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98 items found

  • How to Use Convection in a Gas Oven

    When a recipe is written for oven cooking the recipe writer provides instructions for cooking that worked in their oven. However, some people have electric ovens, some have gas, some ovens are larger, and some are smaller, yet we all follow that same recipe expecting to achieve success. Then there is the added issue of oven modes, since the recipe doesn’t reference choosing a mode which one do you choose? Why is a Gas Oven Different The heat in a gas oven comes from a gas burner placed beneath the floor of the oven and strategically placed ports in the oven floor allow the heated air to move into the cavity for even heating. The temperature sensor located in the rear of the oven monitors the temperature to regulate the flow of gas so that the average oven temperature remains consistent. Gas ovens also have a burner in the top of the oven for broiling. This element is also usually gas; however, there are gas ovens that have electric top heating elements. One major difference between a gas and electric oven is that the Broil element can only be operated independently not in conjunction with the bottom heating element. In an electric oven when you choose the Bake or Roast mode both the top and bottom heating elements are engaged and cycle on and off to maintain a consistent temperature (heat from electric ovens is considered a drier more stable heat). In contrast, the heat generated by gas is a strong lively heat as the flow of gas basically creates heated moving air which has more moisture. Benefits of Convection in a Gas Oven The heated moving air in gas ovens creates a natural Convection and is one reason why gas ovens produce such great results when roasting and baking bread and pizza. Success when baking more delicate items is possible but paying attention to temperature, timing, and rack positions is key for even results. When the Convection fan is engaged in a gas oven the benefits are as follows: Cooking on multiple racks with even cooking results. More even and faster cooking of large roasts. Not having to change the positions of trays for even heating. Overall, better moisture retention Is Oven Size Important? Oven size and even shape can influence how a gas oven cooks. In my experience of cooking with a variety of brands, the larger capacity range ovens cook really well and evenly. However, with some of the European models with smaller ovens and a more elongated oven shape the cooking is much faster. I have had many people cry about the results of these “fast” ovens but have been able to successfully demonstrate that first choosing the correct rack position, watching the timing, and sometimes even reducing the temperature slightly can make all the difference. Cleaning a Gas Oven The gas ovens from some premium appliance brands feature a self-cleaning mode but it is not a common feature of gas ovens. I have certainly done my fair share of getting on my knees and scrubbing an oven clean but there are some practices you can adopt to help keep the oven clean. Minimizing cooking splatters is the best way to keep the oven from having too much grease buildup. Placing meat on a rack in a shallow pan not only will cook the meat better it also prevents the heat of the pan from leeching moisture out of the food and splattering it around the oven. Placement of food in the oven is important. The closer food is to the bottom heating element the more heat is directed at that food so pay attention to the rack position. Oven liners should not be placed on the floor of the oven. Baking fruit pies and casseroles on a rimmed baking sheet is the best way to capture any overflow. Be sure to check your oven User Guide before using harsh oven cleansers as they can damage the enamel coating in the oven. Products such as Bar Keepers Friend and Bon Ami are the go-to cleaning products recommended by the appliance industry because they scour without scratching. Sprinkle the powder onto a damp cleaning cloth and scrunch it up to make a paste. Apply to the interior surface then wipe clean with a damp cloth. The inside of the oven door can be hard to clean, start with some hot water and dish soap to remove grease, and if a scrub with Bar Keepers Friend doesn’t do the job, then I find an SOS pad does the trick. Just use a light touch so as not to scratch the glass. Stay tuned for my next post which will explain How to Roast a Chicken in Convection. In the meantime visit my Convection Recipe page for some great ideas on roasting and baking in Convection. Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

