3 ways to use your convection oven
Every time you prepare a meal with your oven, you may find yourself wondering what in the world that convection feature means. While many new ovens offer convection cooking, most home chefs don't fully understand the feature or how to use it to their advantage.
Jim Miller, cooking expert with GE appliances, explains that with traditional cooking, food is heated from the oven's bottom baking element. With convection, a fan circulates hot air over, under, and around the food. This is how convection is able to cook food more evenly and quickly, up to 25 per cent faster. You also achieve better browning in a convection oven. In a regular oven, the air can become humid since moisture has nowhere to escape, leading to food getting steamed rather than roasted. In a dryer convection oven, foods will brown more easily while remaining moist and juicy inside.
To use the convection feature, simply lower your recipe's recommended oven temperature by 25 degrees. Food cooks faster when using convection, so check on it about halfway through to see if any adjustments are needed. Some ranges even feature automatic convection conversion, making all these adjustments automatically. As an added bonus, the lower cooking time and temperatures can help you save on your energy bills. The next time you're entertaining or looking to experiment in the kitchen, try one of these cooking methods with your convection oven:
1. Roasting: Convection is a winner for roasting and crisping food to perfection. The fat on meats renders quickly, helping to seal in the juices while still browning the skin.
2. Baking: You can use convection to bake multiple trays of cookies at a time evenly, without having to rotate the baking sheets. Dough also rises higher, making for a flakier and lighter piecrust.
3. Dehydrating foods: Convection does this current cooking trend best. Fruits and meats will dry out quickly and uniformly.
Tip: Any food that sets while cooking may be too delicate to withstand the fan, so avoid convection for delicate cakes, flans, custards, and soufflés.
– News Canada