Kitchen Appliance Advice

Convection Oven Buying Advice

A frequent complaint of cooks with conventional radiant ovens is that bottoms of foods get scorched, while tops are not browned evenly. This is because the temperature is not the same over the course of the cooking time, as well as over the volume of the oven cavity. Convection ovens correct this variation by using a fan that continuously circulates air through the oven cavity. With hot air moving all around the oven, convection cooking can eliminate hot and cool spots for more even cooking.

Convection Oven
The fan is usually located on the backside of the oven. The purpose of the fan is to force the hot air inside of the oven and circulate it around the item being cooked. Because the heated air transfers heat more efficiently to cooking containers and exposed food surfaces, food will take less time to cook. Most recipes can be cooked for 25% shorter time, which ends up saving energy. Not only does a convection oven cook food more quickly than a conventional oven, but it can also thoroughly cook food at lower temperatures. The temperature a convection oven uses to cook food is also about 20 percent to 30 percent lower than a recipe's suggested cooking temperature.

The best -- and most efficient -- convection ovens are equipped with a third heating element (in addition to the usual top and bottom elements in a conventional radiant oven), which is installed near or around the fan in the back of the oven. This element heats the air to a s temperature before it enters the oven cavity. In many ovens, the third heating element is covered by a baffle, or a panel, which channels air sucked in by the fan past the heating element and back out into the oven.

In the market, you can also find convection microwave oven which combines a convection oven with a microwave oven to cook food with the speed of a microwave oven and the even cooking ability of a convection oven. Another form of a convection oven is an impingement oven which is often used to cook pizzas. Impingement ovens have a high flow rate of heated air from both above and below the food. The heated airflow is directed onto food that usually passes through the oven on a conveyor belt. Airflow rates can range between 1-5 m/s. Impingement ovens can achieve a much higher heat transfer than a conventional oven.

Convection ovens run on electricity (110, 280, or 240 volts), natural gas, or propane gas. They are typically designed with coved corners for easier cleaning and come equipped with a one-year warranty.

Buying Tips:
Before selecting a convection oven, please first consider the following aspects:
  • How much space do you have for the oven?

  • Is the interior of the oven easy to clean, especially the corners?

  • How many rack positions are there?

  • Do you like one that runs on electricity, natural gas or propane gas?

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