  • Convection Broil Mode for Succulent Sizzling Steaks and More

    Broiling food in an oven is a quick cooking process that uses powerful direct heat from the top heating element. Because the heat generated in this mode is so powerful there can be a fine line between cooking and burning food so careful attention must be paid when using this mode. What is the Benefit of using Convection with the Broil mode? I find imagery is very helpful when thinking about cooking in a Convection oven. For example, in this mode, visualize the image of powerful direct heat being directed to the food from the top heating element while the Convection fan circulates the heat around the oven. The benefit of powerful heat directed from the top heating element is browning or searing. The benefit of heated air circulating is even distribution of the heat as well as aiding in moisture retention. We need heat to cook food but heat can destroy food. So, basically, this mode solves the problem of moisture loss when cooking foods at high heat. Important Tips for Safe Oven Broiling Because broiling is so fast and the heat is so powerful, it’s important to be well prepared before beginning. Always arrange the oven racks before heating the oven in this mode and turn on the overhead ventilation to assist in extracting any smoke that is emitted during the cooking. Ovens typically come to temperature very quickly in this mode and may only require a 5-minute preheat. Because heating of the top element is accelerated in this mode it’s ok to add the food before preheating is finished. Be sure to have a place with a heat-safe trivet prepared to land the hot broil pan. Use a 2-piece broil pan when broiling foods with a lot of marbling or fat. That way the fat drips into the pan through the slats and is protected from the high heat of the broil element. Avoid using sauces or marinades with a lot of sugar to prevent burning the food. Use a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, shiny side down when broiling shrimp, fish, or vegetables. Don’t leave the kitchen when broiling, and NEVER broil with the oven door open. Using the Heat from the Broil Element Effectively High heat brings out the flavor in food but too much heat can burn food so broiling is a delicate balance. Here are some tips for success. When broiling meats, allow approximately 6 minutes of cooking on the first side and 4 -5 minutes on the second side. By the time you turn the meat the temperature in the oven and the broil pan will both be very hot so the second side usually cooks faster. If the cut of meat is fairly thick, sear both sides then re-position the broil pan lower in the oven and change mode to Convection Roast or Convection Bake, and drop the temperature to 300 degrees. Moving the pan away from the powerful heat in the top of the oven allows the meat to cook through gently without overcooking the edges. Always take the food off the broil pan as soon as it comes out of the oven otherwise it will continue to cook. Stay Tuned for my next post, Troubleshooting Convection Cooking Issues In the meantime, visit my Convection Recipe page for recipe ideas for your next meal. Follow the guidelines for broiling fish and steak provided in these recipes: Broiled Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze, Broiled Cod for Fish Tacos, and Broiled Steak and Corn Salsa. Using the tools in your Convection oven can greatly simplify the preparation of day-to-day cooking with great results. Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

