Is a convection oven and how to use it | Digital Trends Spanish
It is not that an oven convection It’s a particularly tricky business, but if you’ve never used one, it’s also not a matter of just turning it on and forgetting about it. But then what exactly is a convection oven? These devices can give you great results when cooking, although they require some previous practice, since their use can affect the result of your recipes. In this article we explain everything you need to know about this type of oven and how to use it properly.
Adjust the temperature
The “convection” in these ovens refers to the process of heating by air. A convection oven uses traditional methods, but adds a process where hot air is blown through the cooktop and vented again.
It basically means that your food will be cooked with radiant heat and with the hot air passing over it, which speeds up the cooking process. But it also offers other advantages: Food tends to cook more evenly and is easier to brown if you are looking for a delicious crunchy crust.
In fact, convection cooking is so efficient that you’ll need to start by reducing the temperature in your recipes, which saves energy and ensures that food will cook the way you want it to. These are three key rules:
- For shorter cook times or simple preparations (like cookies), reduce the indicated temperature 10-15 percent.
- For more time-consuming kitchen projects (like roasts), lower the heat by up to 30 percent for proper cooking.
- If in doubt, lower the temperature about 25-30 degrees from what you would normally use.
Give it the necessary space
Since convection cooking is highly dependent on air, it is important that your kitchen has enough circulating air for the oven to do its job properly. That is, it is not a good idea to saturate it with pans. It is best to limit yourself to one plate per rack so that the air has enough space to circulate.
Whenever possible, use low-profile pans and dishes for baking. This will allow your food to be more exposed to circulating air and cook properly. Although most pans today have low edges, if you have some high-profile ones, consider changing them to improve convection results.
Set the timer with less time and check the plate
Even with the low temperature, convection ovens can cook dishes faster than you might expect. To avoid unpleasant surprises, set the timer 5-10 minutes earlier than normal (adjusting the type of food and tray), especially when you are making your first preparations.
When the timer goes off, check the food. If it’s golden brown, has a strong sizzle, and looks like it’s done, you may need to reduce the cooking time to prevent it from drying out or burning.
Foods that work well with convection
Foods that are broiled or caramelized are ideal for convection cooking. Many baked goods also work well in these conditions. Freely use the convection setting when preparing:
- Ham, turkey or meat roast.
- Crisp roasted vegetables.
- Cookies and muffins (cakes). These little foods defy our “leave plenty of room” rule, but the draft can give them a more curious shape.
- Empanadas and cakes.
- Lids or foil pans will keep food from losing moisture. However, convection may not be as effective in these cases.
- Toast or buns.
- Dry food. A good alternative to dehydrate your fish or toast nuts, if you need to use them as part of other recipes.
Avoid convection with these foods
Try to avoid slow-cooking foods, especially those that require a very specific consistency.
- Custard or custard: The fluffy, delicate surface of these desserts does not do well in a convection oven.
- Suflés – They need carefully controlled cooking, so a convection oven will end up burning them and they won’t allow them to fluff.
- Cakes and confectionery that tend to rise or cook quickly.
- Bake quick breads. While some cookies and cakes are considered quick breads, we mean those that need to rise but do not use traditional yeasts, such as banana, pumpkin, or corn breads. You can cook them in convection ovens, but you need to keep a close eye on the process.
Sensors and automatic functions
Modern convection ovens often have default options and a choice of “sensor cook” or automatic temperature selection. Should you use them? It all depends.
Convection ovens allow you to prepare your food more quickly and efficiently. But if you don’t know what are the most recommended dishes for these appliances, in this guide we explain what a convection oven is and how to use it.
When it comes to automatic cooking options, a thermometer probe is best. These set precise meat temperatures and are available in a growing number of home ovens. There are also versions that are sold separately.