What is a convection oven?

I’m not terribly domestic and I’ve used my busted oven for storage for years. But a recent trip to France has inspired me and I think I might like to do a little baking and cooking.

What is a convection oven and are they worth it?

How they work

“]Blue skies smilin’ at me…” – Willie Nelson, among others

Thanks, Mr. Blue Sky!

Whoever decided called them ‘convection ovens’ deserves a quick course in heat transfer physics.

The term convection oven is a bit missleading. In fact convection is the leading mechanism for heat transfer in a conventional oven, but in a so-called convection-oven the convective air currents are assisted by a fan.

They ought to be called ‘assisted convection oven’, as opposed to ‘natural convection oven’ (aka ‘normal oven’).

They do work well though. Especially for baking bread, as you can bake more than one tray at a time.

If you’re really into baking, you should get an oven with steam function. That can really add a nice crust! (Or so I’ve been told - a friend of mine was raving about it.)

An other alternative would be a convection oven with built-in microwave - to really cook that chicken!

I think the full technical name of such an oven is “forced convection oven.”

Haven’t commercial airliner galleys used convection/microwave ovens to cook passenger meals for decades, or am I wrong?

We just bought a Kitchenaid dual-fuel gas/electric convection oven, and I used the convection mode for the first time to bake potatoes, and was wondering exactly how I modify a recipe to use a convection oven…

Perhaps I’ll ask in Cafe Society…

OK, that makes more sense.

I believe that they’re fairly common in most kinds of catering.

As the airflow (as well as the temperature[sup]1[/sup]) depends a lot on the model, there’s really no alternative to trial&error on your particular oven. As a general guideline, though, you ought to be able to reduce the temperature with about 20[sup]o[/sup]C, and the cooking time with about 20%.
[sup]1[/sup]Oven thermostats are in general not very good. If you want to be able to follow recipes you should invest in a good digital thermometer.