Planning to buy an oven but can’t decide which type to pick? Perhaps you already own a conventional oven but want to widen your horizons. Whatever your reason may be, we’re here to help you decide which is better between the two.
To get to the bottom of things, we’ll talk about these ovens’ pros and cons and how they can improve your cooking.
Where Do They Differ?
Physically, you will not notice any prominent differences between these two appliances. The only discrepancy is the addition of the fan and exhaust system in a convection oven. This feature helps distribute the hot air inside for faster and more even cooking. The exhaust sucks out the moisture for a crispier exterior.
A traditional oven only uses a fixed energy source from the heating elements typically placed on the unit’s bottom. The heat on a conventional oven rises, going in one direction, resulting in uneven cooking due to inconsistent temperature. However, there’s no question when it comes to familiarity. Everybody knows how to use a traditional oven. Also, most recipes are suited for conventional settings.
Types of Convection Ovens
Convection ovens are available in different types, and your choice depends on what your kitchen currently needs.
1. Fan Placement
Depending on where the fan is placed, there are two types of convection ovens.
Regular Convection Oven
The regular convection oven is the traditional kind with the fan addition at the back of the unit to aid in the pre-heated energy’s air circulation. However, the fan blows hot and cold air, resulting in uneven cooking due to the inconsistent air temperature.
True Convection Oven
True convection ovens, also called European, have both a fan and an added heating element at the back of the unit. These components provide the constant hot air and evenly distributes it inside the oven.
2. Oven Placement
Convection ovens are also categorized based on where you place them in your kitchen.
Countertop Convection Oven
A countertop convection oven is a portable kind you can put on counters or tables. It’s usually lighter and smaller suitable for modest spaces.
Floor Model Convection Oven
This type is significantly bigger and can cook more food than the countertop model. It’s available in half or full size, depending on your available floor space.
Benefits of Convection Cooking
Is buying a convection cooking even worth it? Here are some notable advantages you get to enjoy when using this function:
Less Cooking Time
The rotating hot air inside the oven goes around the food in constant motion, allowing quicker cooking. As such, you get to serve your dish in less time than when cooking with a traditional oven type. Convection ovens are more energy efficient because they cook the food faster using a lower temperature.
The fan distributes the hot air inside the unit, providing a balanced and steady cooking temperature. Due to even heat distribution, there’s no need to rotate the food to ensure the other parts are cooked to perfection.
Great Browning Ability
Since the exhaust system pushes the moisture out of the unit, it creates a dry atmosphere inside the oven. This aids in faster sugar caramelization when roasting, browning the food’s exterior while leaving the insides flavorful and juicy.
The constant flow of hot air in a convection oven allows you to cook multiple dishes simultaneously. This lets you roast your proteins and your vegetables at the same time.
Most convection ovens come with preset settings, making it easier for home cooks to choose their dish’s appropriate setting.
Disadvantages of Convection Cooking
As they say, there are two sides to every coin. Convection ovens, as remarkable as they are, also come with their own set of disadvantages, including:
It’s rare to find recipes intended for convection cooking. Most of the instructions are for traditional oven cooking, hence the need for temperature and time adjustments. Since convection cooking provides well-distributed heat in and around the food, you need to lower the cooking time and temperature to avoid overcooking it.
Not Suitable for Some Dishes
Some dishes don’t need a fan for constant hot air circulation as they require moisture to produce the expected outcome. A few examples are flans and puddings.
Additional Parts To Maintain
The traditional oven’s design is more straightforward compared to the convection model. Unfortunately, this means the added fan is another component that may malfunction. When that happens, you’d need to shell out cash for the repair or parts replacement.
Convection vs. Conventional: Which Is Better?
Now that you have a more transparent knowledge about these two kitchen appliances, which one do you prefer? Choosing which is better between the two depends on your preferences as a home cook.
Convection ovens offer lots of advantages for various cooking options, but the familiarity with a traditional unit is also something to consider. If you have difficulty choosing, look for a model with an option to turn on or off the fan.