European ( true) Convection / Do you really need it?

bretonbSeptember 16, 2007

I was wondering if the much touted European convection system with an element at the fan is all it is cracked up to be. Does a range with just regular convection ( only fan) work just as well or is it marginal or much better.

With many brands which offer this you have to purchase the most expensive model and this will always be the one with all the bells and whistles, many which you do not necessarily want. I think the less bells and whistles the better chance there will be that things will not go wrong.

Also the wattage of these elements seems to go all over the place. From very low to very high. Does this matter ?

I know the manufacturers say this is a better system, but what do comsumers out there think.

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It's much better. Our former kitchen had 19 yo appliances, and the wall ovens (two singles, for some reason) were fan assisted only. This helped on preheat, but radiant was better for actual baking or roasting. We've just started using our new convection oven (Gaggenau) & the difference is very noticable in the end products. For example, a breakfast souffle recipe rises up so much higher, is nicely browned yet moist, and the time is less. We have also started making bacon in this oven, which is great when there's a crowd.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 4:17PM
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gizmonike - that's interesting - a souffle is one of the few things I don't use convection for - it needs bottom heat to rise - same with popovers.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 9:36PM
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It wasn't a true souffle, but now that I think about it, I did set it for convection with bottom element heat as well. Thanks for the correction.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 10:21PM
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I second gizmo... it is almost ridiculous how well stuff rises and uniformly it cooks, and how light the end result can be.

weissman, I convection cook souffles too and have the same observation as gizmo. Almost anything that wants to rise seems to benefit from convection. Atleast, that is my experience. It is just things like cheesecake and some of the denser cakes and breads that seem to want the bottom heat and that convection seems to get in the way in - well, I haven't tried convection-cheesecake because some denser cake concoction I'd tried definitely needed the bottom heat so I trusted the word on the street and stuck to bottom heat for cheesecake. Barring that, true euro convection rocks imo.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 10:22PM
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I am not sure if you people are missing my question. Does "european convection" ( with heating element at fan) work better that just straight "convection" (only fan)? Or is the european convection just a marketing ploy on the part of companies?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 8:43AM
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I can't speak from personal experience since I have a gas convection oven (which works quite well by the way) but from what I read, it's a little bit of both. True convection definitely has a slight advantage for things like multiple racks of cookies where you want them all to cook evenly without the bottom rack getting extra bottom heat - but some of it is marketing hype.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 8:50AM
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FWIW, I have had a "fan-only" convection range in the past and now have a "true european convection" with a third heating element around the fan and, in my opinion, there is no comparison. Now, 3 sheets of cookies are identical in size, color, and texture. Roast chicken done on convection roast is fabulous and salmon done on convection broil has that lovely crispy exterior while still very moist on the more pan searing for me. In my opinion, true convection is not a marketing ploy. However, results may vary based on manufacturer...see threads on KitchenAid and LG. I can only compare GE to Bosch(which is what I have now).

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:38AM
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I think maybe I have been the one posting about the LG problems. Is it GE or Bosch that you have now ?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 11:49AM
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bretonb, I have a Bosch HES7282U9(Evolution 700 series full stainless electric). It's been terrific. Regarding your problems with LG: the Bosch fan goes on to preheat and then turns off when in bake mode. It runs continuously in all convection modes: bake, broil, and roast. I'm also not aware of the upper element going on in regular bake mode as seems to happen with the KitchenAid. I really couldn't tell any difference in results between regular bake and convection in the GE. With this one, there is a definite difference and the results are vastly superior. It's also the first self cleaning oven I've had that doesn't have a terrble smell when cleaning.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 3:41PM
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One of these days, when our home building process does get underway, I AM planning on a GE monogram wall oven. The specs say that it has true European convection ( a reverse fan). Can someone tell me if that is true European or not?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 4:53PM
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I took a look at your range and it looks lovely. Is the stainless steel hard to keep clean? The wattages of the European convection systems seem to go all over the map. I wonder if a higher wattage is better than a lower one. My LG has a very low wattage 800 watts. I see that Bosch is 1,100 watts. I was told that the much higher wattages can cause uneven browning, specially baking multiple racks.
Moose : I would think that if they say European it means a true convection system with a heating element at the fan.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:44PM
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true european convection means that there is a third heating element behind the convection fan. I'm not sure what a reverse fan is, but it doesn't sound like true euro convection to me.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 8:01PM
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True Convection, Pure Convection, European Convection, When you figure it out it will probably be sales related, not performance related. Miele and Dacor have filters, Wolf and American have twin fans, I don't think my Turkey cares.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 8:38AM
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Could be wrong, but I think most of the higher wattage 3rd elements are in wall ovens (not sure about Viking or Dacor ranges). This was not an option for me nor was gas which is why I went with this Bosch model. I know when I do cookies, they are all uniform. Stainless is easy to clean: all I've had to do is use a damp paper towel or a soapy sponge and dry with a microfiber cloth. Bosch recommends Barkeeper's Friend for stains.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:02AM
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