Convection oven enthusiasts say that convection ovens cook faster, brown better, and heat food more evenly than traditional “thermal bake” ovens. But if you try to use a convection oven without understanding how convection ovens work, you might not feel the same.
The main difference between a convection oven vs regular bake oven is how heat is circulated. A convection oven has a fan that continuously circulates air through the oven cavity. Because air is continuously circulated, convection ovens produce a much more consistent and even heat than regular bake ovens.
Difference Between Convection vs Regular Ovens: Pros & Cons
Convection Oven Pros & Cons:
- Pro! They cook faster: Food cooked in a convection oven is usually done about 25% faster than it is in a conventional oven.
- Con: Recipes don’t account for convection bake, so check for doneness at about 3/4 of the recommended cook time.
- Pro! Pack that oven full. Convection ovens circulate air throughout the oven resulting in even cooking, even when you use all three racks.
- Con. Convection ovens aren’t great for cakes.
Regular Bake Oven Pros & Cons:
- Con. Food takes longer to cook in a regular oven.
- Con. Regular bake ovens tend to cook food unevenly, so you may have to rotate dishes to achieve even cooking.
- Pro! They’re easier to use. Most recipes are written for regular ovens, making it easier to use for less experienced cooks.
- Pro! Regular ovens tend to cost less than convection ovens, so they’re a good option if you’re on a tight budget.
Difference Between Convection vs Regular Ovens: How do they work?
If you try to use the convection oven with the same temperature settings and cook time as your regular bake oven, you will undoubtedly run into troubles. Once you understand how a convection oven works, we’re pretty sure you’ll love your convection oven!
What is Regular Bake?
Most standard ovens are thermal bake ovens. Thermal bake simply means that the heat comes from the heating elements on the top and bottom of the oven. In a thermal bake oven, air passively circulates because there is no fan to force the air to flow throughout the oven cavity. The passive airflow in a thermal bake oven can result in uneven heating, especially if the heating element on the top heats at a higher temperature than the lower element.
What is Convection bake?
A convection oven has a fan that continuously circulates air through the oven cavity. Because air is continuously circulated, convection ovens produce a much more consistent and even heat than thermal bake ovens.
Convection ovens cook much faster than conventional ovens, which means that you’ll need to make some adjustments to your recipes to avoid disaster. The general rule of thumb for baking in a convection oven is to reduce the cooking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and start checking for doneness about ¾ of the way through. Once you get the hang of using your convection oven, you won’t be disappointed!
Is there a difference between True Convection and Convection?
If you’re in the market for a convection oven, be sure look for a True Convection oven. Some manufacturers call their ovens convection because they installed a fan to circulate air. However, a True Convection oven will have three heating elements: one at the top, one on the bottom, and one around the fan. This additional fan ensures that the heat is even and consistent.
When Should I Use Convection Bake?
Convection Bake is best for browning, roasting, and quick baking. The convection bake circulates air, which results in a steady, dry temperature. This means that foods will cook faster and the surface of foods will be dry. While these settings make for a delicious roasted chicken, your cake may not fare so well. For cakes, we recommend using your regular bake mode.