What do you use your convection oven for?
February 27, 2017 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Do you have a convection oven? Which foods do you find cook better in convection? Which foods are a bad match for convection cooking?
posted by DirtyOldTown to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Yes. I use it for all baking. Cookies cook more evenly without getting burnt on the bottom and bread rises higher and cooks faster. You need to reduce the time and/or temperature a bit.

I also use it when I roast any meat. I use a low-walled pan. It cooks it more evenly and more quickly. Again, cooking time and sometimes temperature is reduced a bit.

It's also good for making pizza. I crank up the oven to 550 and put the convection on. A pizza will cook in about five minutes.

I love my convection oven.
posted by bondcliff at 5:49 PM on February 27, 2017 [7 favorites]

We love using ours for roasted brussels sprouts! They work fine without convection, but they cook a lot faster with.
posted by primethyme at 6:07 PM on February 27, 2017

Roasting any veg on the convection setting has been a revelation! Faster, more even browning.
posted by padraigin at 6:16 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I use mine for pie and puff pastry - they turn out really flaky and delicious. The setting is excellent for roasting whole chickens as well. I would use mine for everything but it's a toaster oven, so things don't always fit. You do have to adjust the temperature (down about 25 degrees) if you are using standard recipes, or keep a close eye on what is baking.
posted by Lycaste at 7:24 PM on February 27, 2017

Cornmeal muffins! This recipe is great. I like them cooked directly in muffin pans that have been generously sprayed with cooking spray- no paper muffin cups- this way they come out crisp on the sides and bottoms. And throw grated cheese on the tops for the last couple minutes of baking, so it melts and bubbles. Serve hot with butter. Real good. Make chili + these muffins? You win.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:34 PM on February 27, 2017

The only thing we cook with ours is hot dogs.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:35 PM on February 27, 2017

I use it for everything and haven't found a bad match yet. Mine also has a roast convection option that I use to help meats brown. Love it!
posted by kch at 8:02 PM on February 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Browning meatballs en masse.
posted by novelgazer at 8:03 PM on February 27, 2017

What to use it for is pretty well covered.

What I don't use it for is anything that you do NOT want a crust on: box cake mix, baked custards, etc.

It won't really do anything to something that's covered, such as a casserole with a lid. But without the lid the top would probably get crusty.
posted by littlewater at 8:17 PM on February 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I use it for literally everything and indeed haven't used conventional in years. If I don't want a skin, I cover with foil.

I use it for everything because it helps reduce/eliminate hot/cold spots in the oven. And to stop things browning too much on the bottom.
posted by smoke at 9:49 PM on February 27, 2017

I suspect it may depend partly on the specific oven you've got. With the two convection ovens I've used, they both tended to make things dryer.

So, when I'm roasting a chicken, I use the oven on its conventional setting, to avoid dried-out meat.

When I'm cooking chocolate chip cookies, I use the convection setting to get a nice crispy exterior -- but I bake the cookies for several minutes less than the recipe suggests, to keep the interior of the cookie moist and goey.

At least on my oven, the convection setting heats it up much faster. So even when I'm cooking something conventionally, I will use convection to pre-heat it if I'm in a hurry.

As Lycaste noted, you may have to adjust the temperature downward if you are using a recipe designed for a conventional oven. However, as I learned in a previous AskMe, some manufacturers build this correction in -- if you set the dial to 300F, the oven may actually heat to 275F. Unfortunately this is not an exact science. If the manufacturer has got it exactly right, you can just set your oven to the temperature called for in the recipe. If they've got it wrong, you might have to set it higher. The best solution is to buy an inexpensive oven thermometer and see how accurate your oven is.
posted by yankeefog at 3:48 AM on February 28, 2017

We also have a convection oven, and I'll N'th that it's great for cookies and some breads. It's great for fries/tater tots, and any frozen breaded foods. As mentioned any baked thing that you don't want a crust (cake).

As I didn't notice mentioned yet, is many caseroles or lasagnes. Even if covered. While for 99% of things the oven does the right thing by lowering the initial requested temperature, for frozen lasagne (or giant frozen block of anything) the convection doesn't help enough to not drastically mess up cooking times. If it's a covered caserole, don't bother with convection.
posted by nobeagle at 6:11 AM on February 28, 2017

My toaster oven has a convection feature, and it does a great job on even cheap frozen pizzas.
posted by radioamy at 8:20 AM on February 28, 2017

Ours has a convection roast setting, and I use it almost every time I use the oven. The convection roast setting gives the speed of convection with short blasts of directed heat that allow a crust. It's perfect to do chicken with the skin on - the meat is perfect and juicy and the skin is perfectly crisp.
posted by 26.2 at 9:46 AM on February 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

yeah, for me it is the convection-roast setting and pizzas. I don't use it for baking because I feel I loose control. My oven is fairly new, from IKEA and completely unreliable.
posted by mumimor at 4:47 PM on February 28, 2017

I haven't found anything yet that I don't like better in a convection oven. It was especially great for roasting and baking. I've had really good results with homemade bread in particular.
posted by Verba Volant at 7:26 PM on February 28, 2017

I have one of the Breville ones and I pretty much use it for everything. Anything you'd heat up in the microwave heats all the way through in the oven in about 3x the time.

I make pies in it, heat tortillas, roast chiles. It's great for smaller chickens.
posted by aspersioncast at 2:17 PM on March 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

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