Thread Number: 68348  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Convection vs no convection
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Post# 910844   12/12/2016 at 20:51 (557 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

I use the convection setting on my oven 90% of the time.  Long slow cooking casseroles, etc... no convection.  But the majority of my cooking I use the convection.  Tonight, I did the Barefoot Contessa's baked shrimp scampi that calls for 425 and then finish under the boiler.  I used 425 convection and the top was crunch brown.  Last night I started a tenderloin steak in a screaming hot cast iron, seared both sides and finished it for 10 minutes @425 convection.  Perfection!!  

But my point is that I like the "finish" on many dishes that I've cooked with the convection on, either stepping the temp down as one should or at the suggested recipe temp.   
What do you all do?  Who here has a gas convection oven and how do you like it?  I've a 

GE Profile smoothtop range with as I call it the "Hansel and Gretel" oven.   I can get 2-18
# turkeys side by side in it!  that's a lot of bird!  Greg

Post# 910846 , Reply# 1   12/12/2016 at 21:08 (557 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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No gas convection here. For that matter, no recent convection experience...


But I spent most of my childhood years in a house with a Farberware tabletop convection oven. My parents bought it probably because it was the simplest way of getting a working oven. (The "real" oven broke, and was not repairable--according to the repair people--although I bet with Internet resources of today, it would be fixable!) Simplest fix or not, my mother got addicted to the thing...and swore that she'd  never use anything else.


That oven was what I used when first baking, and it never failed me.


I get by fine these days with regular ovens. The only "bad" oven I ever used was a gas conventional oven that seemed to burn the bottom of anything one baked no matter what one did. But I'd be interested in having convection again--especially if I started seriously baking ever again.

Post# 910867 , Reply# 2   12/12/2016 at 23:01 (557 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I had good luck with convection mode on our 1990 Jenn-Air dual fuel range (electric oven and broiler, gas cooktop).  I used it mostly for baking.


I can't seem to get the hang of convecting with our 2008 Electrolux Icon (dual fuel; same deal) so I mainly use it if I need to kick things up a notch toward the end of conventional baking or roasting.

Post# 910871 , Reply# 3   12/12/2016 at 23:08 (557 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My mother has a gas convection oven. She has never used the convection setting, but when I cook down there I use it. I wish mine here had it.

Post# 910940 , Reply# 4   12/13/2016 at 11:13 (557 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I have a Maytag (re-badged KAid) Gas stove I bought about about eight years ago. It has a convection oven, self-cleaning,etc. I almost always use convection when baking. Sometimes, when roasting meat I will start with convection and then switch to roast.

There are a few things I have had to adjust the temperature on, such as a pound cake. Otherwise the oven just dumbs-down the heat and does a good job. If I set it at 500 for biscuits, it does a great job. Makes a perfectly browned pone of cornbread set about 450. There are four racks and it does cookies perfectly.

I could go back to a plain oven but I am spoiled now. I wouldn't even consider the purchase of a new oven without the convection feature. Overall, the stove has proven to be a very good unit.

Post# 910943 , Reply# 5   12/13/2016 at 11:38 (557 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I don't think

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There's really any question but what convection makes for a more evenly baked product in all cases.

The argument can be made that those convection ovens with non-exposed heat sources (gas, electric ovens in which there is an extra element through which the fan blows directly) are better than those which have exposed elements and 'merely' distribute the heat.


No question, though - convection wins hands down in my book for everything I've ever baked.

Post# 910947 , Reply# 6   12/13/2016 at 12:28 (557 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I use the convection feature more often with the Frigidaire double-range oven. Both ovens are of equal size and the manual recommends using convection whenever baking on two racks. Makes sense, as the oven is fairly shallow compared to a regular, single-oven range.

I don't use convection for pies, bread, or cakes. I do use it when baking two racks of cookies.

