Owning a convection oven can open up a range of baking possibilities, perfecting certain foods, and reducing cooking times. However, there are instances when using a standard oven bake setting still has the advantage. For best results, we’ll discuss the difference between convection bake vs regular bake and list the foods that cook best on each setting.
Comparing Convection Bake vs Regular Bake and How to Maximize Each Function
Knowing when to use a convection setting and how it can change cooking times and temperatures is key to using it successfully. But before we compare convection bake vs regular bake, it’s helpful to understand how a convection setting works to cook food.
What is a Convection Oven?
A convection oven uses a fan and exhaust system to circulate the oven’s hot air. This fan is usually located in the back of the oven, pushing the air forward around the food. This moving hot air results in increased energy, cooking food faster, at hotter temperatures. Consequently, baking times and/or temperatures may need to be reduced when cooking on a convection setting.
How much of a reduction is necessary? Since the fan rotates at different speeds for different functions, here’s a rough estimate of how to adjust cooking temperatures and times:
- Roasting meats: Convection fans usually rotate faster on a roast setting. You may need to decrease the recipe’s recommended temperature by about 50 degrees.
- Baking cookies: We suggest decreasing the temperature by 25 degrees when using a convection oven for baking. The fan rotates slower on this setting, necessitating less of a temperature reduction.
- Shortening cook times: If you don’t want to adjust the oven’s temperature, a good rule of thumb is to reduce the cooking time by about 25%.
What’s the Difference Between Convection Bake vs Regular Bake?
By contrast, a regular bake setting doesn’t use a fan or exhaust system, and the air doesn’t circulate. The heating element at the bottom of the oven simply heats the air inside. As the hot air rises, it surrounds the food and cooks it throughout. Almost all recipes and cook times are formulated according to regular bake settings, so they can be followed exactly.
Have you noticed your oven bakes unevenly on a standard bake setting? The hot air that rises on a regular bake setting can be inconsistent, leading to pockets that are hot and cold. A convection oven vs standard oven provides more consistent, even heating from the circulated air. Meanwhile, the convection setting’s exhaust system removes excess moisture to result in deeper crisping and browning than a regular bake setting.
When to Use Convection Bake
Since convection bake vs regular bake settings cook differently, what foods are best cooked in a convection oven? Baked goods that benefit from crispness and deeper browning can have the best results when cooked on a convection setting. The hotter temperatures can also cause the butter in these recipes to melt faster, creating steam that makes for lighter, flakier dough. Examples of foods best cooked on a convection bake setting include:
- Baked potatoes
- Toasted nuts
When to Use Regular Bake
Are convection ovens better than regular ovens at baking everything? Not necessarily. The moving air of a convection setting can be detrimental to delicate baked goods or those that require rising. The air’s movement can ripple the surface, leading to lumpy results. A convection setting’s exhaust system can also strip away too much moisture, leaving baked goods dry. Here are foods that are best baked with a regular setting:
The team at Action Appliance Repair are the cooking appliance experts. From when to use convection bake vs regular bake settings to oven cleaning tips, we can answer any question.