5 Important Things to Know About Baking in a Convection Oven
What is a convection oven?
A convection oven has built-in fans that circulate the air during the cooking process. The circulating air keeps the temperature even throughout cooking, which is especially helpful when roasting a whole turkey or toasting nuts. This helps make the food crispier and remove the moisture out of the ingredients, which is preferable when it comes to baking.
A healthy lifestyle component, convection ovens are an alternative to frying that prevents dehydration or uneven heating that is often experienced from a microwave. Creating an evenly heated cooking space, convection ovens allow thicker cuts of meat to retain much of their internal moisture. They are energy efficient as they require a shorter cooking time and a lower temperature. Because you can fill the oven with several pans, you can reduce the number of separate batches you need to bake.
Need some tips? Here are five tricks that will help you feel confident baking in your convection oven.
1. Lower the temperature by 25°F.
Heating and cooking are so efficient in a convection oven; you usually don’t need a high temperature to get the same results. Setting the oven to about 25° F below the recommended temperature of your recipe always helps.
2. Check your food frequently towards the end of cooking.
In a convection oven, your food will usually cook a little more quickly than usual. Check on your food midway through the suggested cooking time to gauge how the cooking is coming along. Then check more frequently towards the end of cooking. Instead, by the timer, go by how your food smells and looks to tell when it’s done. As you get accustomed to baking with the convection setting, you will get a better feel for how quickly certain things cook and feel more confident predicting the timing. As food cooks faster in a convection oven, you will need to check its progress frequently to make sure it’s not burning.
3. Don’t crowd the oven.
As convection relies on circulating hot air, be wary of overcrowding the oven and blocking that airflow. The food will still cook, but the cooking will be less efficient, and you will lose the advantage of the convection setting. It’s OK to bake on multiple racks, but try not to fill the racks wall-to-wall.
4. Know your rack settings.
If you want deeper baking or browning of the food, place it on the top rack. Alternatively, you can set the skewers or baking pan on a grilling stand. You can also keep the baking dish or wire rack at the bottom if you want slow cooking. Also, do not use a convection oven while making custards and flans, soufflés, cakes or breads.
5. Make way for the air to circulate.
Convection cooking is only practical when the air can circulate well over the food. Use low-sided pans, trays, rimless baking sheets, roasting and baking pans with lower sides, and don’t cover the oven shelves with foil.
Ramtons range of convection ovens lets you roast meat and vegetables, bake cookies, prepare granola and toast nuts easily.
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