Convection oven vs conventional oven

happyfangz

Hi all, I am considering a new range and am gathering info to make a decision. I am trying to decide between a convection oven and a conventional one-I love to bake all kinds of bread, cookies, cakes,rolls, pies or any dessert as well as casseroles and other goodies. Is one better than the other for specific baking? Any guidance or thoughts will be appreciated.

badge posted by: happyfangz on November 09, 2011 at 7:25 pm in General discussions
share on: Twitter, Facebook
Replies to this discussion
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save" to activate your changes.
reply by: swirth on November 09, 2011 at 7:35 pm
swirth

Many folks on the oldBakingCircle had lots of problems using convection ovens for many types of baked goods. I put together several comments from the posters and saved them in Word...here they are and the poster Boldarticle is a KingArthurFlour baker/employee:
------------------------------
Message: 3
12/21/2004
Toffee

Convection or convection bake

I thought I was the only one who didn't like the convection for baked stuff. It
does great with reheating pizza to melt the cheese, but I can't figure out
how to not ruin cookies and bread.
------------------------------
12/13/2003
lorrainesfav Convection Ovens & Lopsided Muffins

Does anyone know if....convection ovens can cause lopsided muffins and cakes. Lately all my muffins have been lopsided even though I use a cookie scoop to evenly add the batter to the muffin cups. When done baking some of the muffins look "blown" to one side. Is the convection fan doing this? Maybe certain batters need a little more delicate oven than a force of hot air blowing. Maybe somethings wrong with my convection oven. What do you think?? Lorraine
-----------------------------
Message: 2
12/13/2003
Twin2

Convection Ovens & Lopsided Muffins

Lorraine: I have had this problem and have solved it in this way; I preheat the oven. Put the muffins in the oven and turn it off for about three minutes. This seems to give the muffins a chance to do their oven spring un-molested by the forced air from the fan and also set a bit of a film over the soft batter. At about the three minute mark I turn the oven back on for the remainder of the baking period. You can keep an eye on them and turn them if necessary. This and making sure that the oven was dead level has solved my problem. We make lots of muffins and cupcakes and all my ovens are convection.
Good luck to you. Cathy
------------------------------
New convection oven

I just purchased a new Fisher Paykel electric double oven. I have been experimenting with some of my old recipes and using the convection mode. Some cookies recipes are fine others spread a bit much. Does any one have some hints on convertering older bake recipes to convection?
------------------------------
Message: 5
12/16/2004
boldarticle convection vs regular oven

Convection ovens have come a long way for the home cook in the last ten years. I bought two ovens two years ago, and one is still, the other convection. The general rule of thumb for using a traditional recipe in a convection oven is to drop the temperature 25 degrees, and check for doneness 15 minutes sooner for hour of cooking time.
Our new Viking ovens in the test kitchen have a convection bake as well as a convection cycle; it's great because convection bake runs the fan at half speed. That means no flying parchment or curved cookies; a nice feature. A lot of people aren't prepared for the fact that foods baked in the convection oven are often done on the edge near the door first; the fan blows the air straight across from the back, and the bounce off the door can create a hot spot there.
The fan on my convection is audible but not intrusive. If I'm more than a few feet from the oven I don't notice it at all.

I use convection for roasting or casseroles that would normally take an hour; when I get home late from work I can put supper on the table in 30% less time, which is a very nice thing.
------------------------
cupcakes and convection oven

I usually lower the oven temperature 25 degrees less than a recipe requires. The only convection related problem I have had is lopsided muffins because of a delicate batter and the convection fan blowing too hard.
---------------------------------

reply by: sandra Alicante on November 09, 2011 at 7:38 pm
sandra Alicante

I don't know about where you are, but in Europe most convection ovens have a non-convection setting too.
Supposedly, convection gives even heat throughout the oven. Not actually true, even the top brands seem to have hot spots, requiring baking trays to be rotated to get even cooking.
Convection cooking allows you to set oven at lower temp for cooking of foods and is good for cooking several things at once (within reason) without transferring flavours. Cooking times are generally reduced. Great for high temp cooking like roast potatoes.
For bread baking (loaves) I often use it without the fan as sometimes it can cause the outside to be overdone without the middle being cooked well, whereas for rolls, I'm happy to use convection as it is not an issue.

