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Appliance World

Convection, Convection, What’s your Function?

Why would I use Convection and what is it good for? These are questions we often hear at Appliance World and luckily ones that can be easily answered. Convection is good for almost any recipe you already make or will make and you should use this feature because it will save you time. Beyond saving time during your cooking process it will also cook your food more efficiently, making it taste even better. Who wouldn’t want to save time and have better tasting food? While these benefits sound great, you might still be wondering exactly how Convection can do that. To better understand why Convection is so advantageous to your cooking process it helps to know exactly what it is.

            Convection is forced airflow throughout your oven cavity. This airflow is achieved by one or more fans located in the back of your oven that pull in air, when using the Convection feature, spreading heat evenly throughout so one section is not hotter or colder than another. This creates the most efficient cooking environment in your oven cavity since it also prevents direct heat from being applied to one specific part of your food, making burnt spots less likely.

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We often compare how the Convection feature works inside your oven to how the wind chill factor works during the winter here on Long Island. Whenever the colder months roll around we all know it will eventually be time to wear layers on certain days whenever we go outside. While on some winter days the weather might be chilly in the 30s or 40s, however once we go outside it feels like it is freezing. As the cold air from up north and over the water blows over the island it can make the weather outside feel over 20 degrees cooler than it actually is due to the high winds. This forced air over our skin can be chilling to the bone if you aren’t properly dressed.

The Convection fan will cause a similar effect with hot air, transferring heat faster, which means the outside of your food will bake and roast better as the inside of your food will cook quicker with better moisture retention. This means for meats it will be perfectly brown and crispy on the outside while being juicy and tender inside. When baking things like bread it will have a flawless crust with a soft and airy inside. All of these great results are easily achievable and in less time then you are used to. How much quicker your food will cook is dependent upon what and the size of the dish you are cooking.

To achieve the benefits that the Convection mode can provide you will need to make some slight adjustments to your cooking. The only change you have to make is by simply changing either your temperature or time. Typically lowering your temperature by 25 degrees your recipe will keep the same timing. For example if the recipe says 350 degrees on Bake for 60 minutes, you would instead set it to 325 degrees on Convection for 60 minutes. At Appliance World we like the benefit of saving you time in the kitchen so we prefer to adjust the cooking time of our recipes and keep our temperature the same. By having your food in the oven for less time, it will also retain more moisture, which leads to better tasting results.

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To adjust your timing properly it depends on what type of food you are cooking, as larger items will have the biggest time difference. While baking smaller items like cookies you might not see any time difference at all. However the evenly heated oven cavity from the Convection fan will allow you to cook on all three racks simultaneously, without having to shift the pans halfway through, which means baking more cookies with the same timing. Baking things like breads, pies, cakes, etc., will usually cook about 20-25% sooner at the same temperature. When baking these things you will want to check for all the same signs you would normally, just sooner than you are used to. So testing the firmness of a cheesecake’s center or using a toothpick or knife to check the gooeyness of things like brownies or banana bread will still be necessary.

Meats, since they are typically larger items, like tenderloins, roasts, chickens and turkeys will cook about 30-45% sooner. The bigger the item, the greater the time difference will be. For example a beef tenderloin, which is generally between 4-5 lbs., will cook about 30% quicker than it would without using Convection. However a turkey, which is usually 15 lbs. or more, will cook about 45% quicker with the Convection mode, saving you almost half the time! To ensure your meats are cooked to your liking and a safe temperature, especially beef since you can enjoy it rare or well done, we always recommend cooking with a meat probe. (Provide link for meat probe blog). You can prepare for about how long it will take to cook your meats using the percentages, but you can be confident it is cooked to perfection using this device.

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As mentioned earlier Convection is good for almost anything you are cooking in your oven, but not everything. When cooking quick breads or very delicate items like a soufflé the speed and power of the Convection fan might cause the food to shift as it rises above the pan so we recommend still cooking these recipes with your standard Bake mode at the regular time and temperature. When cooking a lasagna or casserole in a deep-sided baking dish, there will be no difference in cooking time, even if you keep the same temperature. We still recommend using Convection however so you won’t need to cover your dish with tin foil and to maintain the evenly heated oven, especially if you are cooking more than one lasagna or casserole they will cook at the same rate.

At Appliance World we know the Convection mode is so beneficial that we even host classes to specifically teach our clients about it and answer any questions they may have to ensure they get the most out of their new ovens. To find out more about these classes please contact our Marketing department for registration information. Our sales associates are well trained on the benefits of Convection and we even have chefs on staff to answer any questions you may have before you purchase or whenever you get installation and are ready to start cooking. At Appliance World we look forward to assisting you and helping you pick out the best Convection oven for your kitchen.