What is a Convection Oven

In your search for the perfect oven, you may have asked yourself: what is a convection oven? Originally used in commercial applications, the fast, even cooking of a convection oven proved perfect for bakeries and restaurants. Today, that same technology is available at home in both full sized and countertop ovens.

What Is A Convection Oven?
In a traditional (also known as "radiant") oven, one or more heating elements raise the temperature inside the oven. As the air heats, it rises to the top of the cooking chamber. The problem with this design is that heat collects at the bottom (near the heating element) and at the top (where the hottest air collects). This leads to uneven heating, making the placement of food within the oven critical.

A convection oven uses heating elements like a radiant oven, but adds a fan to circulate the air within the cooking chamber. Circulating the air results in faster heat transfer and even cooking. Moving air quickly changes the temperature of exposed objects. Think about how wind chill affects the body-now substitute heat for cold and you'll understand the benefits of a convection oven. By constantly moving the air, a convection oven can also remove the problem of hot and cool areas, which cause uneven cooking.

Convection Oven Cooking
A convection oven can save time and energy if used properly. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your convection oven:

  • Keep out! For the best results, you should keep the door of your convection oven closed as much as possible. Opening the door will drastically change the temperature inside, which alter you cooking time and results. Use the oven window to check the progress of your food.
  • Make room. Although convection ovens are great for cooking lots of food at once, be careful how you place the food within the oven. There must be at least one inch of space between the wall of the oven and your food to allow for proper airflow.
  • Experiment. Convection oven cooking is fast and can be done at lower temperatures than a radiant oven. Spend some time experimenting with your favorite recipes to find the right balance between cooking time and food quality.
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