Convection vs. conventional; what’s the diff? From the outside, convection and conventional ovens look like they could be the same. In fact, sometimes you can have one oven that cooks both ways. Both ovens can be either gas or electric, but their methods of heating the food are what make them different. A conventional oven produces heat from one source, such as a light or flame. In contrast, a convection oven circulates air through the entire oven with a fan feature. This circulation of air means that in a convection oven food cooks faster and more evenly because of its higher exposure to heat. Additionally, convection ovens are generally more energy efficient because the food cooks more quickly.
Cooking in a convection oven for the first time? Here’s how to accommodate for the differences:
- Turn the heat down. Most chefs recommend reducing the heat 25 degrees from the temperature suggested for a conventional oven. (Note! Local Crate’s recipes feature temps using the conventional cooking method.)
- Check on your food frequently to ensure that nothing burns since the food will cook faster and all ovens range in cook time and power.
- Try not to crowd the oven because it will interfere with air circulation.
- Use dishes and pans with low sides to allow more exposure to the air.