July 24, 2014

Considering Convection – Three Racks of Cookies a Breeze

In a conventional oven, baking three racks of cookies is an invitation for trouble. The bottom row burns and the top is undercooked. In a convection oven, the circulating air makes baking cookies easier, because it eliminates hot and cool spots and differences in cooking times.

Do they work only for baking? Not so.

Convection ovens are capable of being all-purpose kitchen mainstays, turning out evenly cooked cookies; juicy, well-browned poultry and meats; and vegetables packed with caramelized flavor.

[Shown: Jenn-Air JJW9430DDS 30" Double Electric Wall Oven with Two-Mode Convection in Upper Oven and CustomClean Self Cleaning Oven: Stainless Steel ]

Gas or electric, the ovens use a fan that circulates hot air around food. This moving blast of air speeds up the heat transfer that occurs when two temperatures converge. [See Second Law of Thermodynamics]

Think the opposite of wind chill. When cold air blows, you feel colder more quickly than on a windless day.

Some tips:

  • Not all convection ovens are “true convection.” The true, or best, ovens blow heated air into the oven cavity. This means they have a third heating element near the fan in the back of the oven, in addition to the usual top and bottom elements.
  • Food cooked in a convection oven usually is done about 25 percent faster, so foods retain more nutrients and lose less moisture.
  • In a conventional oven, baking three racks of cookies is an invitation for trouble. Chances are the bottom row will burn and the top will be undercooked. Not so in a convection oven. The circulating air makes baking cookies easier, because it eliminates hot and cool spots and differences in cooking times.
  • To reap the benefits of the circulating air, you must use the appropriate pan. The whole point of convection is to have air circulating around the food, so casserole lids and high-sided cooking pans do not work. Use the conventional oven when cooking with these pans. Convections work best with cookie sheets and shallow pans. When cooking beef, pork or poultry, place them on a rack to allow air to circulate beneath.
  • Bake pizza, tartlet shells and breads.
  • Do not bake delicate desserts, such as ladyfingers, souffles or meringues on the convection setting.
  • Several dishes can be cooked at the same time without flavors transferring from one dish to another.

More to look at:
Frigidaire FEB27T7FC 27 Frigidaire FEB27T7FC 27″ Electric Double Wall Oven with Self-Cleaning Oven and SpeedBake Convection System

Delonghi DEFSGG36DE 36 Delonghi DEFSGG36DE 36″ Freestanding Gas Double Oven Range with 5 Sealed Burners & Convection in Both Ovens: Black

900 Watt .9 cu. ft. Double Grill White Convection Microwave Oven 900 Watt .9 cu. ft. Double Grill White Convection Microwave Oven