Many say that the conventional toaster oven is quickly becoming an outdated kitchen appliance. That’s not too far from the truth if you sit back and think of how much more evolved some cooking techniques and recipes have become.
The best convection oven will clearly outclass a traditional toaster oven due to the even heat distribution and cooking.
However, selecting a convection oven at random is not the best way to go about it, if you want to replace your conventional toaster oven, or even if you want to add another appliance to your arsenal. Here are some of the things you need to know to make an informed decision.
If you’ve never used a Breville kitchen appliance so far, you’ve been missing out. The Breville BOV845BSS might just be the best convection oven hands down. It has the finish of a commercial kitchen appliance, lots of power, decent capacity, and a unique heating element configuration, along with plenty of smart features. Intrigued yet?
The BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro is a 1,800W convection toaster oven. It has been designed to accommodate 6 slices of toast, a 13” pizza, or a whole chicken, just to list a few of the most popular meals people cook in it.
Along with great power comes great assistance too. The oven features 10 preset cooking modes which cover all the basics of cooking in an oven: bagels, baking, pizza, roasting, broiling, etc. Perhaps most interestingly, this oven comes with a slow cooking program.
The single fan operates at impressive efficiency for both fast and slow cooking techniques. The hot air distribution is always spot-on and this will prevent soggy dough, burnt meat, or mushy veggies.
An oven light is also available, which should come in handy regardless of whether you’re cooking at high or low heat. In terms of accessories, the oven comes with two 12” baking pans, a 13” pizza pan, and an oven rack.
Probably the best thing about the BOV845BSS is the Element IQ technology. This unique technology does a great job of adjusting the temperature of the heating elements for cooking various foods.
The only minor drawback of the BOV845BSS is its slightly higher price tag compared to similar convection ovens of the same size and power.
The Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef’s oven is a stainless steel appliance of impressive power and multiple cooking functions. It has a medium build, plenty of room on the inside, and a wide range of impressive technical features.
Can this be the best convection oven? Let’s find out. The TOB-260N1 has a 0.95 cu.ft. internal capacity. It can fit most 9” x 13” baking pans and 13” pizza trays or stones. It also has a 9-slice capacity, if that makes it easier for you to visualize the interior.
Despite being labeled a toaster oven, its cooking functions far exceed those of an ordinary toaster oven. Among the 15 cooking functions, you will find a few very interesting preset programs: waffles, defrosting, pizza, roasting, leftovers, dual cooking, sandwiches, and broiling.
The TOB-260N1 is also a super convection oven because it has two convection settings. The additional setting allows you to cook without preheating. It also increases the volume of air movement, which speeds up the cooking process even more.
The control panel has a temperature control knob and a standard dial selector. The screen is backlit, as are the buttons, which offers good readability. There’s also a button for an oven light which you can turn on and off at any time to monitor the food’s status.
You may also be interested in knowing that the oven is rated at 1,800W. It’s quite powerful but not even close to drawing as much power as stove ovens. Its maximum temperature is 450 degrees, which is more than enough for any type of meal.
The dual cooking function is probably the main highlight of the Cuisinart TOB-260N1. The reason for this is simple. Dual cooking allows you to preset two cooking programs to run one after the other. This helps speed up the cooking process, conserves heat/energy, and is ideal for cooking and browning roasts without drying them.
Using the super convection function is not something to take lightly. Because of it, there’s a considerable risk of overcooking and burning food. This may not be the ideal choice in convection ovens for beginners or amateur cooks.
The top name in mixers, it makes sense that KitchenAid might also be in the running for the best convection oven, especially if you’re interested in a smaller appliance. The 12” KCO273SS convection oven might be the one.
The KitchenAid KCO273SS is a simple but powerful convection oven. It has a relatively small footprint. This also means that the interior capacity will be best suited for smaller dishes and recipes. However, you can still cook one or two 12” pizzas (one on each rack).
9 cooking programs are available. Along with the basic toasting and baking functions, you might also enjoy the dedicated programs for cookies, pizza, and roasting. And, with a maximum temperature of 375 degrees, there’s not much that you can’t cook in this oven.
The inside of the oven has a ceramic non-stick coating that’s also scratch-resistant. This should make maintenance easier while also preserving the smell and taste of the food better.
A number of accessories are included too, such as a multipurpose pan, a broiling rack, a cooling rack, and a non-stick drip tray.
One of the more interesting features is the Asado roast cooking mode. This setting allows you to make temperature adjustments for optimal searing and browning, all without drying the meat.
The KCO273SS only comes with a 120-minute timer. This means that you won’t be able to set the oven to cook anything that takes more than 2 hours in your absence. However, this doesn’t affect the oven’s fast cooking performance.
The DeLonghi EO241150M countertop convection oven can be best characterized by its superior preheating times. It’s also a compact oven that doesn’t overly compromise capacity. Is it the best convection oven for foodies with small kitchens? Find out below.
