Almost every modern day kitchen is equipped with an oven of some kind. The majority of these are conventional ovens. When convection ovens were first introduced, they were only used in pricey restaurants. However, in recent years, the convection oven has become popular with the general public and is now seen in many modern kitchens.
Convection Oven Vs. Conventional Oven – How a Conventional Oven Works
A conventional oven, called a radiant oven, uses either gas or electricity to cook foods. In the case of an electric oven, large coiled wires are heated by electricity. In a gas oven, a flame is powered by gas. In both an electric and a gas oven, a copper wire acts as a temperature sensor. This wire is controlled by the temperature dial of the oven and signals the thermostat when to turn on and off.
Convection Oven Vs. Conventional Oven – How a Conventional Oven Cooks Food
A common criticism of conventional ovens is that foods are not cooked evenly, especially when two or more oven racks are used. Many times the bottom areas of foods are overdone and dry, while the tops are undercooked. This is because temperatures within the conventional oven are not the same in all areas of the oven. The bottom near the heating element or flame is usually the highest in temperature. The radiation of heat upwards may be blocked by lower oven racks and the heat may become stationary. Therefore, it is difficult for the entire conventional oven to reach the required temperature in all areas.
Convection Oven Vs. Conventional Oven – How a Convection Oven Works
A convection oven includes an internal fan which is located in the back of the oven. This fan blows the heat throughout the oven and makes sure that the entire oven is operating at the same temperature.
Some convection ovens also have an additional heating element located in the back of the oven near the fan. The fan in this type of convection oven, sometimes called a European convection oven, blows pre-heated air into the oven.
Convection Oven Vs. Conventional Oven – How a Convection Oven Cooks Food
Because of the heat being distributed equally in a convection oven, food is cooked more evenly. The top, center and bottom of foods will be fully cooked at the time using the same temperature. This is true even when using two or more oven racks of food. Meats will be moister and tastier, while baked items will be completely browned throughout and flakier.
Since this is a more efficient way of cooking, most foods will take 25% less time to cook. In addition, manufacturers of convection ovens suggest that the oven temperature be lowered by 25 degrees for most foods.
It is also recommended that shiny reflective aluminum pans should be used for cakes and cookies that require subtle browning. Darker heavier pans should be used for breads, pies and those foods needing darker browning.
It is also suggested that foods should be cooked uncovered in a convection oven. The use of oven cooking bags should be avoided. Covers and cooking bags will prevent the flow of heat from reaching the foods.
Convection Oven Vs. Conventional Oven – Which is Better?
Although convection ovens are more expensive than conventional ovens, the use of heat is more efficient. As already stated above, cooking time is reduced and lower oven temperatures are used. For families that do a great deal of cooking, the convection oven is more economical than the conventional oven in the long run.