Aside: I love having two ovens in the space of a single range, but one thing annoys me: You absolutely cannot adjust the temperature upward once the food is in the oven. Raising the temp even five degrees guarantees a very dark/burned top. The exception to this, of course, would be a covered roast or casserole. But cakes, breads, etc? Nope. Found this out the hard way when baking 24 double chocolate muffins on the center rack. Decided to crank the temp up 20 degrees. The result? Burned tops. The food is fairly close the to the exposed broil element in a shallow oven, even when on the center rack.

Having adjusted to that, I have absolutely no complaints about the Frigidaire. A wonderful range all around.

Post# 910966 , Reply# 7   12/13/2016 at 13:45 (557 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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As for breads, I've wondered if convection wouldn't work better for some breads than others. It was wonderful for regular breads years back when I used my mother's Farberware. But it seems like a conventional oven could do a better job of recreating a brick oven (once one adds a baking stone or something) than a convection oven.

Post# 910967 , Reply# 8   12/13/2016 at 13:59 (557 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Pies are one of the things that turned out great in our Jenn-Air.


I think the late, great master baker extraordinaire Kelly Beard's preference for using Kevin's Miele convection oven at the Long Beach wash-in is all the proof anyone needs that the convection method produces outstanding results -- even though Kelly would have likely been able to produce perfection with a wood-fired oven.  His preference for convection speaks volumes, and with him in mind, I've decided I should start trying to use it more often.

Post# 910971 , Reply# 9   12/13/2016 at 14:14 (557 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I really never thought of using convection for pies. Maybe I'll have to give it a try. I figured it would cause the crust to brown too early in the baking process.

Have also never tried it with yeast breads for the same reason.

Post# 910975 , Reply# 10   12/13/2016 at 14:21 (557 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I've noticed pie recipes more and more advise to use foil around the crust edges for part of the baking time, or a ring designed to do the same thing. 


I know the type of material that the pie dish is made from also has an effect, like glass vs. metal vs. ceramic, but off hand don't recall how you're supposed to compensate for one type as opposed to another.

Post# 910985 , Reply# 11   12/13/2016 at 15:12 (557 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Using foil or something around pie crust edges

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Is advice that goes back a long time. Obviously before tin foil came along other things/ways were used but the purpose was same; to slow down the browning along edges while rest of pie baked.

Convection baking:

Have always felt for things like pies and maybe biscuits along with a few other things convection was fine. However for certain cakes, breads and pastries normal oven was best.

Have the first "Cake Bible" book and the author tells of how when working under some famous chef at the White House a whole tray of delicate pastries was blown off a baking sheet by the Blodgett convection oven.

Post# 910997 , Reply# 12   12/13/2016 at 16:31 (557 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

I am leery of using convection in my Thermador for cakes/pastries after a traumatic experience in college. Michigan State's hotel school has an extracurricular group called Les Gourmets who puts on a spring scholarship banquet each year. In 1982 (my sophomore year) was working on a dessert of a flourless chocolate cake and made the mistake of baking it in a sheet pan in the Blodgett convection oven without putting in a pan of water to humidify...I didn't need a Bain Marie, but the convection dried the cake out inappropriately. Had to make a run to the supermarket for more butter and chocolate to re-make it....traumatic and embarrassing. That said I use the convection to great effect when I'm roasting vegetables...there I want some of that dehydration to support Mr. Maillard.

Post# 910998 , Reply# 13   12/13/2016 at 16:32 (557 days old) by revvinkevin (So. Cal.)        

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I had a gas convection range/oven (Kitchenaid) when in the condo with the ex.   As Ralph noted above, I now have a Miele electric convection wall oven (though installed in the pantry) and I love it.  So many features and a variety of modes makes baking or roasting anything "easy as pie".


Roasted a 17 lb turkey in the above Kitchenaid w/convection.  Regular roasting directions on the bird suggested it would take 6.5 to 7 hours.  With convection on it was done in just over 4 hours (used the temp probe for temp)!


