Temperature difference for baking with convection?

mboston_gwSeptember 21, 2012

We recently bought a new range - induction with conventional or convection oven. I have really enjoyed using the convection for bake goods - muffins, cookies, biscuits,etc but I am having a little trouble adjusting cooking time or temp for things like casseroles, baked beans, macroni and cheese,etc. Seems like things aren't done when they should be. Does it take longer, should I adjuct it time wise or temperature wise? My baked beans would normally be in the oven for about an hour at 350 - on convection, they were still soupy at an hour and the bacon strips on top (I know bad me) were nto browned at all.

Are there any guidelines for making the switch?

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I'm far from an expert but ...

1) Oven controls generally automatically reduce the entered temperature by 25F when convection mode is used. My GE Profile range, when I select Convection mode and enter 400F for example, it automatically reduces to 375F. It'll take 400F if I re-enter the temp (without turning the oven off first).

2) In my experience convection does take more time (at the 25F reduced temp). Cookies, pizza, biscuits need at least the maximum time stated on the package ... usually 3 to 5 mins more. I like pizza browned and a little crispy on top so that may take 10 mins longer. Chicken breast (Shake-n-Bake or however) also takes a good 10 mins longer.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 2:15PM
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I've seen to use 25 degrees *less* for the same cooking time, when baking stuff with convection vs. not. But it doesn't sound like that would help your baked beans...

So then I wonder how your beans turn out in this new oven when baked without convection? Maybe the temperatures are a little low (or not maintained) in this oven, enough to affect stuff like beans, but not enough to mess up muffins and stuff taking less time.

Can you use an oven thermometer to check temperatures at 350 or so, over the time it takes to cook the beans? If your oven temperatures fluctuate or are inaccurate, please let us know what brand range you have.

[Some ranges, e.g., my E'lux range, offer an adjustment to raise or lower the temp at a given setting by several degrees. Your manual should say if you have this possible remedy.]

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 2:27PM
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My old oven used to always bake hot - never could get cookies or brownies done without burning edges, etc. This one (GE Profile Induction) bakes beautifully - cookies are done, muffins,etc browned evenly usually on the longest time suggested on packages. I haven't noticed any drop of the temp that I have set it at as dadoes stated. I have not used an oven thermometer yet. Will try that next. I'm really happy overall with the induction part - except the added step f cleaning the pots. Have to use Barkeepers each time if I want the pots shiny.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 3:11PM
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When I use convection, which is most of the time, I leave the temperature as stated in the recipe and find that things usually get done a little faster. I don't subscribe to the theory that you should drop the temp. 25 degrees. Fortunately, for me my oven doesn't do it automatically. I advised a friend of mine with an electronic oven to just set the oven 25 degrees higher when using convection.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 3:46PM
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I also think something like a casserole or baked beans in a deep baking dish wouldn't benefit from convection.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:20PM
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I look at convection as a tool. It has the following effects. It is drying, superficially, which is beneficial in making things crispy or in dehydrating food. It moves air and heat around so that the oven and what is in it will have greater heat transfer so may cook faster and more evenly. Convection ovens are very different from each other, so I can't see following any blanket rules. It is trial and error to see how your oven will work. Some have convection elements that come on in different ways, dual fans, varying fan speeds and amount of time they are on, and baffling that directs the air differently. These effects in my view are most beneficial for things that you want accelerated browning and crispiness like meats, vegetables, pies/tarts, some pastries and some cookies. I don't use it for things that need to raise at least for the first part of cooking time because they need a little humidity to allow the best raise, so I feel that you want to avoid the drying effect of convection. This is also why it is thought that an electric oven is superior for baking cakes. It is more of a closed system so that the humidity builds a little more than with a gas oven. Due to the differences in these ovens, many people can bake with convection for items that need to raise and it can work but IMO is not optimum. Some ovens even have such air flow that a cake or muffins can be blown over. You can add the convection back after the item has raised if you want to to allow the item to brown a little better.

As far as your oven I would get an oven thermometer and make sure that your oven is calibrated correctly. Baked beans might benefit from convection by heating quicker and they may reduce quicker. This will also be influenced by how much surface is open to the air and if you stir it. The fact that yours did not cook quicker makes me think your oven may need calibrating. With bacon on the top consider using the convection roast mode that will bring more heat from the top.
I used a Profile convection this summer in a beach rental and was surprised that the temperature was automatically dropped in the oven. If I set a convection mode for 375, the number would drop to 350 immediately when set. The conventional bake did not do that. The fan seemed to come on and off more so may not be as drying.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Perhaps the casserole is too dense for the air to circulate through it properly. Are your beans covered in the oven? Air cannot circulate through the container if it is closed, you in reality, you were just cooking at a lower temperature if the dish was covered.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:33AM
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No, no lid on the beans.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:45AM
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As others have said, a casserole generally won't benefit from convection so lowering the temperature actually increased the cooking time. I also don't use convection for things requiring bottom heat like souffles and popovers.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 12:51PM
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My KA double ovens give a choice of automatic conversion to convection where you put in your regular cooking temp and it drops it 25 degrees OR a button you put in whatever convection temp you wish. There also is a choice for baked goods or meats.

I don't think convection was made to use for everything you put in an oven. It is wonderful with roasting meats and baking, but I never use it for casseroles or anything like that.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:19PM
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