Many ovens have a convection setting, but it often gets ignored. Don't be intimidated by this feature—it can help you cook your food faster and more evenly. Here's how to make good use of a convection oven.
Conventional ovens heat up thanks to coils located at the top and bottom of the appliance. However, even the best ovens have a downside—if you use an oven thermometer, you’ll know that some don’t come up to temperature, and many have hot and cold patches, which means you have to move your dishes around throughout the cooking process. But, with a convection oven, your food can stay put.
That’s because convection ovens come equipped with a fan and an exhaust system to circulate hot air. Basically, your food is constantly enveloped in a warm hug, so you don’t need to worry about moving it around while it cooks. It’ll also be ready—and achieve a beautiful golden-brown colour—more quickly. Some estimate food cooks about 25 to 30 percent faster in a convection oven, so make sure you check it often. Or, try cooking it for the same period of time, just turn the temperature down 25 degrees F.
To get the best results, use the convection setting when you’re cooking or baking with low-sided dishes (such as a roasting pan or cookie sheet). As much as possible, you want to expose the surface area of your food to the circulating air. Just remember, the convection setting yields a drier environment, while a regular, or conventional, oven is more humid.
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