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Tips for Using a Convection Oven?


pedie
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This is my first post to egullet, so please be patient if I err! I have enjoyed browsing the list and find myself fixated on the cooking forum. I am newly retired and have time to indulge my passion for cooking. I have just completed a remodel of my kitchen and I have counterspace to die for.

My issue: I am the happy owner of a new GE dual fuel range with an electric oven with convection oven capability. I have never used a convection oven and before I dive in, would like to ask those with experience, "Are there any tips or suggestions you wish someone had told you before you tried it."

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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Suggestions that apply to convection ovens are the same ones that probably come with the instruction book. Turn down 25 degrees F from your conventional oven, start checking for doneness in about 10 percent less time than original cooking time.

Oldie but good cookbook for the basics is Convection Cuisine by Rene Verdon and Jacqueline Mallorca 1988 Williams Morrow and Co ISBN 0-688-08100-2

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I learned from experiences (AKA The "Hard" way) to make a shield for custard based things, cheesecakes, etc., in my small convection oven in which the fan cannot be turned off, otherwise one has ripples baked into the surface or the stuff will be blown over to one side of the pan. My big convection oven has a fan that can be turned off.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Convection ovens seem to differ in performance from manufacturer to manufacturer. With my KA convections, I always needed to turn down the temp as stated earlier by about 25 degrees, for longer cooking periods, like roasts. It didn't seem to make much difference to a 12 minute cookie bake though. My Miele oven for some reason goes up and down in increments of 10's. I can set it for 320, but not 325 for some odd reason and my Dacor ovens perform differently in that I still roast at 325 convection instead of 300 as I did with the KA's. Some experimentation will be called for. However, you are going to love the way a roast comes out with convection cooking.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I'm new to convection ovens as well. I have a Frigidaire double convection oven. It automatically lowers the temp by 25 degrees when you are in convection mode. If you enter 350 it sets at 325. So far I have been please with the results. Roasted potatoes come out very nice, a corn bread I made was evenly browned. I try to use it whenever possible. I figure if the fan is moving the air around in the oven it has got to be a more stable/even temperature environment top to bottom. I liked to hear more about where it is most applicable and where it is not desirable from experienced users.

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Good question, I'm in the market for a dual fuel range. What model GE did you buy and what other models did you consider?

We decided on the GE Profile. It is a slide in model that gives a cleaner look with the cabinets. It is just 30 inches wide and has four burners sitting on a black ceramic top. Overall, I am pleased with the range. The burners work perfectly. The oven is self-cleaning, which I really appreciate. We considered KitchenAid and Dacor. However, budget was a factor for us. Of those in our price range, we opted for GE after talking with the appliance dealer. We also wanted to keep the same line for the refrigerator and dishwasher. If I had a magic wand I would make the range 36 inches. It is hard to fit a large saute pan and my pasta pot on the range at the same time! I thought the black ceramic top might be a pain to clean but it actually cleans quite easily. The grates are continuous but seem to mar from the bottoms of the pans. Maybe that is just the nature of the beast, but I am disappointed in that. However, my main issue is the range as a cooking tool and for that purpose, it is performing wonderfully.

If I knew how to post a picture, I would. Maybe I will figure it out.

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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Thanks to the help of poster, Kerry, I am going to try to show you an image of my GE Profile Dual Fuel Range. You will note that it is a slide-in style that fits snuggly in the cabinetry. This also allowed me to have a little shelf above the stove for my salt and oil. The microwave above it is also GE Profile, as is the refrigerator to the right. The only problem with my configuration is there is a bit of a walk from the sink to the stove. But that is the price I paid to have all the counter workspace on the right of the stove.

Here is the image: gallery_43474_2697_11993.jpg

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Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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That looks like a great kitchen to play in, and beautiful as well! But back to the convection oven.....you'll find you can get crispier skins on chicken as well as nice crunchy meringues. Keeping that in mind, I usually turn off the fan when I'm reaheating leftovers to keep them more moist. And like Andie, I turn it off when making custards or anything you need to float some parchment paper on as it will get blown off.

I wondered about breads, but one of my ovens has a built in heated stone and in that mode of opperation, the fan is on and that's how I bake my breads, so no problem there.

Have fun! It will be great to hear what you learn!

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. . . . .

The oven is self-cleaning, which I really appreciate. 

. . . . .

The more you use the convection mode, especially with meats, the more you're going to appreciate self-cleaning. All the grease and stuff blowing around means you need to clean it a lot more often.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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  • 8 years later...

I know people who were able to upgrade their kitchen and got electric 'turbo' ovens

 

they had no idea why they had so many racks compared to their old ovens, 2 - 3 x more

 

as I understand it, those were for cookies, that needed little space top to bottom and cooked quickly 

 

the fan evened the heat and you could bake in one go many many more sheets

 

'quickly' was a key concept on the fan : longer 'roasts' dried out.

 

my Made at Home brownies meet w enthusiasm.  Im thinking  RUM !

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Rotuts, just lower the baking temperature by 25 degrees F. I do this all the time in the Breville. The time will be a bit quicker so just keep an eye on it. You may also need to turn the pan around halfway through the baking time.

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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In a fan assited oven, you shouldnt need to turn the pan, if you do need to, it means the air isnt latticing  as it should.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Toaster ovens behave differently than full-sized ovens! They have hot spots. Follow Elsie's advice and turn half way through.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Toaster ovens behave differently than full-sized ovens! They have hot spots. Follow Elsie's advice and turn half way through.

 

Very true.

 

1. Toaster oven has un-insulated glass door.

 

2. Toaster oven's heating elements are too close to the food, and cooks food by infrared radiation as well. You can't "convect" infrared radiation.

 

dcarch

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Convection oven = sous vide by circulating hot air.

 

dcarch

Not Even Close! The advantage to sous vide is that you set the water bath temperature you want the food to hold at which is completely different than a convection oven. In addition no moisture is evaporated from food when being cooked sous vide because it is still inside of a bag. Cooking using convection dries out food similar to how cooking it in a conventional oven does. The two are very different processes!

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Not Even Close! The advantage to sous vide is that you set the water bath temperature you want the food to hold at which is completely different than a convection oven. In addition no moisture is evaporated from food when being cooked sous vide because it is still inside of a bag. Cooking using convection dries out food similar to how cooking it in a conventional oven does. The two are very different processes!

 

You are of course correct that convection oven is not identical to a water bath sous vide cooker.

 

However, a convection oven with PID temperature control can give you precise temperature control just like a water bath, and circulating hot air will promote thermal conduction and even temperature distribution just like a water bath sous vide cooker.

 

The fact that circulating hot air will dry out food is precisely an advantage for certain kinds of cooking.

 

I do chickens this way regularly, convection oven at 160F  until internal T gets to 140F, then set convection temperature to 450F. The convection air dried skin gives me incredible cracklin skin, yet the meat remains tender and moist.

 

dcarch

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You are of course correct that convection oven is not identical to a water bath sous vide cooker.

 

However, a convection oven with PID temperature control can give you precise temperature control just like a water bath, and circulating hot air will promote thermal conduction and even temperature distribution just like a water bath sous vide cooker.

 

The fact that circulating hot air will dry out food is precisely an advantage for certain kinds of cooking.

 

I do chickens this way regularly, convection oven at 160F  until internal T gets to 140F, then set convection temperature to 450F. The convection air dried skin gives me incredible cracklin skin, yet the meat remains tender and moist.

 

dcarch

 

Very interesting. Have you done a turkey this way? Do you cook the chicken trussed, untrussed or butterflied?

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