Convection ovens use fans to move hot air
around, which helps speed cooking times. Generally, food prepared in a
convection oven cooks 25 percent faster than it would in a conventional
oven. The rapid moving of hot air also browns foods more evenly, locks in
juices on roasts, and eliminates the hot spots found in conventional
To convert conventional oven recipes for a
convection oven - heat the convection oven to 25oF lower than
the recipe calls for. Also, expect food to be done in 25 percent less time
than it would be in a conventional oven. Start checking for doneness about
10 minutes before the food is scheduled to be done, and even sooner for
foods that cook for extended periods, such as roasts.
To choose the pans - no special pans are
required for convection cooking, but baking sheets and roasting pans with
low sides will allow food to cook more quickly and brown more evenly.
To roast meats by convection - place the
meat directly on the oven rack and position a drip pan on the lowest rack.
The forced hot air will seal the outside surface of the meat to help lock
in juices. Thus, the meat will drip less and brown more evenly, so you
won't need to turn it or baste it as you would in a conventional oven.
Cooking baked foods by convection - a
convection oven will dry out the surface of food, creating a thicker crust
on baked foods. As a general rule, use convection for breads, pies or
other foods where a thicker crust is desirable. When no crust is
desirable, as in cakes and rich desserts that have a high moisture and fat
content, it's best to stick with conventional oven cooking. Pastries and
meringues cooked by convection could set at a tilt due to circulating air