One of the latest innovations for your quickly expanding kitchen is the portable convection oven. A convection oven uses thermal energy to cook your food.
The convection oven may be gas or electric. The main difference between this oven and the traditional oven is that the former comes with a fan to circulate air over the food coking in the oven. This bonus makes it possible to enjoy more even cooking with proper crisping and browning.
Why Opt for Convection Ovens?
The use of the fan in the convection oven spreads heat evenly over the food, resulting in uniform browning making the food look and taste good. When used with meat, it makes the meat juicier. The basis for all this is that the fans in the convection oven blow and pull air over the food, maintaining a steady temperature as your food cooks. The food also cooks in a shorter time compared to traditional ovens.
For baking, you can get the best cakes because your baked products remain moist as they bake. You end up with some of the best bread, cakes, muffins and pies.
Remember the days when you had to rotate pans to get even heat distribution? This is not needed anymore. All you need to do when you have a convection oven is to know what time the cookies are to be ready. With convection ovens, you cannot burn the cookies or end up with a crunchy bottom. So, pick any of these to set off the process.
However, to enjoy all these benefits, you need to follow a few guidelines:
1. Lower The Temperature
The cooking and heating process is much more efficient in this oven, meaning that you do not need to use a high temperature like normal cooking to get the best results. If your recipe recommends a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, then lower the temperature by nearly 25 degrees Fahrenheit to 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Know When to Check the Progress of the Baking
You need to know how the food that you are preparing is progressing. Thanks to the efficiency of the convection oven, the food that you cook will always cook faster than usual compared to the use of traditional methods of cooking.
The best time to check is halfway through the baking period to gauge how the food is coming along, and then you need to check the food more frequently as it nears the end of the cooking process.
To tell that it is done, you ought to go by how this food smells and looks, rather than the use of the timer. As you get more and more used to baking using the convection oven, you start knowing how fast the food bakes, and you can confidently predict the time the food will take to get ready.
3. Let the Air Circulate
Convection relies on the warm air circulating in the oven. You, therefore, need to provide the space to let air move in the oven for the food to cook properly. Overcrowding the oven will not make the food bake faster the way you think, it will instead make the food to bake unevenly. The cooking ends up being less efficient, and you lose the advantages that the convection mode brings to the process.
You can opt to bake the food on multiple racks in the oven, but you still need to make sure you do not overcrowd these racks.
The process also works well if you use rimless baking sheets or low-sided pans. These allow for better circulation of air and heat, making the food crispier.
4. Know Which Foods to Bake, and Which Not to Bake
While nearly all the dishes benefit from a steady heat, you need to know what kinds of food that need to be placed in the oven, and which ones shouldn’t. Foods such as quick bread, cakes, soufflés and custards are not meant to be cooked in the convection oven at all.
Most of these foods end up forming an unpleasant crust on the top that can dry out in the oven as well.
Make sure you know how the convection oven works and what it can do to help your cooking in the kitchen. Additionally, make sure you understand the various tips that make cooking using this oven better.