You’ve probably heard about convection ovens everywhere around you, but you’ve never quite figured out what they’re all about. What makes them more special, are they any good and should you get one?
How do convection ovens work
What a convection oven has different from a regular oven is a fan and an exhaust system that circulates the air inside the oven. Both traditional and convection ovens can be heated the same way, using electricity or gas. What differs is the way that heat is distributed in each of them.
In a convection oven, the hot air comes from all around, blowing and surrounding the food. With regular ovens, the heat comes only from the bottom. That is why one of the biggest advantages convection ovens have over traditional ones is the fact that the food is cooked way faster and evenly.
The main pros of convection ovens
As we’ve already mentioned it, the biggest advantage of convection ovens is time-efficiency. Thanks to the fan in them, they can cook your food even in half the time, compared to conventional ovens. This also translates into less energy consumption and smaller bills to pay. Convection ovens also cook your food at lower temperatures than regular ovens.
The fact that the food is cooked more evenly is definitely another pro. We’ve all had to deal with that pie burnt on the sides and uncooked in the middle. With convection ovens you get rid of that problem, thanks to the fan that moves the hot air throughout the entire oven. This way there will be no areas left too cold and areas which get too hot. Even the quality of the food is better with convection ovens. This can especially be felt/tasted on meat products, which get juicier and tender when cooked in a convection oven. Everything browns better and caramelizes faster, too.
Another benefit is the fact that convection ovens allow you to cook multiple dishes at the same time, without the temperature dropping. The oven sees everything you put inside as a single item to be cooked. It is even possible to place the dishes one above the other and you can place them anywhere inside the oven, without fearing they might get too hot or not get hot enough.
Cons of convection ovens
One of the biggest con in convection ovens is their price, which is higher than that of regular ovens. A top-end convection oven can go as high as a few thousand dollars.
Another disadvantage, although it is more than an inconvenient than a disadvantage, is the fact that there’s a learning curve with convection ovens. You have to do some adjustments to your regular recipes, in terms of cooking time. Some will take more time and some will take less time to cook than with your regular ovens. Expect to fail the first few times and burn or undercook your food, until you figure out how to adjust the time. One last notable disadvantage is the fact that convection ovens may break more often, as they tend to be more fragile and have an extra part that can break: the fan. However, if carefully handled and maintained, a high-quality convection oven can last you for years and years.