A convection oven is a fast and healthy alternative to a regular oven. This type of oven cooks food thanks to a fan that circulates air within it. This means that foods that are cooked this way end up being crisp on the outside, and soft and tender inside. Convection ovens are perfect for commercial establishments where time saved means more customers fed, which ultimately translates to better profits. In this post, we’ll take a look at four top foods that do well in a convection oven.
You’d think that vegetables had no business being in a typical oven in the first place; however, convection cooking caramelizes the sugars found in the vegetables, creating an intense and exquisite flavor. Remember to use a short-lipped dish to ensure that the heat being circulated in the oven reaching all the sides of the vegetable. After washing the vegetables and cutting into equal sizes, place them in a pan and sprinkle a roasting marinade over them. This can be made from simple ingredients such as crushed garlic, some olive oil and a seasoning of your choice. Also, as the vegetables roast, baste them with the marinade to keep them from burning. The vegetables should never be covered with foil, as this stops the hot air in the convection oven from circulating evenly around the vegetables. Lastly, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and cook them using the normal duration of time it would take you to do the same in a regular oven.
Convection ovens are great for red meats as they are able to retain their juices and come out with golden brown crisp exteriors. This is also healthier as compared to frying the meat or roasting it. All one needs to do is preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, during which the meat will be left to sit and reach room temperature. You can make a few slits in the meat and season it with garlic cloves, salt, pepper and a sprinkling of olive oil. Remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat has cooked evenly all around; this calls for periodic checking to avoid drying it out. Beef tenderloin, steak and prime rib roast all cook well in a convection oven.
Poultry does particularly well in a convection oven, given the fact that the chicken comes out perfectly browned and juicy. The chicken also retains moisture, making it soft and tender. The convection oven is perfect for roasted poultry because the convection action is almost similar to spit roasting the same over an open flame. To calculate the amount of time that the poultry will take to cook, multiple 12 minutes for every pound of poultry. Additionally, the internal poultry temperature when tested should be 180 degrees Fahrenheit in the dark meat, and 170 in the breast.
Convection is great for certain types of pastries such as cookies and pies. However, if you want to bake breads and cakes the moisture might result in undercooking or the bread blowing up on one side due to the constantly revolving fan. Bubbles might also be introduced in cake batter, making it fall and become dense. However, if you’re looking to bake cookies, a convection oven is ideal. For these, please use shiny, bright steel or aluminum pans. Lastly, if you’re baking a pie, use darker or dull steel or aluminum pans, as they absorb heat, leading to a more pronounced browning.
The Final Word on Convection Cooking
Convection cooking is a step ahead when compared to conventional ovens due to their ability to retain flavors without overcooking the food. Experiment with different foods to see what works best. We hope that this short guide has opened your eyes to the advantages of this efficient and simple cooking method.
Ryan Berman is a freelance writer with extensive experience in the restaurant industry. He enjoys sharing his tips on various food blogs. Visit ShortOrder.com for more information about restaurant equipment.