Hope that helps!

sandrascookbook.com

reply by: mrscindy on November 09, 2011 at 9:07 pm
mrscindy

I have a Dacor regular/convection oven. I can switch back and forth between cycles, depending on what I'm baking/cooking. If I absolutely HAD to choose between the two, I would go with a regular oven. The convection has too many limitations at this time. See the above posts.

~Cindy

reply by: Chris F on November 10, 2011 at 7:55 am
Chris F

I just bought a GE Profile Induction Range, which has true convection; I think older stoves only had sort of a pseudo convection. You can read reviews on Amazon. Consumer Reports rated it as the best, but it was the user comments that really convinced me. They love it for baking and can bake an entire batch of cookies in one load, never having to turn or switch pans. My stove comes tomorrow, I can't wait!!

reply by: GinaG on November 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm
GinaG

Congratulations,Chris F!

I hope you'll report back with your own "review" after you bake with your GE Profile, I'd like to hear about it.

Have fun!

GinaG.

reply by: nantucketlilly on November 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm
nantucketlilly

I really can't wait for you to put your oven through a test run. I recently installed double wall ovens, GE Monogram. I haven't tried baking anything using convection yet....too chicken I guess. But with the holiday cookie season coming up, I sure would like to give it a try......
Anyone with any suggestions for baking those more delicate cookies?
Thanks much.

reply by: GinaG on November 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm
GinaG

Um....Yeah!!! Like...TRY it! That's what I say! If you have these nice, beautiful new ovens, how can you stop yourself from playing around with them?! Don't wuss-out,Nantucketlilly...Afterall, how can we do a comparison here unless you join the party, hmmm? ;)

I vote for Nantucketlilly to play with her oven and remove her "chicken" hat! What are you waiting for???

Very truly yours,
"Ms. Bratty-girl"

reply by: mrscindy on November 11, 2011 at 9:38 pm
mrscindy

Gina, go sit in the corner! Sorry Nantucketlilly. Gina is new here and has simply NOT been controllable since her first day. If we had just known how bad she was going to be, we would have had KAF ban her. Unfortunately, we didn't get to them fast enough and I think she paid mucho dinero in bribes before we knew what hit us.

I have had my Dacor conventional/convection oven for five years. I have used the convection feature .........twice. Neither time went very well. Undercooked center, blown over tops. I haven't gotten back to it. Of course, I don't do cookies, so that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it! But with the Holidays coming up, I'm sure you will figure it out and report back on your success!

Gina! STOP THAT!!! Back in the corner and stop sticking your tongue out, Miss Smarty-pants!

~Cindy

reply by: GinaG on November 11, 2011 at 9:51 pm
GinaG

(SIIIIGHtiskSIIIGH)...

M'kay!

reply by: nantucketlilly on November 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm
nantucketlilly

I'm going to 'cluck cluck' around the kitchen till after Thanksgiving........then I'll try those cookies. Then and only then will I feel like I qualify to 'join the party'!
But back to my original question........any special directives for baking those special cookies?
Thanks!

PS.........and thanks for the warm welcome!

reply by: GinaG on November 12, 2011 at 10:34 am
GinaG

Dear Nantucketlilly,

I'm actually doing what you're doing: Waiting to hear the exciting news when that GE is delivered. We were promised a review...
Apparently it's got great reviews and you don't even need to rotate and switch your baking sheets in the oven when you make those special cookies.
This is a good thread for you to follow, because you'll get input from someone who also has a brand-new GE product who can better answer your questions. So far, it doesn't look like any of the posters use their convection feature, or they have older models. Some manufacturers have made improvements that make convection cooking and baking more desirable for the home user.