If you’re looking for something compact yet with plenty of room, the EO241150M has a 0.8 cu.ft. interior capacity. This should be enough to roast a whole chicken and cook many other family-sized oven dishes.
Another characteristic of this convection oven is its high preheating speed. This is due to the high-quality heating elements and from its heat lock system.
Eight preset cooking modes are available: pizza, baking, roasting, and toast are among the most commonly used programs. Regardless of what you’ll be making, the EO241150M will make it easy to monitor the food’s progress with its oven light.
The controls are very straightforward; you can use the three dials to make all the adjustments and selections you need.
The EO241150M has been designed with a unique heat lock system. This permits up to 50% less heat loss through the glass door. As such, the cooking speed is also enhanced, as is the evenness of the cooking process.
One thing that may be seen as a downside is the slightly higher price tag and low number of included accessories. While the EO241150M is a powerful appliance, it may not be the best convection oven for an ill-equipped kitchen.
The Toshiba AC25CEW is a digital convection toaster oven. It has a compact build, a smooth finish, and comes with a wide range of features and cool accessories.
If there’s one thing that Toshiba does best, it’s staying competitive in the face of strong competition. The AC25CEW convection oven is a 6-slice, medium-capacity oven that has just enough room to fit a 12” pizza stone.
It comes with a non-stick interior for easy maintenance and a black anodized stainless steel exterior which will look good in most modern kitchens. The oven has seven preset programs that cover all the basics of convection ovens, including a rotisserie program.
You can make adjustments for temperature and time. The convection fan can be turned on and off during any program. What’s also nice about this oven is that it comes with three dials for all the settings and navigational purposes. The LCD display is bright and very clear, even when looking at it from an angle.
Rated at 1,500W, the AC25CEW-BS is powerful enough for its size. It heats up quickly to temperatures of 150 to 450 degrees.
One of the coolest features is the 3-piece rotisserie kit. You won’t have to flip the chicken but all that rotating might make a mess of the interior. The low price point makes this even more impressive.
The exterior of the oven tends to get very hot. Therefore, the oven may require even more clearance and careful handling than ovens of similar size and power.
Convection ovens come in many types and sizes, as well as with various types of burners and heating elements. Because of this, there are multiple categories to speak of.
By far the most convenient, the electric convection oven is not as energy-efficient as gas ovens. The air circulation and heat distribution are much worse, so it’s even more critical to get an electric oven that has a convection mode if you care about even heating.
Natural gas convection ovens are more energy-efficient but they require pre-existing hookups, which shouldn’t be a problem for most US households. While gas ovens heat up faster, they also require more clearance and very good ventilation.
This is an alternative for those who require portability. They’re usually smaller but you can run them anywhere if you have a propane tank.
Countertop convection ovens also include toaster ovens and microwave ovens with a convection fan and exhaust system. These models are found in kitchens all over the world due to their small footprint, convenience, and ability to cook small or large portions.
Floor convection ovens can be both small or large. However, the majority of them tend to have bakery oven-style depth or multiple tray levels. They can be placed on the ground or mounted on a platform, much like traditional ovens
In-wall convection ovens tend to be slightly pricier because they usually require professional installation. While they may not always be bigger than a large microwave oven, they do come with more advanced exhaust systems — hence the need for installation and the extra cost. In-wall models can also be installed in a wall or in cabinets, depending on where you have enough space.
Electric power is measured in Watt (SI unit). More power is required to heat up a larger oven to the same temperature as a smaller oven.
Due to the air movement and even heating, a convection oven is more energy-efficient than a conventional electric toaster oven. It can cook the same food much faster, sometimes up to 20 or 30% faster.
While larger recipes like whole roast chicken, slow-cooked roasts, and baked goods are ideal to cook in convection mode, you might not need it for toasts and broiling. That’s not a problem though, as all convection ovens are also regular ovens — you can turn the convection mode on or off.
Since there are many types of convection ovens, it makes sense that sometimes size and capacity are the top factors to take into account before making a decision. The size of a convection oven refers to the outside dimensions, as opposed to the capacity, which is a measure of the internal volume.
A convection oven can be the size of a toaster oven, a microwave oven, or a traditional wall-in or standalone oven. The capacity and design are a good indicator of what type of food you can cook. For example, deep depth or double deck convection ovens have a large but unique type of footprint. They are ideal for baking or cooking large amounts of food quickly.
The internal capacity of a convection oven is expressed in volume. It’s the amount of usable space inside the oven for cooking food. In the case of toaster ovens, the capacity is often also expressed in the number of slices the oven can hold and cook simultaneously.
As such, you can find small 4-slice convection ovens through to large 12-slice or 14-slice ovens.
It’s worth pointing out that size and capacity rarely have anything to do with performance. You can get the same even cooking in a small oven as you would in a large oven. This mostly depends on the fan and exhaust technology, smart cooking features, and heating elements.