I haven't done many cookies, pies, etc, but roasts, turkey, pizza, etc all come out great.  One of the cooking modes the Miele has is "auto roast".  Say the cooking temp you want is 325 and internal temp of 135 (mid rare?) you set the temps, put the roast in the cold oven, insert and plug in the probe, close the door and your off.   It it heats the oven (with the fan on) to 450 for 10-15 mins, then it drops the temp to 325.  Once the probe sees the internal temp you set, the oven shuts itself off and you have a perfect roast every time! 



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Post# 911002 , Reply# 14   12/13/2016 at 17:34 (557 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

Ummm, Kevin!  You're making us all jealous!

Post# 911016 , Reply# 15   12/13/2016 at 19:23 (556 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I bake loaves of regular yeast breads all the time using the convection setting and always have good results. Especially nice for dinner rolls as if I do a whole sheet-pan full they brown evenly.

I always use those disposable foil rings for pie crusts convection or not.

Post# 911030 , Reply# 16   12/13/2016 at 20:43 (556 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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I use convection for all my baking. It is great to be able to cook 3 racks of cookies at the same time. I also use convection for everything else when a cover is not required on the casserole dish. The turkey comes out great.

Post# 911045 , Reply# 17   12/13/2016 at 22:03 (556 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

My Electrolux does something similar Kevin's Miele in the Perfect Turkey mode.  The turkey goes into a cold oven with the temp probe -set at the desired temp- and it takes it from there.  Have never had a failure using that method, using a V rack the turkey is browned all over.  Really do not roast much if any meat so I have not tried the method on other things, but I'd bet it would work well.


I do use convection for cookies, but not cakes and not bread.  I make a sourdough rye on a baking stone and it browns very well using conventional heat, the crust might get too dark and hard if I used convection.

Post# 911077 , Reply# 18   12/14/2016 at 06:42 (556 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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No surprise here - I've never owned a convection oven... LOL  Even the 2001 Whirlpool Gold stainless-steel thing we had in the former Montreal apartment wasn't a convection.  


I've used convection ovens at friends' homes, though, and I have to admit that the gas convection ones seemed to brown better than the electric ones.  But, again, very limited experience. 



Post# 911079 , Reply# 19   12/14/2016 at 06:54 (556 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Mine seems to have "half-convection", that Speed Bake which I may had discussed here...



-- Dave

Post# 911091 , Reply# 20   12/14/2016 at 08:17 (556 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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I do use convection with my yeast breads and sour dough.   I love it when doing cookies, I can do four racks at a time, no turning and everything comes out perfect. 


For cakes I don't convect as it does tend to either cook the top too quickly, or dry it out.  In any case they don't seem to rise as high as they do when baked conventionally.


I have a GE range with true convection, with the element around the fan.  You can choose between 1 rack convection roast, or multi-rack convection bake.   Use one rack roast also employs the broil element to aid in browning, works well when doing something large like turkey.  Multi rack does not employ the broil element and is used for multiple racks, such as cookies. 


I do bake my pies on covect and have not had a problem with over browning.  I will add the hidden element on the bottom doesn't seem to brown as well as an exposed element electric.  I have had the oven calibrated twice and the thermostat is on the money, so I compensate by setting the temperature about 25 degrees higher when I need browning in a short time like with biscuits or cornbread. 


This is my second oven with convection, I will say the Maytag with exposed element would out cook the GE with hidden element, but it is something you can adjust for in time.   Having used a friends Kenmore gas convection. I would put the hidden element GE in about the same class as cooking and browning as the gas. 


Off topic:  The warming drawer on the GE is the best thing I ever purchased that I didn't think I needed.  When doing big meals, like at Thanksgiving it comes in handy keeping the sweet potatoes and green bean casserole warm while finishing the dinner rolls. 



Post# 911106 , Reply# 21   12/14/2016 at 11:05 (556 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I suspect a lot of the improvement shown by

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convection fans - even those without the third element (unquestionably the best solution) - is due to the stupid decisions regarding the lower element. I have no idea what the marketing idiots were thinking, but it surely had nothing to do with actually baking. Our 1953 Westinghouse Rainbow has a 'hidden' bake element and yet bakes more evenly than any other non-convection oven I've ever used. This even baking was, in fact, Westinghouse's one and only feature which could compete with the high-end GE and Frigidaire. By the 1960s, their innovation was done.


