A convection oven, through its’ fan and exhaust system, blows hot oven air over and around the food before venting it back out. Although this cooks the food more evenly and quickly, the oven still has a regular oven setting. Depending on what you are making, let’s talk about when to use the convection, and more importantly, when not to use it.
When Should You Use the Convection Setting?
- When baking pies and pastries. Convection heat creates steam faster and melts fat easily. It helps create more lift in pastries and pie doughs, such as mini buns and croissants.
- When making trays of cookies. With convection, you don’t need to rotate your cookies halfway through baking. The oven allows you to bake a numerous tray of cookies one time, and evenly.
- When roasting. Meats and vegetables definitely benefit the most from convection cooking. Not only they cook faster and more evenly, the drier air in the environment brings out more crisp for the skin and caramelizes the exteriors much better.
- When toasting or dehydrating. After all, the goal of toasting or dehydrating food is to remove moisture as quickly as possible. In that sense, the convection oven is more efficient than a regular oven.
- When making something that’s cooked with a cover. If you’re covering up the food with a braise or covering a casserole dish with foil, you might want to use a convection oven since it cooks faster.
When Should You Not Use the Convection Setting?
Delicate food that start out a batter and set while cooking may not be apt for convection cooking. Blowing heat especially on the food listed below can create lopsided results:
- Bread. Some argue that convection creates a great crust with even browning. However, you got to consider how others say it dries out the interior skin of the bread.
- Custard and flans
Many are intrigued by convection cooking but they aren’t sure how to use it as many are manually configured. There is another alternative to convection cooking that is as easy to use and that’s a combi oven. A combi oven is an oven with three modes of cooking: convection, steam and combination cooking. It is used to reheat foods and to roast, bake and “oven fry”.
Typically used in professional catering or food service establishments, learning to use one certainly isn’t a big deal, especially perceiving the off-beat results you get from using a oven that combines the best of both worlds.