I recently discovered the convection setting on my oven, and I LOVE it. I seriously don’t know why it took me so long to give it a try. I think I was overwhelmed at the idea of re-learning to bake/cook all of the things I have down to a science both temperature and timing wise in a standard oven. Now that I am getting the hang of it, though, everything they say about convection ovens is spot on–they cook faster and more evenly.
Because convection ovens work by distributing heat all around the food, rather than from the top and bottom, it changes the way you bake a bit. So, if you are new to convection ovens like I was, here’s a few quick tips to get you on your way:
- Adjust standard recipes one of two ways: Either lower the temperature by 25 degrees or decrease the cooking time by about a quarter. You may have to play with the numbers a bit.
- Make sure your dish has air flow. The whole point of a convection oven is that the heat penetrates the food from all sides and top and bottom. Use shallow roasting pans and baking sheets without sides to get the most out of the oven.
- Cooking and roasting good. Baking bad. The convection setting is really best for cooking or roasting. Because the convection setting cooks faster, it can dry out baked goods. Also, convection cooking relies on fans circulating the air, so the fans can cause baked good to splatter in the “windy” conditions. So for roasts and other cooking, the convection setting rocks, but it’s best to turn it off when baking cookies, cakes, and breads.
Those are really the basics. Not that bad, right? If you have been hesitant to use the convection setting, I seriously recommend roast for dinner–it will make you a believer.