous section are foods that you prepare with the lid of your pot shut. Such foods do not have an issue with the absence of moisture so you can as well prepare them in your convection oven.
“Not” Convection Oven Recipes
Foods that are not convection oven recipes are generally those that are delicate and soft. Although they become tough as they cook, the hot air makes them dry and crispy on the surface thereby leading to a loss in their natural texture. Some examples are: Souffles, cakes, breads, custards, and every other food that are similar to these.
Convection ovens have become a part of our lives. Most people cannot do without it in their kitchen. In most cases, you don’t need a microwave when you have a convection oven at home. You also don’t need a toaster. as your convection oven substitutes all.
How about cost? It is not too expensive to purchase one. As you already know, the price of kitchen appliances vary according to their grade and complexity. For as low as $100, you are likely to find a medium range convection oven capable of solving the needs of your kitchen comfortably. You can go through this detailed guide 15 of the best convection oven this year to choose the best for your kitchen.