Although convection and conventional ovens look the same, they are different. From heat distribution to capacity to efficiency, they are plenty of differences.
If you are stuck between which oven to choose, you should follow our convection oven vs. conventional oven guide.
In this article, we shall discuss the distinguishing factors, their working mechanism, and the pros and cons. This ultimate guide will help you decide which oven to choose.
Let us get started with the discussion.
Before that, let us learn about each oven in detail.
What Is A Convection Oven?
A convection oven is a device that works by gas or electricity.
A convection oven features a fan and an exhaust system for circulating circulate hot air across the oven. Some models even come with a third heating element that helps in cooking the food faster.
Working Mechanism In Convection Oven
The fan and exhaust system in the oven help in even circulation and distribution of hot air across the oven. This further helps in maintaining a consistent temperature inside the appliance. As a result, you will have reduced hot and cool spots in the food, and the dishes will be evenly cooked on all the racks.
The significant feature of a convection oven is that it comes with a convection setting. This setting helps in activating the fan and the exhaust fan. You can turn off the convection setting and use the appliance as a conventional oven. You can get the best of both devices in a single oven.
The convection ovens help in retaining the moisture inside the food. That means your dishes will remain juicy on the inside while allowing them to be crisp and brown on the outside.
A convection oven is very expensive than its conventional counterparts.
- Convection ovens help in cooking the food evenly and faster placed in any rack.
- Convection ovens are ideal for dishes that look crispy on the outside but juicy and tender on the inside. You can roast potatoes and other vegetables in these appliances.
- They are a better option for browning the meat to get that dry and crispy texture outside.
- These types of ovens are highly energy-efficient. They help in cooking the food faster and at lower temperatures.
- You can bake in convection ovens, but it is less preferable. These do not give efficient baking results. Although it will cause the outside of the cake to bake very quickly, the interior may remain half-baked.
- When cooking in convection ovens, you will have to be watchful about the time and temperatures. Most of the recipes do not have the time mentioned according to convection appliances. In such a case, you will have to adjust the temperature settings and time at least 25 degrees lower and 10 minutes less, respectively.
- You will keep checking the food constantly to ensure it does not get overcooked.
- In comparison to conventional ovens, convection ovens are expensive.
- They also have high replacement costs. Altogether, they can be a costly affair.
What Is A Conventional Oven?
A conventional oven is a regular or traditional oven.
Unlike a convection oven, the conventional oven does not have a fan and exhaust system. Instead, it features two heating elements for heating the air inside the appliance.
Working Mechanism In Conventional Oven
A conventional oven has two heating elements, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the appliance. When you run the oven, these heating elements get heated and heat the air inside the oven. They circulate it across the device to let the food cook. Each element has a significant use. While the upper one helps in broiling, the lower heating element facilitates perfect cooking and baking.
Whenever you place any dish closest to the heating element, i.e., on the upper or lower rack, it cooks the food faster.
Since a conventional oven does not have a fan inside to distribute warm air, the food gets cooks slower or faster, depending on where you placed it in the oven.
Conventional ovens offer great comfort to the users when cooking. Most of the recipes come with time and temperature mentioned according to conventional appliances. You will have to adjust the temperature and time for cooking.
Conventional ovens are comparatively less expensive than convection ovens.
- Most of the recipes come with time and temperature mentioned according to conventional appliances.
- Conventional ovens help in easy cooking because of the familiar cooking method.
- A conventional oven is a perfect option for baking foods like cakes and bread.
- These ovens are less expensive than convection ovens.
- Conventional ovens do not facilitate even cooking as their convection counterparts. As a result, you may have one side of the food cooked properly and the other uncooked with cooler air pockets.
- You may have to rotate the sheet pan or baking tray halfway through cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.
- A conventional oven takes more time to cook when compared to a convection oven.
- Conventional ovens are less energy-efficient, as they take more time for preheating. Consequently, they will consume more electricity.
What are the Differences Between a Conventional Oven and a Convection Oven?
