Friday, July 29, 2011

Cracking the Convection Oven

Samsung 30" Electric Convection Range
Do you own a convection oven?  If so, what kind and how do you like it?  Please Comment Below.

If you have any questions concerning convection ovens, please read the FAQ section at the bottom of the article.  If your question is still unanswered, please feel free ask it in the comment section!

Unless you were employed in the culinary industry, convection ranges were virtually unheard of a few decades ago.  The world's most affluent were among the select few that installed these commercial beasts in their own home.  The electric output was costly, and special fans and ventilation needed to be installed for these stoves to be compatible in the kitchen.  It was no wonder that convection cooking was left to the professional world of food.

It was not until recent media exposure on topics incorporating gourmet meals in the kitchen that the home cook began to explore new cuisines in their own kitchen.  Thanks to few, but popular television networks, the world of professional cooking at home began to take interest to many.  This "food craze" is what has many companies searching to improve professional technology for the pleasure of the home cook.

One of the greatest improvements to modern day kitchen appliances is the convection range.  However, many people are uncertain with this cooking method and are unsure if this is just another gadget or a technology that has staying power.  As a professional in the food industry, I am pleased to announce convection cooking here to stay!  It is true that there are convection ovens on the market that promise to deliver but in fact only disappoint.  But it is possible to find an excellent standard size home convection oven model within a reasonable price range.

So lets get cooking and Crack Open the Convection Oven!

Commercial Hobart Convection Oven

The Theory of Convection Ovens.
In a traditional home appliance oven, there is an open heating element on the bottom of the oven as the primary cooking/baking procedure for food.  In a convection oven, the same holds true; in some, but not all (this will be discussed shortly) convection oven models, the coil is heated in the same manner.  However, what makes a convection oven different from a traditional oven is a fan that successfully rotates the hot air inside the oven to create an even temperature throughout the cooking process.  This reduces the amount of "rotating" the pan by eliminating cold spots.

The Theory of Convection Ovens
The theory of convection cooking is often far from the reality of some home cooking models.  As you read, use this article as a guide on how to select a proper model, and once you get it home, how to use a convection oven properly.

The 3 Rules for Purchasing a Convection Range.

RULE # 1 ~ Don't Be Fooled By Fancy Names. Manufacturers like to come up with names that seem exclusive to its product they are trying to sell you, whether it be an oven or not.  For instance, the Samsung model pictured above claims to have something called "Surround Airvection".  As it turns out, Samsung has a trademark on this phrase.  What Samsung means by this is that the oven has 3 fans, instead of one.  A convection oven with three fans is not really anything new, the culinary industry is common for using ovens that house more than one convection fan.

RULE # 2 ~ Understand the Common Terms.  Before purchasing a convection oven there are three terms that you should be accustomed to hearing. 

TERM (1): European Convection: Remember previously, you heard me talk about that some convection, but not all, have an open heating element in the oven.  In European convection ovens, the heating element is not exposed, but rather completely encased in the bottom of the oven.  The fan draws the hot air from the heating element in the bottom chamber and blows it into the oven.  This type of convection is the most accurate and will achieve professional results continuously.

TERM (2): "True" Convection: True convection is the same as European convection.  Remember Rule #1, Don't Be Fooled By Fancy Names?  "True" Convection is European convection.  Another term I saw last week was "True European Convection".  Again, a fancy name, but still only meaning European Convection.  Don't be fooled by the fancy name.

TERM (3): Convection or Traditional Convection:  In a traditional convection oven the heating coil is exposed and a fan is simply added to the back of the oven.  This type of convection is the "gimmick" of convection cooking.  For best results, purchase a True Convection or European Convection oven.  If it simply says, "Convection Oven", pass it up!  Don't even give it a second thought.  You will still experience cold spots, rotating pans, and all the other imperfections of a traditional oven.

RULE # 3 ~  Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket.  One of the most common mistakes for the home cook in purchasing a convection oven, is to only purchase an oven that is only a convection oven.  Though convection ovens are superior, traditional ovens have their place, too.  Especially, when baking select products like muffins or angel food cake.  The fan on a convection oven is often strong enough to cause these products to bake lop-sided, pushing the batter on the top to one-side.  So be sure to purchase a convection oven with the option of a traditional oven built into the model.  Most home models have this option, however, I have seen a few models that do not have this available.  So be sure to look at the model specifications before purchasing.



What price range do you believe is efficient to purchase the recommendations in this article?

The Samsung model can be purchased for about $1,200.00. Definitely budget nothing less than $1,000 when purchasing an oven. However, anything over $1,500.00 is unnecessary in today's range market.


Do convection ovens come in standard sizes?

Yes.  Most home models are 30" or under in size.  Unless purchasing a convection oven for industrial use, no other hook ups will be needed besides a basic kitchen exhaust fan for the stove.

With European Convection, is the oven size smaller than a traditional oven?

Actually, there are European Convection home models that are comparable in size to commercial models.  Samsung currently has the largest home convection models on the market at nearly 6 cu.ft.
This breakthrough in size capacity can bake nearly 10 dozen cookies at one time.  Of course, additional oven racks will need to be purchased.

I am only one person and I am concerned the size is too large for my needs.

There are models that have a divider in the oven that creates two smaller sized ovens.  The divider can be removed for larger holiday meals.

Commercial convection ovens are usually noisy, are the home models noisy, too?

Besides a mild humming noise, some models are virtually silent.  Samsung, Electrolux, and KitchenAid have some of the quietest models on the market.  The sound is similar to that of a computer fan.

Some convection ovens have more than one fan, what do you recommend?

Personally, I prefer at least two fans in a convection oven.  However, I realize price is a major concern to most folks.  Purchasing an oven that has European Convection is generally better than having the luxury of having more than one fan.  Don't sacrifice quality of technology for quantity.


Do I need to adjust by baking temperatures in a convection oven?

Most, if not all, home convection ovens have the oven set up to already adjust the temperature for you.  As a general rule, if baking, decrease the temperature of the recipe by 25 degrees Fahrenheit.  For roasting meats and vegetables, typically use the listed temperature on recipe, however, the product will be done 25% shorter than the time instructed.

My baked goods are lop-sided after baking, what do I do?

For cakes and muffins, it is best to turn the convection setting off and use the traditional oven setting.  Convection is not always the best method for everything.


What type of convection oven do you own?

I currently own the Samsung Electric Range pictured in the beginning of the article.

Are you happy with the purchase?

This is the best oven, commercial or home model, I have ever used in over 10 years of culinary expertise.

Is this a paid endorsement for the product?

No.  All the claims in this article are based solely on personal preference and opinion.

~  Smacznego ~

May This Meal Be Tasty!

1 comment:

  1. I am Sadiya. Convection oven could really save our time in baking or cooking something for our guests and families. I was planning to have one for my house.This is a great idea actually.A very high tech one. Thanks for this.

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