So let's wait to see what Chris F has to say, then you'll decide whether to keep cluck-clucking or stack up your oven racks with those special cookies. If Chris F gets too excited and forgets about us, I can help you do some research on your new model oven. I'm not ALWAYS naughty! ;)
I'm glad you're here,
GinaG.

reply by: nantucketlilly on November 12, 2011 at 10:54 am
nantucketlilly

GinaG..........your the best! Thanks for the warm welcome and the offer of research help.
Now, this is not baking related, but it does have to do with the convection ovens........has anyone tried dehydrating in them...like tomatoes?
Thanks!
~L

reply by: mrscindy on November 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm
mrscindy

Nantucketlilly, I did it! I made the eggnog cookies from the recipe that came with my last KAF order. It had a sampler of eggnog flavoring, so, you know, what the heck. Baked them using the convection oven!!! Yay!!!

Problems........I can't stand up to roll the dough for cut-out cookies, so decided to use my electric cookie press. All was going just hunky dory with making the dough until my beater blade (the scraper blade) snapped in half! The dough was a little stiffer than I thought. So, stopped and ordered new beater blade for the KA mixer.

Back to cookies. They refused to feed through the cookie press. Again, the dough was too stiff.

Plan three. Use the 1 tablespoon cookie scoop. Worked just fine, got five dozen cute little balls. Popped them in the convection oven. Might as well try it, everything else has gone wrong. 35 minutes later they still haven't browned. Finally just took them out of the oven. Bottoms were very slightly tan. Allowed to cool and tasted. The insides were very chewy, almost doughy, soft. Good flavor, not great, but good. I'm sure it was the shape more than anything, but not a cookie I would make again.

Was the oven at fault? I don't know. I didn't try the conventional oven for these cookies, so I have no basis for comparison.

Just thought I would let you know, I no longer have the cluck-cluck status. I jumped off the deep end. Tomorrow I will try the turkey for my ladies group in the convection oven. Hope that goes a little better. I never expected the cookies to take so long to bake. I'm praying the turkey cooks a little faster or we could be eating at midnight! :-/

~Cindy

reply by: Jock on November 16, 2011 at 12:08 am
Jock

Hi folks. I'm new to this forum and thought I'd chime in with my 2 cents worth on this discussion.

I have a Dacor conventional/convection oven and have had erratic results with the convection feature. Roasting a chicken or turkey works great. The bird cooks faster at a lower temp and the skin is beautifully brown and crisp. When I use it to bake my bagels though, they tend to be a bit uneven. They are cooked through but the color is uneven. I haven't had a lot of luck baking on multiple shelves either. I still need to swap the sheet pans around.

I got 5# of late harvest San Marzano tomatoes at the farmers market a couple of months ago. Too many to eat before they spoiled so I oven dried them. Super sweet and delicious. I froze them but that was a waste of time really because I used them in everything from salads to sauces within a week.

I think cooking with convection is a technique that needs to be practiced and perfected like any other in the food world so I say go for it!

reply by: pammyowl on November 16, 2011 at 3:06 am
pammyowl

I have used convection ovens many times, albeit pro ones, and never had any trouble at all, either stacking the shelves, or uneven color. However, that may be due to the fact that they were commercial. I'd like to have a home model. I'll be eagerly watching this thread!

reply by: mrscindy on November 16, 2011 at 10:46 am
mrscindy

Welcome, Jock. You have struck on an excellent place to be a member. This is a wonderful forum and the people here are the most knowledgable and giving of any I have ever seen.

I so glad you posted. I haven't been able to compare notes with another Dacor owner, so this helps immensely. Your results have been much like mine, vis a vis the baking of cookies or breads in the convection feature. Not really happy with the outcome. The one time I baked multiple sheets of cookies was a disaster! I spent the entire 20 minutes moving cookie sheets around. With the oven door open! Made me soooooooo mad!

Your last statement says it all, it needs to be practiced and perfected like any other in the food world. Very true. We just need to keep working on it. It also helps to have others posting their results!

~Cindy

reply by: Jock on November 23, 2011 at 11:15 pm
Jock

Thank you Cindy for your kind words of welcome. I could tell by the tone of the posts that this is a respectful and informative site.