I wonder whether manufacturers even bother to, you know, bake, with their current low-end stoves. I rather doubt it.

Post# 911120 , Reply# 22   12/14/2016 at 12:04 (556 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
The GE is/was not a low end stove.

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 Though the hidden element does give more interior space, which is what I think they were after.   The pre-heat times are slightly, not too bad, but slightly slower since the convection fan runs during preheat as well as the upper element.


Another feature, which I don't know if it makes a difference, the convection fan reverses direction about every two minutes.  This feature, I feel, helps keep a more even temperature. 


Now cleaning on the other hand, which was the main reason I chose the GE over the Whirlpool clones.  You can use Steam clean for light touch ups, but you still have a high heat (Pyloric) option.  I have owned this range for almost four years now and have only had to use high heat twice.  For the most part the steam touch up is sufficient.  The Whirlpool group with aqua lift did not offer a high heat option, as this would destroy the proprietary oven finish.


Edited RE: Cleaning.  Though the self clean feature is acceptable, it is in no way as good as the old P-7 system. 

This post was last edited 12/14/2016 at 16:27
Post# 911122 , Reply# 23   12/14/2016 at 12:07 (556 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        
White House Pastry Chef

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Back in 1974 At Culinary Institute of America, I had the honor of being one of Albert Kumin's Students.

What a Superb Man. So kind, patient, and a great instructor.

Here is a link to a brief story of his life. I just saw when I googled his name he passed away just this past September at 94.

Enjoy the Clip. You can just tell in his voice how kind and passionate he was about his work.

I don't know Laundress... did some quick digging and thought maybe Rose Levy Beranbauym might have worked with him as she was influenced by James Beard and Julia Child.

Post# 911126 , Reply# 24   12/14/2016 at 12:19 (556 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I wasn't thinking of your stove,

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rather, of the BOL Frigidaire made Kenmores, etc. which I put in rentals and repos and mid-range homes we fix up all the time.

Goodness, they're awful.

Post# 911165 , Reply# 25   12/14/2016 at 17:59 (555 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
When have a spare moment

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Will dig out my "Cake Lovers Bible" to read the quote about convection ovens and see if author gives a time frame for the WH.

Post# 911226 , Reply# 26   12/15/2016 at 10:34 (555 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
Its taken a while to work out ....

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US Convection = UK Fan oven

US Normal oven = UK Conventional oven.

Kept thinking whats so special about normal ovens when reading above comments and then when it got to the sentence Element around the fan I realised your on about fan ovens which have a multitude of settings these days.
Having an electric Fan oven in the main cavity and hidden element in the smaller one I hardly use the small oven its a total waste of time. Takes 40 mins to get to temp while the fan oven takes 5 mins to get to 200c so in the time it takes to heat up the smaller one the main oven is cooking merrily my only issue is it won't roast or crisp properly and I have never found out why does anyone have any ideas?
I recall being told you cannot crisp anything if steam is present so I wonder if the steam is unable to escape out the oven ???

Post# 911231 , Reply# 27   12/15/2016 at 10:59 (555 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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It gets even more complicated - convection ovens using a separate, hidden element wrapped around the fan are often called 'European' or 'True' convection ovens in the US.


Any fan is an improvement, of course.


My biggest problem is figuring out the Fahrenheit system, it's so weird.  Except for really temperamental things, I just divide in half and that's close enough to normal to work with it.

At 200°C I'd not expect too much browning in the short time you're baking something. Steam under pressure (pressure pan) can actually brown and develop a crust, but steam at atmospheric? I think you're right, it can't. My convection ovens in Germany let me add the top element to brown, that seemed the best of all worlds.



Post# 912700 , Reply# 28   12/26/2016 at 23:40 (543 days old) by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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I miss my convection ovens... As soon as I get this whirlpool sold, I'll get a convection oven.

This one is alright, its a current model single oven, but it doesn't keep up with the cooking I do when the family is around.

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