  • Troubleshooting Convection Cooking Issues

    In the 20-plus years that I have worked as a culinary educator in the appliance industry, I have learned that there are some common issues that many people experience when getting to know their new ovens. In this post, I will review those issues and give you tips to achieve success with your oven cooking. Why don’t we understand our ovens? I have worked with many people over the years who were convinced there was a problem with their oven when it was really an issue of user error. I have also heard from countless service technicians how they often find the ”problem” oven they came to fix works perfectly, and the service call ends up being an educational call. Cooking with a new oven is just the same as building any new relationship; there is a learning curve or familiarization process as you get used to how the new oven cooks. The thing to remember is that the recipe doesn’t reference the tools you are cooking with, so it’s important to understand the cooking modes in your oven and the best use for each one. In other words, a little education goes a long way to achieving success. Why Do We Need Education with a New Oven? Standard ovens are much larger nowadays and exposed heating elements are no longer used in electric ovens. Concealing the Bake element in the floor of the oven provides greater cubic capacity in the oven but heating the oven can feel slow, and results may be different from items cooked in a smaller oven with an exposed heating element. Another thing to consider is that gas ovens generally have a more lively stronger heat than electric ovens. That means it’s even more important to pay attention to rack positions, temperature, and timing to avoid overcooking foods, especially baked items. The oven User Guide is of course your best resource for learning about your oven, but I can understand why many people don’t bother. After all, it’s an oven, you turn it on to 350 degrees and put the food in to cook but there is more to it than that. Modern ovens feature a variety of cooking modes that are designed to enhance your cooking and each mode is calibrated to give the best results for different types of cooking. For example, the Convection Bake and Convection Roast modes use the same heating elements, but Convection Bake is calibrated to provide more gentle heat from the top heating element while Convection Roast provides more intense heat for the searing and browning of larger cuts of meat and to evenly heat larger quantities of food. I have provided in-depth information about cooking with these modes in these videos: Convection Bake Mode for Electric Ovens and Convection Roast Mode for Electric Ovens. Common Issues When Cooking with a New Oven One of the most common issues I have encountered when people are getting used to a new oven is that they purchase an inexpensive oven thermometer to monitor the oven temperature. The sensor that regulates the oven temperature is actually in the rear of the oven so will be reading a different temperature to a thermometer placed in the center of the oven. A better test for accuracy is baking a packaged cornbread in a metal pan without changing anything in the instructions. If it bakes evenly then you are off to a good start, if not you can take a photo and provide visual evidence to the service technician. Uneven baking seems to be the biggest issue for people getting used to a new oven. To ensure even baking first review the rack positions recommended by the manufacturer for each mode and also the type of pans and the placement of the pans. This is especially important when baking on multiple racks in the Convection or Convection Bake mode. Your New Oven is Not Your Old Oven Never place an oven liner on the floor of the oven and never cook directly on the floor of the oven, always cook on an oven rack. Because the heating element is no longer exposed there is less risk of foods boiling over in the oven. Some ovens feature a Fast Preheat option to bring the oven to temperature faster or consider using the Convection Bake or Convection Roast mode for more even heating and better performance. While it’s true all ovens cook a little differently, modern ovens overall perform very well. So, take the time to build a good relationship with your oven; take a few minutes to think through which oven mode will work best for the food you are cooking; use the right rack position and the right pans; and always check the food for doneness in advance of the recipe time until you understand how your oven cooks. Stay Tuned for my next post that will cover Convection Cooking Tips for Gas ovens In the meantime, visit my Convection Recipe page for recipe ideas for your next meal. Recipes are organized in categories and provide detailed instructions for success when cooking in Convection. Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

  • Perfect Roast Chicken and Prime Rib in the Convection Roast

    If an oven only has three heating elements what makes the Convection Roast mode different from the Convection Bake mode? Well in this mode the same heating elements are used but they cycle on with maximum intensity to bring more power into the oven. This mode is ideal for roasting lean tender cuts of meat, cooking multiple dishes at one time, and for braising in a covered pan. What are the Benefits of Roasting in Convection? Whether you are roasting a chicken or cooking an entire oven meal, engaging the Convection fan will distribute the heat evenly in the oven providing all the benefits of Convection cooking. Large cuts of meat cook faster than normal recipe time in this mode and do not require basting or turning. Meats cooked in Convection have better moisture retention and with a dry rub of Kosher salt and your preferred seasoning, they will be very flavorful. Because of the excellent moisture retention characteristic of Convection roasting, it is not necessary to brine meats when roasting in Convection. If your recipe calls for a particular flavor that can be achieved by brining, then use the Roast or Bake mode. The direct heat from these modes has a more drying effect on foods which will ensure a better result. Tips for Success when Roasting in Convection Because Convection cooks food from the edge to the center to avoid uneven cooking, use a high temperature for 10 - 15 minutes at either the beginning or end of the roasting time but use moderate temperatures of 325 - 350 degrees for the cooking. Always arrange the oven racks prior to heating the oven and definitely heat the oven before adding food. Large cuts of meat, especially poultry, are best cooked on a rack in a shallow pan so the heated air can circulate evenly around the meat. When the meat rests directly on the pan the heat of the pan leeches moisture from the meat so that rack makes all the difference in persevering moisture which ensures better flavor and texture. The exception would be when cooking a bone in Prime Rib or Rack of Lamb, as the meat won’t be touching the pan. Quick cooking cuts of meat, fish, and vegetables can be placed directly on a shallow rimmed baking pan. Timing - Meat Probes and Digital Thermometers are a Must When roasting in this mode large roasts will cook faster than the stated recipes time so for best results use the oven meat probe if your oven features one. When estimating the cooking time be sure to add on the resting and carving time to better orchestrate the preparation of all the dishes. You don’t want the side dishes sitting around getting cold while the meat is resting. If your oven doesn’t have a meat probe, consider a digital meat thermometer that will give you an accurate read-out or an Instant read thermometer you can use to check the degree of doneness part way through the cooking. When programming in the target internal temperature, for best results choose a slightly lower internal temperature, not the finished temperature because the internal temperature will continue to rise as the meat rests. More Resources for Learning about Convection Roasting To learn more about roasting in Convection, check out the Playlist for Convection Meals and of course the all-important Thanksgiving video. Once you understand how Convection can work for you I really believe you will find meal preparation much easier. Stay Tuned for my next post that will provide a detailed explanation of the Convection Broil Mode In the meantime, visit my Convection Recipe page for recipes, video recipes, and tips using the Convection Roast mode as well as recipes and guidelines for cooking a complete meal in Convection. You will find recipes to guide you for roasting Chicken, Prime Rib, and Turkey, as well as Tri Tip, Pork Loin Roast, and Lamb as well as recipes for cooking a complete meal in Convection. Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