Below is a comparative analysis of conventional ovens and convection ovens. The distinguishing factors mentioned in this table should help you decide which appliance is best suitable for your cooking and baking needs.
|DISTINGUISHING PARAMETERS||CONVECTION OVEN||CONVENTIONAL OVEN|
|Air Circulation||A convection oven uses fans to circulate the warm air throughout the appliance.||A conventional oven does not have any fans. Instead, it uses a heating element to generate hot air.|
|Cooking||A convection oven helps cook the food evenly.||A conventional oven causes uneven cooking of the food.|
|Time Taken To Cook Dishes||A convection oven cooks the food faster.||A conventional oven takes more time to cook the food.|
|Baking||A convection oven is not a better option for baking food.||A conventional oven is an ideal option for baking food.|
|Cooking Capacity||A convection oven has a higher cooking capacity than a conventional oven.||A conventional oven has a lower cooking capacity when compared to a convection oven.|
|Cooking Recipes||You need to adjust the time and temperature accordingly for cooking any recipe in the convection oven.||You do not require adjusting the time and temperature accordingly for cooking any recipe in the conventional oven.|
|Efficiency||A convection oven has higher energy efficiency.||A conventional oven is comparatively less energy-efficient than its convection counterpart.|
Let us discuss about each parameter in detail to get a better understanding. We will even analyze which appliance excels at each segment.
1. Heat Distribution
Let us start our comparison with heat distribution.
Since a convection oven has a fan, it helps in distributing the hot air evenly across the oven.
On the other hand, a conventional oven uses stationery heating elements to generate heat that rises up from the bottom of the device.
Let us now talk about how the food gets cooked in both convection and conventional ovens.
In the convection oven, the fan facilitates the even distribution of warm air throughout the appliance. As a result, the food gets cooked consistently and evenly. Moreover, you will not require rotating the sheet pan pr baking tray halfway through cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.
Contrary to the above, you will have to rotate the sheet pan pr baking tray halfway through cooking to ensure it cooks evenly. This prevents the food from getting overcooked or burnt, while some part of it remains uncooked.
3. Time Required To Cook
Let us move on to the time taken to cook in these ovens.
Convection ovens take less time to cook, bake, or roast. And the best part, they facilitate even cooking of the dishes. They cook about 25 percent quicker than their conventional counterparts. However, it is recommended to check the food within 10 minutes prior to the completion of the process. Also, these ovens preheat quickly than conventional ovens.
As opposed to above, conventional ovens require more time to cook and also preheat.
4. Cooking Capacity
Let us now discuss about the cooking capacity of both convection and conventional ovens.
Convection oven has more cooking capacity. It comes with multiple racks to cook large quantities of food at a time.
A conventional oven has less cooking capacity than a convection appliance. However, you can cook several dishes on these devices. But remember not to place any dish too close to the heating element, as it may cause the food to get burned.
When it comes to baking, a conventional oven is highly preferred to a convection oven. The former does a great job delivering better results when baking cakes, bread, pastries, pies, and cookies.
6. Cooking Recipes
When cooking any recipe in a convection oven, you will have to adjust the time and temperature accordingly.
Most of the recipes come written for the conventional ovens. Hence, you do not require adjusting the time and temperature.
If we talk about efficiency, convection ovens are highly efficient. They require less time to cook and preheat.
Contrary to the above, conventional ovens require more time to cook and preheat. As a result, they consume more electricity further increasing energy.
When To Use the Convection and Conventional Oven?
It is essential to choose the right appliance based on what recipe you are preparing. While some ovens come with both convection and conventional setting, activate the required setting to ensure you are not left behind with any mess.
If you are using a convection oven, activate the convection setting for most of your cooking or baking, or roasting needs. These include cake, bread, pies, cookies, meat, and vegetables.
For roasting recipes that include chicken and turkey, it is advisable to activate the convection roast setting. It will give you a brown and crispy outer layer on the meat while allowing interiors to be juicy and tender.
Also, make sure you turn on the convection setting when baking cookies and brownies. However, ensure the correct placement on the racks, i.e., on the middle rack for great results.
