Convection Ovens: Converting Recipes
Most traditional baking and cooking recipes can be converted to use with a convection oven. Follow our tips below for converting times and temperatures for a conventional oven and cooking with a convection oven. We also shared some of our favorite baked recipes so you have something to test your conversions on!
Convection Ovens vs. Conventional Ovens
Conventional ovens, which are what most of us probably have in our kitchens, cook food by surrounding it with hot air. Convection ovens, on the other hand, are built with a fan in the back that blows and rotates the hot air throughout the oven. This is why convection ovens generally cook food more evenly than conventional ovens, because the air is not circulating throughout a conventional oven, so some spots can end up hotter than others. Convection ovens also tend to cook food faster than conventional ovens, so they can be a good investment if you want your food to bake more quickly.
Follow the specific instructions given by your oven manufacturer, keeping these general guidelines in mind:
- When converting recipes from conventional to convection, use the temperature and time from the original recipe as a guideline, checking for doneness after three-quarters of the baking time has elapsed. Or, the original baking temperature may be reduced by 25°F in general. Open the oven door as little as possible during baking.
- Because convection ovens offer superior results when browning and crisping foods, most recipes designed for convection ovens do not call for baking dishes to be covered. If you do use your convection oven to bake a standard recipe that calls for the dish to be covered, the temperature and time will likely be about the same. For covered long-baking recipes designed for a standard oven, you may reduce the temperature by 25°F to 50°F when using a convection oven.
- Follow the user's manual for manufacturer's recommendations for preheating a convection oven. Be sure to position oven racks before you turn the oven on because they will heat up quickly.
- To enable hot air to circulate around the food, place foods in the center of the oven; be sure to leave space between pans and oven walls.
- Always test food a few minutes before the minimum cooking time has elapsed, using the doneness test given in the recipe. Keep in mind that even when food appears golden brown, it may not be completely done.