Updated: Aug 29
One of the great mysteries of the appliance industry is that most ovens sold nowadays feature Convection and Traditional oven cooking modes; however, you very rarely can find a recipe that references convection cooking. How did this happen?
Let Me Tell You How It Happened
For many years ovens did not have cooking modes, so recipes simply had to state, preheat the oven to a specific temperature and place the food inside to cook. About 40 years ago Convection, fan-assisted cooking, began to transform residential cooking.
Convection ovens were first used in professional cooking environments because they facilitated cooking large amounts of food. Wanting to stay abreast of trends,
manufacturers of high-end residential appliances began to include Convection as an optional cooking mode. This meant that they also had to name the traditional cooking modes such as Bake, Roast, or Broil as well as the Convection modes so the user could select the most appropriate one. Having a choice didn’t make things easier for most people and with little information about how to benefit from using Convection the majority of us continued to use the traditional Bake or Roast for our cooking.
Why You Should Use Convection
There are many benefits to cooking with the circulating heat of Convection. Foods cooked in Convection retain more moisture which equals better texture and flavor. Multiple foods can be cooked at one time with no transfer of flavor, and the cooking time for large cuts of meat such as turkey is greatly reduced.
The noticeable moisture retention of foods cooked in Convection means it is not necessary to brine meats unless a particular flavor is desired and no turning or basting is required.
Elements that Make a Convection Oven
In an electric Convection oven, there are three heating elements. One in the floor of the oven, one in the top of the oven, and, the element surrounding the Convection fan on the rear wall of the oven. In order to turn the oven on you need to select a cooking mode, so here is an overview.
If your oven has a mode that just says Convection, then the heat is only coming from the rear element, this mode is ideal for baking multiple racks of cookies or for cooking several items at one time.
The Convection Bake mode uses heat from the bottom heating element, plus some heat from the top element for even browning, the circulating Convection heat enables you to bake or cook on several racks at one time without having to change the positions of the trays.
The Convection Roast mode uses the same heating elements as Convection Bake but the heating elements operate with greater intensity as is appropriate for roasting foods.
Tips for Successful Convection Cooking
There are two important things to remember when cooking with Convection:
Because the heat circulates around the oven the heat cooks the food from the edge to the center, so when baking in Convection reducing recipe temperatures by 25 degrees ensures even results.
Large roasts especially poultry should always be cooked on a rack in a shallow pan. This allows the heat to circulate around the food and prevents the heat of the pan from leeching moisture from the meat. Follow this link to learn more about the modes in your Convection oven and how to achieve success when cooking with Convection.
Don't miss My Next Blog Post!
In my next post, I will explain the convection modes in more details. Each mode is designed for a specific type of cooking. So the results of your cooking will depend on the mode you select, but don't worry I am here you guide you long your journey.