Many appliance manufacturers are touting the convection oven as the next big thing. Most of us are familiar with the standard range oven, the microwave oven, maybe even the toaster oven. But what the heck is a convection oven? Is it better than the other kinds of ovens? Do you really need a convection oven? Let’s take a look at this interesting appliance.
How Does a Convection Oven Work
Convection, the circulation of heated air, occurs naturally in nature. A convection oven utilizes a fan to force the circulation of heated air. Once known as a fan oven, this cooking technique is valued for rendering crispier pastry, Martha Stewart-worthy cookies, and a picture perfect Thanksgiving turkey. Some foods may not do as well in the convection setting, but most models have a switch that allows you to disengage the convection fan in that case.
Advantages of Convection Ovens
Because the convection oven aggressively circulates heated air around the food, whatever your are cooking actually cooks faster at a lower temperature. Food also cooks more evenly. From an aesthetic perspective, food cooked in a convection oven is typically more evenly browned and thus more pleasing to the eye. As for taste, more even cooking means less drying out in spots and, ultimately, a tastier dish.
Convection Microwave Ovens
The major disadvantage of microwave cooking is the inability to brown most foods. Adding convection to a basic microwave solves that problem. Convection microwaves combine the best features of standard ovens with the speed of microwave cooking. Convection microwaves are often larger than a standard microwave, but range hood models are now available.
As they have grown in popularity, convection ovens and microwaves have become readily available. In many cases, they are equal in price to traditional ovens. There is a learning curve involved but users swear that the benefits are worth the effort. Most recipes are written for use with regular ovens, so you must consider this and adjust cooking time and temperature accordingly. Despite these extra moving parts, convection oven repair and maintenance is no more arduous than for traditional appliances.
To determine if a convection oven or microwave is right for you, talk with a local appliance sales professional. They can explain the types of repair or maintenance that may be necessary to keep convection ovens in good order, and can discuss the particulars of installation, space needs, and power requirements. Before you know it, you too will swear by this amazing new cooking technology!