I would not be false to say that the convection oven has become a staple appliance in our kitchen. Thanks to its high versatility and short cooking time that allows us to make a variety of dishes. From roasting vegetables to baking pies, you can use your convection oven to make a complete meal.
But today we’re not here to talk about the amazing capabilities of the convection oven but instead, understand what actually is convection cooking. How does this setting work and what foods/recipes turn out mouthwatering while using the mode? Also, not all foods are convection compatible. So it’s time to learn about what is convection cooking, when to use it, and what you shouldn’t cook in the convection oven.
What is convection cooking mode?
In simple and clear words, a convection oven has an exhaust system and a fan. These two are responsible for the circulation of hot air that helps to cook quickly and evenly from all sides. And this is what a regular oven lacks.
A good convection oven comprises more than one heating element inside the chamber. These elements are present on the bottom, sides, or top of the oven with a rear placed fan.
While heating elements are responsible for generating heat, the exhaust fan circulates the heat in all directions and vents out excessive hot air from the chamber to maintain the set temperature. Thus, helps in even cooking of food.
When should you use a convection oven?
The most popular use of a convection oven is to bake goodies. You can make cakes, cookies, and a variety of desserts. But surprisingly, your appliance is not just limited to baking desserts. Take a look below to find out what else can you do with the convection cooking mode ‘on’.
- Roast: If you feel like eating healthy turn to your convection oven to roast some favorite veggies. Thanks to circulating hot air inside the chamber that roasts the vegetables quickly and crunchy. Besides vegetables, you can also roast meat and enjoy a delicious caramelized exterior of roasted fruits.
- Toast: The concept of toasting is quite simple. You just need to get rid of excess moisture to give your food a nice toasty bite. And that’s when you should use convection cooking mode as the hot dry air removes the moisture from food, making it toasty. Many good convection oven brands come with toasting racks to toast several bread slices in one go.
- Broil: Broiling uses direct heat to cook hard foods like chicken, vegetables, fish, etc. And broiling food using a convection oven is very much possible as they can reach high temperatures quickly. As a result, it sears the food surface and cooks it soft from within.
- Dehydrate: Love to munch dehydrated food on a road journey? Then you can use your countertop oven for dehydrating your favorite vegetable or fruit slices. Convection cooking removes excessive moisture and makes delicious apple chips, jerky, etc, easily.
- Reheat: Reheating leftovers at the right temperature is important to maintain their texture. And thankfully, you get a range of heating temperatures in a convection oven. Therefore, perfect for reheating last night’s pizza.
When should you avoid convection cooking? (Foods to avoid)
While hot dry air is great for cooking a lot of recipes, it doesn’t work out for all of them. Convection cooking doesn’t turn out well when you need to the food item to remain moist. So, therefore, avoid cooking such foods.
- Quick bread
- Delicate cakes/pastries
- Chewy cookies/biscuits
You might also like:
The Bottom Line
Convection ovens are widely used in both residential and commercial kitchens. While experienced chefs know how and when to use the convection mode, it can be hard for beginners to learn the functions. But not to worry, after all, it is not rocket science. And now that you know what is convection cooking and when should you use it, I am sure you’ll make great recipes in no time.