Cuisson à convection 

How to get the best results with your convection oven—plus recipes and tips

C onvection ovens—long a mainstay of professional kitchens—continue to gain popularity with home cooks, many of whom either opt for the compact countertop versions or purchase an oven with a convection setting. The allure of faster cooking times, evenly cooked food, and the oven's improved energy efficiency is hard to ignore. However, for anyone new to cooking with convection ovens, there is a learning curve that often requires adjustments to either time or temperature—and sometimes both. If you're trying to figure out how best to cook with your convection oven, we've got some helpful advice.

First, a few basic mechanics: A conventional oven uses radiant heat that emanates from the top and/or bottom surfaces. The result is usually an oven with hot and cold spots. What makes a convection oven stand apart is the internal fan that circulates hot air, creating an evenly heated environment for the food. The most obvious advantage to having a steady supply of heat surrounding and penetrating the food is that all your meat, produce, and baked goods will cook faster and brown more evenly.

Experts and manufacturers recommend adjusting any recipe in two ways: either by lowering the oven's temperature by about 25 degrees or by shortening the cooking time by roughly a quarter. Follow the tips below and carefully monitor your first few attempts for browning, texture, and doneness. It may help to record the results—through trial and error, you will quickly get a sense of how your convection oven cooks and what further adjustments should be made.

cooking tips:

  • Air Supply

If the air cannot circulate over and around the food, your convection oven will be ineffective. Trays and baking pans with lower sides allow hot air to flow freely. Use shallow roasting pans and rimless cookie sheets when possible. Try to keep a two-inch clearance on all sides. Shelves should never be covered with aluminum foil. Trays and pans should be placed so they don't hinder effective circulation.

  • Adjust the Recipe

Variables such as initial oven temperature, quantity of the food, desired level of doneness, and oven model will all affect cooking time. Experiment with your favorite recipes by either dropping the temperature by about 25 to 30°F or shortening the time (10 to 15 percent for cookies and up to 30 percent less for large roasts), or both. Consult your user manuals for specific advice.

  • Method Cooking
Proteins: Fat renders rapidly, sealing in precious juices and leaving a crispy, uniformly brown skin without constant shifting and basting. Fruits and vegetables: The natural sugars start to caramelize more quickly, leaving centers that are creamy and moist, concentrated flavors, and edges that are crisp and golden.
recipe to try:
Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables with Mustard Rosemary Sauce

Butter releases steam almost immediately, making the dough rise higher. That means your baked goods will all be flakier, lighter, and loftier. For cookies, take advantage of all available shelf space by baking with several trays at once. Because the fan disperses heat throughout, you won't have to rotate them as often.
recipe to try:
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nuts and grains: Achieve an even, golden hue with far less tossing and turning with a convection oven. Fruits and meats: The convection oven's internal fan helps thinly sliced fruit and jerky dry out more quickly and uniformly than a dehydrator or a conventional oven does.
recipe to try:
Extreme Granola

No matter which cooking method you are using, remember to adjust the temperature and/or cooking time.

Get more expert advice for the kitchen:

Four à convection

Roasting with the Convection Oven

Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus with Parmesan

Baking with the Convection Oven

Lattice Apple Pie with Mexican Brown Sugar
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Bake the cookies at 325°F and start checking for doneness after 8 minutes.
  • Lattice Apple Pie with Mexican Brown Sugar
    For the first 20 minutes, bake the pie at 400°F, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.
  • Butter Croissants
    Preheat the oven to 400°F. When the croissants are in the oven and the door is closed, the temperature should be reduced to 375°F. After 10 minutes the sheets should be rotated and the oven temperature reduced to 350°F.
  • Spicy Cheese Biscuits
    Reduce temperature to 425°F and bake biscuits until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.

Toasting and Drying with the Convection Oven

  • To Toast Spices, Nuts, or Seeds
    Nuts should be toasted in a shallow baking pan so that air can circulate around them. Temperature should remain at 350°F, but check the nuts for browning after 3 to 7 minutes
  • Extreme Granola
    Nuts should be toasted at 375°F for 5 to 7 minutes. Oats should be baked at 300°F until lightly colored, approximately 20 to 23 minutes.

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