I often get questions while having cooking classes and by mail. And now it seemed like a good moment to answer once a week on Thursday a reader question. If you have a question, ask it and who knows the answer comes next week in my blog.
The question of this week:
What is the difference between a convection oven and a conventional oven, and if I can choose both options on my oven which one when will I choose for which purposes.
A convectional oven ensures that the heat is spread with a fan in the oven. This has the advantage that the heat is evenly distributed. It has the disadvantage of drying out food or already cooked food on the outside, but not on the inside .
A conventional oven, makes use of a heating element, whereby it is hottest in the vicinity of the heating element (below and / or above) . Heating up takes longer, but meals don't dry out so much.
Now, when do you use conventional and when convection. Very often it does not matter which mode you use. Please note that most cookbooks (unless otherwise stated) assume that you heat with a convection oven. Would you still bake something with a conventional oven than you should take the indicated temperature and thereby add 20 degrees for a similar result.
I like to use the convection oven when baking potatoes. They are crispier with the use of hot air. In contrast, when baking bread, cake or cheesecake the conventional mode is much better . There are fewer cracks in the cake and all these dishes are evenly cooked . Same goes for baking chicken or roast without basting ( because of the drying out) .
If you'd like further explanation than I see it back in the comments.