New to Convection ovens (& convection microwave oven)
I am moving into a home with all new upgraded appliances, which include a standard oven with a convection oven option and a convection microwave oven.
I am new to convection ovens and know nothing about them. Are they superior to regular ovens? I know they cook things faster, but how would you figure out cook times?
Any help would be much appreciated.
I have the microwave convection combination and I hate it. It's probably this particular model (GE Profile) but if you open the door when it's in convection mode, it goes through an entire new reheat cycle that throws everything off. I'm reasonably technically literate and I just haven't been able to figure out a way around this. So I gave up and only use that oven for microwaving. Read: melting butter and heating water. (!)
It's going to take you some time to figure out how best to use your convection oven (mine is a feature of a regular wall oven). I don't use it for everything, but when I do use it, it's brilliant.
- Roasting chicken. On a rack over a baking pan. You'll never get a crisper, more beautifully browned skin. Any temperature will work here - I often use a high temp. for roast chicken (like 400 degrees or higher).
- Browning baked things. I will often start baking rolls or breads without the convection fan, then finish them with the convection. I find that the convection causes the outside crust to form too quickly and doesn't allow an even baking, but it does make a beautifully crisp brown crust if I turn it on for the last 5 or 10 minutes.
- Oven browning of ribs or other chicken wings where you want a very crunchy exterior and to have the fat drip off into a pan. You have to use a rack to keep the food out of its own juices.
Don't use the convection for cookies or muffins (well, I don't, anyway) or anything that requires longer slower baking to cook through. Enjoy!
At the bakery where I used to work, the convection oven was used for puff pastry and cookies because it promoted even browning. We never used it for cakes or anything delicate - there was a pretty funny incident with meringue once. Those fans blow hard, meringue is really light, you can imagine...