  • The Convection Bake Mode for Crusty Bread and Delicate Cookies

    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.

  • Understanding the Convection Mode for Oven Cooking Success

    As I have explained in my previous post, there are many benefits to cooking with Convection, the challenge especially if your oven has multiple cooking modes is to choose the mode most suited to the type of food you are cooking. In this video series, I will cover the Convection Modes most often found in electric ovens. Once you review this information you will understand why recipe writers pretty much leave it up to the reader to deal with the choice of cooking modes and temperature adjustments, but I sincerely hope this information will help make that choice much easier. Now convection gas ovens are different so there will be a separate video for those; however, the same Convection principles apply when cooking in a Gas Convection oven. - Gas oven modes control knob - Where Does the heat come from in the Convection Mode? If your oven has a mode that simply says Convection or True Convection, the important thing to know is that in this mode only the heating elements around the fan are active. There is no additional heat from the top or bottom heating elements. When the heat is only coming from the rear Convection element you can bake on multiple racks at one time and all the food will cook evenly because the fan is circulating the heat around the oven cooking the food from the edge to the core. There is no heat being directed at the food from either the top or bottom heating elements. To review, the benefits of cooking in a Convection mode are: Foods have more moisture retention Large cuts of meat cook much faster and require no turning or basting Multiple foods can be cooked at one time with no transfer of flavor. When do I use the Convection Mode and What type of pans should I use? The Convection mode is most often used for baking multiple racks of cookies, appetizers, or pastries and can also be used to cook an entire meal in the oven on multiple racks, or to roast a large cut of lean tender meat. When baking in the Convection mode, the type of pan used can also make a difference. For best results use flat cookie sheets with a lip or shallow-sided pans. This allows the Convection heat to evenly cook the food. When using a glass dish always reduce the temperature by 30°F. Otherwise, as a general rule, reduce the temperature by 25°F when baking in Convection. When roasting or cooking several casserole style dishes at one time use the recipe temperature. Since standard ovens are so large nowadays you may actually need to increase the oven temperature by 5 degrees when cooking large quantities of food in this mode. Pay attention to how your oven cooks and the results will be amazing. Stay Tuned for my next post that will provide a detailed explanation of the Convection Bake Mode. In the meantime, visit my Convection Recipe page for recipe ideas or your next meal. Once you land at this page click on the Convection Meal category. These recipes will show you how to cook complete meals with a single convection oven. Larissa, your convection enthusiast.

  • An Introduction to Convection and Great Cooking Results

    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.

  • Convection Kitchen Blog, Connect Your Recipe to Your Convection Oven

    Welcome to Convection Kitchen, an educational resource to learn about convection and combi steam oven cooking. I am Larissa Taboryski, your convection enthusiast. Over the past 20-plus years, I've taught thousands of people how to use their convection and combi-steam ovens. Why the need for all this education? Because recipes do not reference the tools you cook with and all ovens are just a little bit different. Once you understand the tools you are cooking with, success with your oven cooking is easier to achieve. You can start your education here on my website, or my YouTube channel by clicking on the playlist "Introduction to Convection Cooking" or "Introduction to Combi Steam Oven Cooking." Also, check out my website for recipes and learn how to adapt your cooking to these amazing tools. I hope you'll find these videos and my website helpful. So please like, and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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