When it comes to baking cakes, bread, delicate desserts, pastries, and similar baking goods, it is advisable to turn on the conventional settings on your oven.
What Are The Steps For Using A Convection Oven?
Using convection is pretty simple. All you need to do is follow the below steps in order to get the most from your device. Be it baking, or, cooking or roasting, simply follow these steps:
Step 1: Check For The Recipes First
The very first thing you need to do is check for the recipe. As mentioned earlier, most of the recipes do not have the time mentioned according to convection appliances. In such a case, you may have to adjust the temperature and time as recommended even before you start cooking and baking.
Step 2: Adjust The Oven Temperature
It is always advisable to adjust the temperature to at least 25 degrees lower than the recommended time. Let us say you are preparing brownies in your convection oven. If the recipe requires preheating the oven to 325°F, adjust it to 300°F, instead.
Step 3: Set A Timer
Similarly, you need to adjust the time, as well, when using a convection oven. Accordingly, change the time to 10 minutes less than what the recipe suggests in order to get the best results. Let us consider the same brownie preparation in your convection appliance. If the recipe requires you to set the time to about 40 minutes in the oven, adjust it to 30 minutes, instead.
Step 4: Preheating The Oven
After you adjust the temperature settings on your oven, preheat it. Here is a good thing about these devices – they preheat quickly and do not take more time.
Step 5: Proceed With Your Cooking Style
Now that you have preheated the oven, set the timer to the required time. After adjusting the time, place your dishes in the racks of the appliance and proceed with cooking or roasting, or baking. If you are cooking meat in the oven, do not forget to activate the convection roast setting. It will give you a brown and crispy outer layer on the meat while allowing interiors to be juicy and tender.
What are the Dos and Don’ts for Using a Convection Oven?
There are certain dos and don’ts that one needs to follow when cooking with a convection oven. Below are the essential tips or hacks that will take your enhance your convection cooking skills.
Dos of Convection Cooking:
- Always adjust the recipe time and temperature for cooking to ensure the best possible results.
- Always use cooking and baking dishes with relatively low sides. This will allow for better air distribution.
- Always use the convection roast setting on your device for cooking styles like roasting, browning, etc.
Don’ts of Convection Cooking:
- Do not use tall cookware in the oven, as it will block the fan inside. This will not allow proper air circulation.
- Do not add too many dishes to your oven at a time. Overcrowding the appliance can hamper its efficiency.
- Do not ever use convection settings for certain recipes like delicate desserts, baking cakes, bread, etc.
Can You Find Both Convection and Conventional Oven Settings on Standard Ovens?
We all must be familiar that convection ovens come with a convection setting. This setting helps in activating the fan and the exhaust fan. You can turn on or off the convection setting based on your cooking requirements. When you turn off the setting, you can use the appliance as a conventional oven. That is like you get two birds with one stone. You can get the best of both devices in a single oven.
When it comes to a conventional oven, only some models feature a convection setting. You can activate it with just one press of a button and use the appliance as a convection oven. You can get back to the baking mode by deactivating the setting. However, you will not find this setting in all conventional devices. Some advanced models come with standard settings that will let the users know when they need to revert for baking.
With the versatile options available, you can always choose one according to your needs. However, if you still have ambiguity over deciding between the duo, do not worry. Here is the amicable solution for you. There are hybrid ovens available in the market that will allow the versatility to work both as convection and conventional oven. Here is another option. You can go for double ovens, i.e., one thermal oven and another convection oven. This will give you the flexibility to use one or both simultaneously, depending on what you are cooking.
A Few Words To Conclude:
Both convection and conventional oven are two great kitchen appliances for all your cooking and baking needs. However, depending on your cooking style and the type of recipes that you frequently prepare, choose the right oven. For cooking and roasting, convection devices are the best. Similarly, for baking, conventional ovens are the ideal option. Choose wisely and invest in the right appliance.
Let us know if this information helped you in making an informed decision. If you have any questions on this topic, do not hesitate to let us know. We will try our best to answer all your queries at the earliest.
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