Cooking with convection

Q. What’s a convection oven and why should I have one?  — Rebecca, Neenah

A. Rebecca, in my opinion as a professional chef, a convection oven is one of the most important inventions in the history of cooking. A convection oven uses a fan to circulate the hot air in the oven and allows the oven to cook more rapidly and consistently. Cooking times can be reduced by as much as 25 percent when using a convection oven. While almost all ovens have hot spots, the movement of the air virtually eliminates them because of the circulation of the constantly moving air.

Baking products like cakes and muffins can sometimes be challenged in a convection oven because as the delicate batter is gently rising, the turbulence of the moving air can produce a product that is leaning away from the fan. Some convection ovens have adjustable fans and can turn the fan off altogether for “dead air” baking.

Almost every professional kitchen has one or more convection ovens, and more and more people are purchasing them for their homes because of how effective they work. While it might be considered a luxury to have a convection oven at home, it definitely seems to be the way of the future as people are putting nicer equipment in their kitchens.

Have I convinced you to buy a convection oven, Rebecca?

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