View Full Version : Home on the range

10-04-2008, 01:46:52
The condo we moved into last fall had a stove that needed replacing. Kind of a dumb story, actually.*

We got a smooth top electric with an oven that can convect. Is there any point to it? The regular bake is okay and the 'choice bake' is so much better that I never use the regular bake feature. The convection feature appears to be completely useless. Nothing ever comes out right.

Help! Does anybody use a convection oven and what is it possibly good for? Extremely low settings like for yogurt or oven dried tomatos?

* The old owners thought the old stove was fine, although an electric short caused it to display an error message and ear-piercing alarm at a random interval two to 24 hours after every time we used the oven. Turns out it was never a problem for them because they never used the oven.

Immortal Wombat
10-04-2008, 02:26:41
As far as I've been able to tell, convection fans are only installed so that if a vagrant ever breaks in and tries to cook something using your oven, his timing calculations will be messed up by about 15%, his meal will be disappointingly dry, and the ensuing heartache and frustration will make it more likely for him to break down and confess when questioned.

10-04-2008, 08:37:51
They cook stuff faster. Set cooking times 10% less or temperature 10% lower.

I normally drop 10% off the temperature for things like roasts and 10% off the time for baking. Seems to give best results. But it's a rough science and there are probably exceptions I can't think of right now.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
10-04-2008, 08:48:21
Convection means that the heat will distribute evenly. Usually it only makes sense if you use more than one level in the oven. Results may vary depending on the power of the fan.

I also use it for cakes. The dough rises more evenly.

If you prepare meat at low temperature, I usually have better results with the meat in tinfoil on roast and convection. Maybe it's also the heat distribution, maybe I just make it up.

10-04-2008, 08:59:34
The heat's more evenly distributed (good for cakes) but also because the air is moving it strips away the layer of still air you get surrounding the food in a conventional oven. That still air in a normal oven insulates the food, so you get a higher effective cooking result in a convection oven which is why for something like meat you might need a lower temperature.

Air is a really good insulator, like double glazing works because the air trapped between the glass stops the heat transferring, the glass conducts the heat very well.

So, I use the convection all the time, it's much more efficient but you just have to relearn all your timings.

10-04-2008, 09:00:42
And as people have said, the air moving does also have a tendency to take more moisture away, although this is balanced with shorter cooking time/lower temperature, sometimes covering stuff with foil is a good idea.

10-04-2008, 11:59:26
What they all said, plus superior browning of food like roast chicken. I find it to be the better way to bake things.

10-04-2008, 13:09:49
cooking forum !!!

Convection rules. On top of the convection oven, I also have a steam oven which is the best thing ever for vegetables.

10-04-2008, 13:43:49
So far I am totally on the same wavelength as Immortal Wombat. :)

But I'll give it another go. Being a vegetarian and not baking cakes much could be part of the problem. But I have had problems baking on multiple layers with the regular oven so perhaps it does have its uses.

10-04-2008, 14:48:03
We just got an electric convection with gas range a couple months ago and had the same problems you have. It took awhile to adjust my cooking times to what worked, but 10-15% less time or temperature seems like a good place to start.

Cookies seem to cook exceptionally fast and cook more evenly/consistently.

10-04-2008, 15:30:41
Mmmmm. Cookies.

10-04-2008, 15:36:37
Mmm. Properly cooked cookies... :o

10-04-2008, 15:40:37
Tizzy grilled/broiled the last lot she tried to make. :lol:

10-04-2008, 17:32:23
i did that when i was 14 or so with pumpkin bread

Lazarus and the Gimp
10-04-2008, 18:32:53
Ah, Tizzy's losing the Scot in her. She should have fried them.

10-04-2008, 19:08:47
I made a cake with baking powder instead of baking soda once, as part of a school assignment.

A very flat cake.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
10-04-2008, 19:10:50
The flat cake society!

10-04-2008, 20:13:09
Baking cakes! Are you girls or what!

11-04-2008, 00:07:21

11-04-2008, 05:52:53
Where is that cake?

11-04-2008, 06:53:00
tsktsk. In the oven!

11-04-2008, 08:02:37
Already eaten is more likely...