There are two types of convection technologies: standard and super convection. When you run into the term “super convection,” this means that the oven in question has a fan speed control feature. Using a turbo or super convection setting will result in the fan system increasing the volume of air movement inside the oven. This feature is very convenient for air frying, roasting, dehydrating veggies, and so on.
Most convection ovens will come with at least four or five basic cooking modes: toast, bake, roast, and broil. The more cooking modes or programs the oven has, the more versatile it is. Many convection ovens come with unique programs for defrosting or for baking pizza.
Each program will adjust the heat to a recommended temperature and the air flow to a specific volume.
Having complete control over the temperature in the convection oven is essential. Although cooking modes set the baseline temperatures, you’ll often have to reduce the temperature when adjusting traditional oven recipes for the convection oven.
Same as with temperature controls, you will often have to adjust the timer to compensate for the faster cooking times in convection ovens. All recipes will tell you how much time to set the timer to.
Having multiple heating elements, apart from the basic two (top and bottom), is also important. With more heating elements you get even faster cooking times.
Also, more heating elements mean that you can better control the heat distribution and prevent overcooking certain delicate foods.
It can be very convenient to set your oven to keep the food warm after its cooking time ends. You can set your oven to slow cook a roast when you leave for work and keep it warm for when you get back home.
There are two types of control panels, both are often a mix of digital and analog features. However, in most cases, fully-digital panels with touch buttons are not recommended because the heat radiating from the oven can cause moisture buildup within the panel.
This is one of the reasons why after a few months of use, some LCD display screens may start to look blurry, no matter how well you clean them. If you’re not particularly fond of having a large screen and using a dial knob to navigate menus, then a more analog control panel will do nicely.
Believe it or not, an interior oven light is not a standard feature for all convection ovens. Some of them have it, some don’t, and some ovens have an adjustable light which doesn’t draw power continuously.
It’s up to you to decide how much extra you’re willing to pay. But, lighting is important only if you have a massive oven. If not, you should be able to see the interior of your oven just fine with just your kitchen lights.
Convection ovens are based on established technology, so comparing brands mostly come down to build quality. Even then, the differences might be too little to notice. Besides, there will always be those brand loyalists that swear by a manufacturer no matter what you put in front of them.
Not to mention that once you get used to a particular brand and model, it can be difficult to make the switch and readjust. Suffice it to say, some brands will always be better and pricier than others.
Brands like Cuisinart, KitchenAid, DeLonghi, Panasonic, Toshiba, Breville are all known and respected all over the world for their premium kitchen appliances. And, if you don’t mind spending a bit extra on a convection oven, buying from a reputable brand will also give you some reassurance in terms of durability, cooking efficiency, energy efficiency, and smart features.
A convection oven is an oven with a fan and exhaust system. What it does differently than a traditional toaster oven is air circulation. The fan or fans circulate air and move air out of the oven, the result is highly circulated internal air and heat so that the food can be cooked evenly from all sides.
However, note that convection ovens are not only used at home. There are also industrial-sized convection ovens which use the same hot air circulation principle.
Before using any convection oven, you should be aware of the maximum temperature. After that, look at your traditional oven recipes and note the time and ideal temperature. You don’t have to deviate from the temperature but be aware a convection oven may cook a lot faster.
The next step would be to select the appropriate cooking mode, or create your own by estimating. For example, a convection oven without a pizza program could still bake a pizza on the bake program. You’ll just have to set the appropriate temperature and timer.
Convection ovens don’t need a lot of pre-heating so once you’re done with the meal prep you can just turn on the oven, select the program, stick the food in, and turn the oven light on so you can monitor what’s happening.
Clean your convection oven like you would any traditional oven. Use mild detergents and avoid caustic cleaning solutions, as many convection ovens come with an enameled interior.
Also, you’ll want to clean the oven after every use, both inside and out. You need to clean the interior to prevent grease buildup and unwanted odors, and the exterior so that moisture doesn’t seep into the control panel, screen, or exhaust system.
You can use a convection oven for just about anything, if it has enough power. Remember that you can turn the convection mode on or off. You’re not going to need the convection mode for browning toasts or searing meat under a quick broil after cooking.
Depending on the size of the oven and its features, you can use it to prepare a quick dinner or a slow-cooked meal for the whole family and guests.
A convection oven works like any other oven except for one additional design feature. A fan is used to circulate and move air out of the oven through a vent. There’s another vent that lets air in to replace the removed air, the result of which is even air and heat circulation inside the oven.
Depending on how many heating elements there are, the cooking time can be considerably faster than cooking in a traditional oven. Even more so if there’s a heating element placed in front of the fan too.
Unless you’re loyal to one particular brand, there are many convection ovens that may surprise you. Of course, few are surprised by the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro, as it is regarded by many as the best convection oven in its class thanks to its Element IQ technology, superior fan performance, and slow-cooking mode.
You can also find a good convection oven at a lower price point. The Toshiba AC25CEW is a great example of a budget-friendly convection oven that covers all the basics while still offering all the necessary functions: multiple cooking modes, oven lighting, and a highly readable LCD screen.