Discover how a convection oven can help you bake amazing sweet treats and cook crispier and juicier meals. Our guide to convection vs. conventional ovens explores these benefits and more so you can get baking.
Whether you’re looking to purchase a new oven or learning how to use the features of your current oven, understanding the difference between convection vs. conventional ovens can help you choose the right oven for you and even improve your cooking. The main distinction between convection and conventional ovens has to do with how the heat is dispersed in each type of oven to cook your food.
WHAT IS A CONVECTION OVEN?
A convection oven has a powerful fan and exhaust system that circulates hot air inside the oven to help maintain a consistent temperature, making it ideal for multi-rack cooking. Like conventional ovens, convection ovens can be gas or electric and come in different models with various features.
Learn more about the parts of a convection oven with our guide to oven parts.
One type of convection oven is a true convection oven. True convection, also called European convection or third-element convection, adds a third heating element in addition to the fan. With True convection, your dishes not only cook more evenly but can even cook faster.1 Since True convection ovens have the potential to cook faster, they may require both time and temperature adjustments if you’re using a recipe written for a conventional oven.
WHAT IS A CONVENTIONAL OVEN?
Conventional ovens, also called traditional, regular, thermal or radiant ovens, have heating elements that are typically located at the bottom and top of the oven. In a conventional oven, the dish closest to an active heating element cooks the fastest. In contrast, a convection fan circulates air throughout the cavity, reducing hot and cool spots that may cause dishes to cook faster or slower depending on their placement in the oven.
A conventional oven is what you might be most familiar with. Since most baking and meal recipes are written for conventional ovens, people often feel more comfortable cooking with them because there’s no need to adjust time or temperature to account for hot air circulation and faster cooking times1 like fan convection ovens sometimes require.
If you can’t decide between convection and conventional, many ovens today are hybrid with both options built-in. Most convection ovens have a convection setting that you can select as needed. Another option is a double oven with one thermal oven and one convection oven, so you can use one or both at the same time depending on what you’re cooking or baking.
BENEFITS OF CONVECTION OVENS VS. CONVENTIONAL OVENS
Cooking or baking with either a convection or conventional oven offers a variety of benefits. See what each offers so you know what you want to bring home.
CONVECTION OVEN BENEFITS
- Circulating air helps dishes cook evenly
- Less rotating
- Improved browning and crisping
- Fast-moving hot air accelerates baking and roasting1
- Quick preheating
- Easy to cook multiple dishes at once, including baking something sweet for dessert
- More flexibility to cook on multiple racks
- Recommended for cooking practically everything, including meats, vegetables, casseroles and cookies
With convection ovens, consistent heat helps meat get brown and crispy on the outside while staying juicy and tender on the inside.
CONVENTIONAL OVEN BENEFITS
- Most recipes are written for conventional ovens
- A more familiar cooking method
- Recommended for certain baked goods like delicate cakes and quick breads
HOW TO USE A CONVECTION OVEN
Cooking and baking with a convection oven can seem more complex at first but is easy to master with some simple tips. With convection cooking, you’ll be cooking fast and delicious meals in no time. Here are a few basic steps to get started.
Step 1: Determine if recipe conversions are needed
Baking is a matter of precision. Check your recipe to see if you need to adjust the time and/or temperature for your convection oven. Some recipes provide times and temperatures for both conventional and convection ovens. Your product manual will let you know exactly how you should adjust. The Auto Convect Conversion feature, which is available on select Maytag convection ovens, helps you convert your traditional recipes to the correct convection time and temperature with ease.
Step 2: Convert recipe temperature
If you need to adjust the recipe temperature, simply subtract 25°F from the temperature listed.2 For example, if the temperature listed is 375°F, adjust to 350°F.
Step 3: Convert recipe time
For True convection ovens that help speed up cooking when roasting meats1, multiply the listed time by .80.2 For example, if the time listed is 60 minutes, adjust to 48 minutes.
Step 4: Preheat oven
Preheat your oven to the correct converted temperature. Select Maytag ovens come with special features like Power Preheat to help you start cooking sooner.
Step 5: Start cooking
Set your timer for the converted time and place your dishes on the oven racks for consistent heat and even cooking.
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1) Compared to traditional thermal-bake ovens.
2) Time and temperature adjustments can vary by oven.