So here's the story on my Dacor....

3 years ago my MIL said she would buy me a new range for my birthday (partly because I've been cooking for her for many years and partly because she has a good heart). It was to replace the 18 year old Caloric that had served me well. Anyway, I was looking at a few mid priced ranges from GE and the likes. Then I saw this 36", 6 burner Dacor range and I fell in love. Long story short, we split the cost and I got the range plus the grease hood to go with it.

Then we thought, the kitchen could do with a new paint job. And these cupboards are looking a bit tired and the floor..... So this "free" range cost me a ton of $$$ in a new kitchen! But it was worth it.

I like that the range top can accommodate two 12" skillets side by side comfortably. I also like the 18,000 BTU the burners put out and the super low simmer setting. I had some trouble with the oven controls though. If I set the oven to the desired temperature it will heat to that temperature and hold there. However, if I tried to adjust the temperature up or down it wouldn't do it. For example, if I wanted to change the temperature from, say, 450 to 350, it would just shut off. Going the other way from 350 to 450 would take an hour.

I called Dacor's customer service in southern California and they told me that this was a problem with this
particular model and the had a redesigned control board to correct it. They sent me the new part at no cost and I had a service tech install it - just in case. It seems to be OK now.

The one feature I haven't mastered (apart from the convection) is the infrared broiler. It is screaming hot and always seems to scorch the food, even when I set the broil temp fairly low.

Overall I like my (almost) new Dacor range, although the service tech who installed the new control board - and who also has a Dacor in his home - said the the cost is as much for the name as anything else.

Apart from anything else, it looks really good in my kitchen!!

reply by: mrscindy on November 24, 2011 at 10:03 am
mrscindy

Jock, you hit on something that really perked my ears! Your comment about adjusting the oven temp. I do not have the problem with lowering the temp, or maybe just didn't pay enough attention to it. But, when I need to adjust upwards it doesn't seem to do anything. It just immediately says the temp is reached and displays the new temp, but the independent thermometer I have in the oven does not register the increase.

Many times I already have something in the oven and just wanted to increase the temp for the last few minutes of cooking, so I couldn't wait for the temp to increase. I have also noticed that I can turn the oven off and then turn it back on, set to a different, higher, temp and it just immediately shows the new temp setting, without showing the heating up portion. The internal thermometer shows the old setting. It can take an hour to reach the correct setting.

I think I need to do what you did and call Dacor to see if there is something to fix this. I always thought it had something to do with the pizza stone I had in the oven that I never took out. I thought it was retaining so much heat that is was messing up the thermostat. Guess not, duh!!

The broiler: yes, screaming hot!!!! I never adjust my racks. I have the pizza stone on the bottom glide rack (love, love, love my glide racks!) and the next glide rack is directly above the pizza stone. This is the rack I use the most. When I broil something, I use this rack. I found out the 'burned' way, NOT to put anything closer than that to the broiler. But if I use the next-to-the-bottom rack, everything comes out fine.

Overall, I love my Dacor. I just need to play with the convection feature more so I become more comfortable with it. As usual, the problem is that when I need it, I really don't have the time to experiment. So I just use the conventional oven. My bad!

Enjoy this forum, Jock. It has been the singularly most informative, knowledgable and friendly group I have been part of. I'm proud to say I'm a member of the KAF Baking Circle!

~Cindy

reply by: Jock on November 25, 2011 at 2:35 am
Jock

This oven control thing is a niusance. What you are describing is exactly what happened with me. The service tech told me that the oven won't adjust if the new set point is within 100 degrees of the old one. I have had much better results since the new control board was installed.

The customer service rep I spoke to told me that there was a flaw in the circuit board of this particular model but not alll units have the control issues. Huh? For those units that do have the problem they redesigned the control board to work around it and it is available at no charge.

The model I have is: ER36DSCH/NG
The part number for the new control is: DA 106730

Thanks for the tip on broiling.

Jock

reply by: mrscindy on November 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm
mrscindy

Thanks, Jock, I'm going to call on Monday morning, first thing!

~Cindy