A great feature of Convection and Steam ovens is the option to cook foods using a variety of different cooking modes. Since most of us eat the same foods on a regular basis being able to vary the preparation is definitely one way to keep our taste buds from becoming jaded. When a client who has a Convection and a Steam oven asks me, “how do I cook fish in my oven?” there is no easy answer because there are so many options.
Which are the Best Convection Modes to Cook Fish?
Convection has a less drying effect on food, so foods cooked in Convection have more moisture retention and there is no transfer of flavor when cooking a variety of foods in Convection. The modes most suited to cooking fish in a Convection oven are:
Convection Roast or Convection Bake 350 - 375 °F (180 - 190 C)
These modes are ideal when cooking the meatier fish or portions cut from the thickest part of the fish. For an easy complete meal, vegetables can be roasted at the same time and the fish added to the oven for the final 10 minutes of cooking.
Convection Broil 425 - 475 °F (220 - 250 C)
Broiling is ideal for quickly cooking thinner fish fillets for fish tacos or for broiling fish and shellfish to serve with pasta or rice dishes. Quick cooking vegetables such as asparagus, sliced peppers, onions, and mushrooms can be broiled at the same time.
Low-Temperature Cooking 160 -200 °F (70 - 93 C)
There is no mode for Low-Temperature cooking in a Convection oven but you can set the oven in the Convection or Convection Bake Mode with a temperature range of 160 - 200°F (70 - 93 C). First sear the fish to get a nice crust on one side, carefully flip the fish and place the pan in the oven to finish the cooking. This technique ensures a lot of flavor from the searing as well as a fabulous consistency from the slow finish in the oven. Thicker meatier cuts of fish are best when using this technique.
Which Modes are Best to Cook Fish in my Steam Oven?
A Steam oven offers even more modes for cooking fish and shellfish and there are added benefits of cooking with steam. Steam inhibits the cellular breakdown of food, so the flavor, texture, and nutrient value of foods cooked in steam are enhanced.
Steam Mode 180 - 212 °F (350 - 100 C)
This mode can be used for steaming or poaching fish. The fish is placed in a solid pan with the desired aromatics and approximately ½ cup of water and maybe a splash of wine. Timing will depend on the weight of the fish, a whole fish can take up to 20 minutes while fillets may only take approximately 12 minutes. This mode can also be used to steam shell-on shrimp or lobster tails, and to steam mussels and clams.
Combination Convection Steam Mode 350 - 375 °F (180 - 190 C)
This mode can be used for baking or roasting thicker meatier cuts of fish.
Low-Temperature Mode 160 - 200 °F (71 - 93 C)
This mode can be used as described above to finish the cooking of fish that has been seared on one side.
Convection Broil with Humidity (Not Available in all Ovens) 425 - 450 °F (218 - 232 C)
Broiling with Convection and added humidity is a tool streamlined to preserve the flavor and moisture in fish and shellfish while under the powerful direct heat of the broiler.
Sous Vide Mode 125 - 200 °F (52 - 93 C)
We have successfully used the sous vide mode to cook octopus, shellfish, and fish. The long slow cooking time is of course a factor but the results are worth the effort.
So you can see there are many options and we have a selection of delicious fish and seafood recipes on the website to guide you to success in cooking fish and shellfish in your Convection and Steam ovens. In addition to recipes for baking, roasting, steaming, low-temperature cooking, sous vide, and broiling fish and shellfish, we also have recipes for creating wonderful meals. Learn how preparing dishes such as Paella, Fish Pie, Italian Seafood Salad, Grilled Shrimp Jambalaya, Cioppino, and Seafood Pasta are made easier using Convection and Steam.
Stay tuned for my next Blog Post, Easy Convection Recipes to feed a crowd.
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast