Have you ever wondered what your oven settings mean and what they do?
They are all different and they do make a difference with how they cook your food.
Personally, I really like to cook a lot of food on the stovetop because I have more direct control. I can see what is happening to my food and adjust quickly. However, oven cooking can be a more even and gentle source of heat. In essence, they cook the food by surrounding it with hot air.
When cooking in an oven, there is a little more involved: knowledge, patience and trust.
I’ll break down the lingo for you!
The heat source is stationary and located at the bottom, underneath the oven floor and radiates upward. This is a traditional oven.
Convection (or fan forced)
There are fans that force hot air to circulate around the food which helps to cook it evenly and more quickly. It browns better because of the hot air being pushed around. It also saves energy. Pretty much a win-win! If you have one, start using it and getting comfortable with it and you will see what an amazing difference it makes in your dry cooking!
PS: An air fryer is just a mini convection oven that sits on your countertop. Of course there are reasons to have one, so it’s all good if you have one.
Things To Keep In Mind With Convection
- Some ovens have convection settings so you can alternate, and some that have the ability to introduce moisture.
- Lower your temperature by 25 degrees. Some ovens automatically adjust this for you.
- Some ovens include Convection Roast and Convection Bake. To be honest, I had to look this one up because I had a whole conversation about calling it “roast” or “bake” as noted in this post. I was not sure what the convection bake was all about. It sounds like it might use the heat and air circulation, but convection roast will also use the bake and broil elements to control the heat. It alternates between the two. Confused? Basically, if you are roasting, use the convection roast and if you’re truly baking, then use convection bake!
- This oven or setting works well when you have two racks of different food cooking simultaneously to ensure even browning and crispiness. Just make sure you’re between 375 and 425 F and follow the process for “roasting”
- Since food cooks quicker, you need to check your food sooner to make sure it doesn’t get too brown or overcook.
When Should You NOT use A Convection Oven?
Some baking items that are delicate, like flan or cheesecake. Things that start with a batter that you don’t want it to blow around too much, or have the excess browning would probably be most suitable in a conventional oven.
If a standard oven setting has the heat setting at the bottom and allows the heat to rise up and around the oven, the broil setting is where the heat source is from the top.
It is very intense heat and it is not easy to control; therefore it’s best used for browning things last minute to get golden brown on top.