What is convection cooking?

H&H Appliance Center really thrives on convection cooking technology. What do we mean by that? Well, we sell a lot of our products to people who either 1. do not use convection or 2. have not heard of convection cooking or do not know how to use convection technology on their products. Today, we would like to share some of our knowledge about convection cooking versus typical baking.

Let’s first talk about traditional baking.

Traditional baking in an electric oven

Baking in an electric oven versus a gas oven is different, because the appliances are designed differently, around their heat source. According to Nicole Harms, an Ehow contributor, in an electric oven, large coiled wires are located inside the appliance that heat up in order to cook the food. “There are two sets of these coils, one on the top and one on the bottom. These heating elements heat up when electricity is sent to them. The bottom coil of wires is the one that cooks the food when you bake. The dial on the oven controls an internal thermostat. When you turn it to set the temperature, a copper wire that leads to the cooking area is alerted to the temperature that you want. This wire serves as the temperature gauge, and it sends signals to the thermostat to turn on and off based on the temperature inside the oven. The top heating coil is the broiler. This coil will heat to high temperatures very quickly. It does not have a temperature control like the coil on the bottom. It will heat to its highest possible temperature and stay there until you turn it off.” (Ehow.com) Read more here.

Traditional baking using a gas oven

Isaiah David from Ehow gives a great definition of how gas ovens run. Unlike electric ovens, traditional gas ovens have several burners inside of the appliance which are controlled by a thermostat. “When you turn on your gas oven, an electric lighter ignites the burners. The burners continue to warm the air in the oven until it is above the temperature you selected on the thermostat. The oven then turns off until the temperature drops below the temperature you selected. At that point, it turns on again. Modern gas ovens are well-insulated, so they can stay at the selected temperature with very little additional heating.” Read more here.

Now let’s get to the real stuff – convection cooking.

What is convection cooking?

It is important to understand how convection cooking is different than traditional cooking  – yes. But it is equally important to understand what convection cooking is, and if it is the best option for you.

Frigidaire gives a great definition of convection cooking that is simply and easy to understand.

“Convection cooking is cooking with the added advantage of airflow circulation, which allows for a more even distribution of heat.”

By using the forced flow of hot air, convection cooking produces the following benefits:

  • Cooking time is approximately 25-30% faster than conventional ovens, saving energy.
  • The more even distribution of heat results in food that is more evenly baked.
  • Generally, less heat is required than with a conventional oven—a convection oven usually cooks at 25°F below a conventional oven’s required temperature.

Let’s take a step back. Convection cooking is possible because ovens with convection capabilities have fans inside of the oven that turn on when the convection setting is turned on. These fans circulate the heated air around the food, causing cooking time to decrease and a more even distribution of heat to food.

So really, the only difference is that my oven has a fan in it?

…Pretty much. The heat distribution is a little different but overall it is not too much different in terms of the appliance. KitchenDaily has a great article that describes the differences in depth, and Finecooking.com gives a superb definition of why, “A short version of the scientific explanation for this is that moving air speeds up the rate of heat transference that naturally occurs when air of two different temperatures converges. To help understand this, consider wind chill: When cold air blows against you on a blustery winter day, you feel colder more quickly than you do on a windless day of the same temperature.”

Now, there are multiple opinions about convection cooking. Some prefer traditional baking because that is what they are used to, and aren’t sure how to use convection cooking. Our next post will highlight convection cooking and ask the question, is it for me?

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