Convection Bake is perhaps the most confusing mode in a Convection oven, especially one that also features a Convection mode and a Bake mode, which one do you choose? Well, this mode is actually designed to make the process of baking or cooking large quantities of food easier. It all comes down to knowing where the heat is coming from and how engaging the Convection Fan will benefit the cooking.
Understanding Where the Heat is Coming From
In the Convection Bake mode, the heat comes from the bottom and top heating elements the same as in the Bake mode, but now the fan is engaged and circulates the heat around the oven. When the fan assists with the heat distribution you have all the benefits of Convection, so that means we can cook on multiple racks at one time.
Unfortunately, there is no uniformity in ovens, in some, the Convection element is engaged in this mode, and in others, the fan just distributes the heat. It all depends on how the manufacturer has designed the oven to ensure the best cooking results. That's why it’s so important to understand the tools you are cooking with because it helps you understand the results and think through what adjustments you need to make.
What are the Advantages of Baking in Convection?
Because you can bake multiple pans on two or three racks at one time there is no need to switch the pan positions during baking. However, remember when the fan is engaged always reduce recipe temperatures by 25 degrees when baking.
Whenever your baked items have a dark ring around the edge, this indicates the recipe temperature was too high so, lower the temperature next time or reduce the baking time. As a rule of thumb, I always set the timer at least 5- 10 minutes in advance of the stated recipe time when baking a new recipe. That way I can better determine how it will bake in my oven.
Foods that benefit from being cooked in the Convection Bake mode include pies, pastries, bread, quick bread, casseroles, and pizza. If this is the only Convection mode in your oven this mode can also be used for roasting and cooking oven meals without any temperature reduction.
Why are Rack Positions Important when Baking?
While this mode is great for baking on multiple racks I want to caution you that rack positions are important when using this mode. The oven User Guide is your best resource for tips on rack position and placement of pans. I have resolved many unsuccessful baking issues by getting people to learn which rack positions are recommended in their oven.
Another consideration is the type of pans you are baking with. Generally darker pans tend to cook faster and when baking in a glass dish a temperature reduction of 30 degrees is recommended. When baking the same type of food on multiple racks using the same type of pans will yield the best results.
There is always some trial and error when getting used to the tools in a new oven but understanding where the heat is coming from, reducing the temperature when baking in a Convection mode, and using the recommended rack positions will ensure success. Like every relationship, you learn more the more time you spend together.
Stay tuned for my next post that will provide a detailed explanation of the Convection Roast Mode.
In the meantime, visit my Convection Recipe page for recipe ideas for your next meal or for your next baking project. You will find a delicious array of recipes including, Peanut Butter Brownies, Italian Cheese Bread, Olive Oil Cake with Almonds, and Apricot Tart.
Larissa, your Convection Enthusiast.