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Buying a convection oven


Shira
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The convection oven in my apartment hasn't worked since I moved in, though the owner claims otherwise. I've finally resolved to buy my own, but before I did, I was hoping for some advice. Having not used one before, I hope someone can tell me:

-What do they do well? I'm primarily going to want to bake/grill fish and meat, roast veggies, make gratins, etc., though I'd like the option of some low-impact baking: flatbreads, muffins, clafoutis, etc.

-Are the simple ones (less than 100 euros) of reasonable quality for short-medium term use? There's a Rowenta one on sale at a little shop around the corner, and that's certainly the easiest option. I'm also space-constrained, so the mini-four size will have to do.

Just to clarify, I'm posting here rather than in a general section because most of the discussions there seem to be about professional-quality convection ovens. (And I'm yet to see an American home without a conventional oven.)

Thanks!

Edited by Shira (log)

Shira

Paris

lespetitpois.blogspot.com

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I have a convection ((forced air) oven in France, and use it for baking, roasting, whatever. I think they are used here mainly because the ovens are smaller than in North America, and if you want to put 2 things in at once, you need convection to make sure they both cook. They are extremely good for baking, although I do sometimes find that the crust of a cake will bake too soon and prevent the rest of the cake from baking

Not sure about cheap ovens - are you sure at 100 Euros it is really convection, (chaleur tournante) or just a small oven?

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I don't think it was as cheap as 100 Euros, but we love our Rosieres oven.

It does everything ,conventional ,convection you name it. Its the standard 60cm width and is a built in type. It even has self cleaning.

If you look around you may find a shop (there seems to be a small chain of them) selling "fin de serie" appliances. End of range stuff. Their prices are low low and they have name as well as no name brands. We bought a 4 burner gas cooker from them recently for our gite & paid less than 150 Euros.

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Often what's passed off as a 'convection oven' is simply an oven with a fan in it, which does circulate the air-somewhat, but isn't moving heat around all that much. (For that, you need an oven with a third heating element, which is called 'true convection').

In my experience, most of these ovens (even the professional ones I've used) still have hot-spots and don't really cook as well as people think; pans still need to be turned, although cooking times can be reduced.

Most of the features of true convection ovens are only available in professional or pricey appliances. My recommendation is to ask a friend who has one if you can try out a batch of cookies in it. Or better yet, toast a baking sheet of dried coconut to determine hot-spots and heating patterns.

Fine Cooking wrote an excellent article a while back that's well worth reading for more detailed information.

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I bought a mini convection oven not too long ago because my kitchen was too small for a real oven and I was tired of stovetop cooking. After reading over a few of the threads like this one and this one in the Japan forum, I decide on a Delonghi which I bought at Darty. So far I have been pretty happy with it.

Today I went to Mora in hopes of buying a baking sheet so I could make cookies but they didnt having anything small enough.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I don't think it was as cheap as 100 Euros, but we love our Rosieres oven.

Ok, Ok, OK, I give up. And agree with Dave, as usual. I have a Rosieres and it's just fine; not a Viking but it gets the job done.

You might want to take a look at this topic, albeit on stoves bought in Italy.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Thanks for the responses! I think I am incorrectly conflating mini ovens and small convection ovens.

Re the cookie sheet, perhaps the greaseproof that be cut to fit? Or silicon, which could be bent over?

Shira

Paris

lespetitpois.blogspot.com

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