Convection Confusion

JavachikOctober 31, 2012

I'm a chicken when it comes to experimenting so have never used the convection option of my oven. I'm "askeert" that whatever I experiment with will be a waste of time (and food) until I get it right. Any advice on how to change up recipes (temps? baking time?) to switch to convection?

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I just recently got a new double oven, one is convection, the other is not. I have found that I don't need to "change" anything. I set the convection oven to the required temp and bake for the same amount of time. So far, I haven't noticed that I need to make any adjustments. But then again, I haven't really baked anything substanstial in it yet. I've done pies, lasagna, etc. They are baking in the same amount of time as the regular oven. This is just my experience.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 8:57AM
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There are different philosophies about lowering temperatures 25 degrees or shortening the time. In my experience, I leave the temperature alone and things generally get done a little bit quicker.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:16AM
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I pretty much always use the convection function on our oven, no matter what I'm making, but I never adjust the temperature. If I'm baking things may be done one or two minutes earlier than the recipe calls for, but usually it's the same timing as well. On the rare occasion that I've hit the wrong button and not used convection, I've noticed that it takes quite a bit longer than the recipe calls ... like as much as 5 extra minutes for a batch of cookies.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:33AM
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I noticed the difference on the Elux "Perfect Turkey" setting, which is convection roast. The turkey cooks way faster than usual. So when I use convection roast, I start checking early, or else I use the probe so the oven turns down automatically when the roast is done.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:11PM
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I keep the temps the same but reduce the time and check on things often. I find some things take about the same time and other things less. Ymmv.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Read carefully the manual that came with your appliance.

I have a jenn air oven that has a convection bake and roast feature. The bake feature allows several trays of cookies to bake at once with no swapping. The roast feature is good for chickens and more tender cuts of meat. I do find this feature gives a nice brown skin on the chicken but it does cook a chicken or turkey quicker.

For me the best feature of convection roast is the ability to cook frozen items like fries, pizza etc, quicker with no pre heating of the oven needed.

Also check your manual for rack position information. That is especially helpful when baking.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:44PM
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When I set my oven for convection baking, it automatically readjusts the temperature to 25 degrees less. So if a recipe calls for 350 degrees, I set the temp (digital) for 350 degrees, but then the oven automatically resets it to 325. I haven't really paid much attention to the cook times b/c when I bake, I usually check it on the earlier side of the cooking time range, to make sure it doesn't overcook. Depending on the item, sometimes it's ready and sometime I have to let it go a little longer.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 5:18PM
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All good information that somewhat confirms my inital reaction that it's going to be a little trial and error. Thanks for all the input. There may be a chicken roasting this weekend...

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Definitely read the owners manual. That's the best advice already given here.

I recently baked some chicken on our son & DIL's oven, a KA convection. I set the oven to 350F and it automatically adjusted it to 325F. I had no owners manual to read (they're renting the condo that has this oven). The chicken was done in less time than in our old GE basic oven, and the convection fan ran the entire time.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:13PM
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I almost never use the regular bake feature. I do what most the other posters do and use the same temp but I start checking earlier. I am an avid baker and cookies are a great, easy test of the oven. I might start there. My experience has also been that some things are done quite a bit sooner, most things are done somewhat sooner and a few things take the normal amount of time. The convection setting I use most often browns faster so a roast chicken starts getting really brown before it's done so you can't use that as a gauge. I am a committed temperature-taker, though. Occasionally if something is browning too fast I turn the oven to conventional bake mid-cooking and that works great as well. I like well-browned, crisp food in general so I am thoroughly enamored with my convection oven (Fisher & Paykel, for the record) My oven has very specific rack positioning suggestions and I do follow those to a T. I use the same positions over and over so they aren't hard to remember or to leave in position most of the time.

Good luck! I don't think you could "ruin" anything with convection unless you left food in for the full/max cooking time without checking it and it over-cooked.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:34PM
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Just finished baking some banana muffins with the convection option of my Advantium. Baked them at 375 (always did 400 in my old oven) for 20 minutes. They came out perfect. I did preheat the oven. Next time I make some I am going to try using the speed cook option. I've used that for pizzas and it works great. With the speed cook there is no preheat time but I also must say the Advantium preheats very quickly.
I love using convection bake of my regular oven for multiple pans of cookies. I could not bake more than one pan at a time with my old oven.
My regular oven has an 'auto recipe conversion' feature which you can active and then it will adjust regular baking temperatures for you. You then pretty much use the baking time indicated on the recipe.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We bake quite a bit...I leave the temp alone and check sooner...our graham crackers come out so evenly baked now and no tray swapping. But convection takes a long time to preheat, so I preheat on regular if I'm in a hurry, and then switch.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 3:13AM
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To those of you who mentioned success with baked goods: fie on you!!!! No baked goods shall enter my ovens. Mind you, they enter my HOUSE, but I rarely bake. Give me recipes that are a dab of this and a dash of that, I can master them. The precision and chemistry of baking, not my forte. But good to know that I have an appliance that might make it less troublesome.

Annie - good hint about pre-heat. My small oven preheats in a snap but the larger (conventional/convection) seems to take forever!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 6:41AM
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A friend of mine has a gas range that automatically lowers the temperature 25 degrees when you select convection and she finds that very annoying. She now sets the temperature 25 degrees higher so that it "corrects" it to the temperature that she wants.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Annie-I am so glad you mentioned the pre-heating! I pre-heat for 20 minutes regardless of when the oven tells me it's ready. I also use an oven thermometer.

weissman-that would drive me insane. The oven needs to do what I tell it to!! :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 2:22PM
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I haven't tried baking in my Advantium yet - just in my Wolf.
I have been turning down the heat per the recommendations - maybe I shouldn't.

I know you can bake multiple trays of cookies - I just can't figure out how anyone can get that many trays in the oven before some are done.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 8:54PM
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@javachik - roflol I don't do much baking from scratch, either, mostly because we're now empty nest and I would eat it all. However.... here is a guaranteed recipe that cannot fail (see link) and, hey, it's healthy! It has oatmeal! Fiber! WooHoooooooo....!

*tip - do not use butter. Find the microscopic fine print on the back of the package and use oil. Trust me, if you like moist, almost gooey cookies.

Here is a link that might be useful: BC Oatmeal Choc. Chip Cookie Mix

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 9:23AM
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