Modern technology has brought many innovations to cooking and baking. One of the best gifts of modern tech is the convection oven. What is the difference between a convection and conventional oven?
These two sound similar, but there is a key difference — convection ovens have built-in fans that circulate the hot air inside the oven, giving food equal treatment from all sides and angles. Also, traditional ovens can’t be moved around as easily as convection ovens.
The latter vary in size and they are usually portable and light. Read on to find out about the pros and cons of these two types of ovens.
Both convection and conventional ovens use a radiating heating element within the oven, usually located at the bottom. However, convection ovens have a fan, usually in the back, which helps cook the food more evenly.
This is achieved through hot air circulation, and it makes the food crispy and juicy. A modern-day equivalent of convection ovens is an air fryer, which works on the same principle, but it is smaller and usually plastic.
Convection ovens are mostly metal, but there are some plastic models. The lighter and smaller models can be moved around, which is impossible with conventional ovens. There are many types of convection ovens, some of which feature regular and convection modes.
These modes allow cooking of different types of food, baking, roasting, etc. Here are some of the biggest advantages of convection ovens.
The key advantage of convection ovens is the fan which spreads the hot air. Thanks to it, these ovens have a huge edge over traditional ovens, which often have cold spots or hot air pockets. You have surely encountered this problem when cooking with a regular oven. The food can look and taste great on one side, while it’s cold and maybe even raw on the other. Also, you might burn some parts of the food due to hot pockets of air. With conventional ovens, the bottom part of your food can often be undercooked and the top part overcooked.
Convection ovens give food a beautiful crispy outside and a juicy, tender middle part thanks to the air circulation. These ovens are ideal for roasting chicken and baking all sorts of bread and pastries.
Also, portability gives convection ovens a great edge over conventional ones. You can move the former wherever you please, as long as there’s a power outlet nearby.
Conventional ovens are not all that bad and convection ovens aren’t without their downsides. For one, convection ovens may be too powerful for their own good. The temperatures in convection ovens are usually about 20° to 30° Fahrenheit higher than in conventional ovens.
Thanks to that, the food is usually cooked about 20% faster. That sounds like an advantage, but it really isn’t. Sometimes this will cause the food to get overcooked or the pastry to rise up too fast. It could potentially ruin your entire meal.
Ideally, a convection oven should have a conventional mode for occasions of baking or cooking delicate foods such as cakes. When you are using a convection oven and following a recipe, lower the temperate by around 25° Fahrenheit, because most recipes are designed for conventional ovens.
Your food might get burned or become dry if you crank the temperature. Also, check on the food more often to see how it’s cooking.
While convection ovens are faster and overall more effective, they are usually more expensive than conventional ovens. Additionally, they produce much more noise than regular ovens. They are not as simple and easy to get around as their traditional counterpart.
In terms of energy consumption, convection ovens are a clear winner. They are also more flexible, especially if they have multiple cooking modes. Cooking feels more consistent and the results are usually better than with traditional ovens.
Traditional ovens might be cheaper, but the associated energy consumption costs puts them on even ground with convection ovens. They are better for cooking and baking delicate food like pastries. Usually, most recipes are made for conventional cooking, and that’s a plus too.
Finally, traditional ovens are also easier to fix and harder to break. They are simple and basic, a good addition to any kitchen.
It is impossible to declare a winner in this matchup. Convection and conventional ovens each have their pros and cons. You have to choose based on your needs, budget, and convenience. Whatever you decide on, you won’t go wrong, because both types of ovens are highly functional and effective.