Conventional Oven vs. Convection Oven
There are many different types of ovens on the market. Two of the most common are convection ovens and conventional or standard ovens. Although similar in many ways, there are several important differences between convection and conventional ovens. Read on to learn the pros and cons of these types of ovens so that you can make the right choice for your kitchen.
What Is a Conventional Oven?
A conventional oven is the electric or gas oven that's found in most American kitchens. These standard ovens have heating elements on the top and bottom of the appliance to cook food. Conventional wall ovens feature several racks inside that allow you to position food near or away from the heating element. This helps you control the heat. When cooking two or more dishes at once, the food closest to the heating element cooks the fastest.
The benefits of cooking in a conventional free-standing or standard wall oven include:
- Familiar cooking appliance for most cooks
- Usually a more budget-friendly purchase
- Good for roasting meats
- Easier for following a recipe since most are written for conventional ovens
What Is a Convection Oven?
A convection oven has a third heating element and uses a fan to circulate heat around the oven. These appliances are called true convection ovens or true convection ranges. This allows food to cook evenly. It also cooks food faster. Unlike a conventional oven, there are no hot spots when cooking and a convection oven is more energy efficient. Like an oven in a conventional standard range, an oven in a convection range can be used for all types of cooking and baking. This type of oven is ideal for baking because it creates a browned or crispy exterior without having to rotate dishes around the oven.
Keep in mind that most recipes are written for cooking in conventional ovens, so you’ll need to adjust cooking times and temperatures accordingly. The benefits of cooking in a convection oven include:
- Quicker cooking times
- More evenly-cooked food
- Energy efficient
- Can be used for air frying
- No special pots or pans are needed (although low-sided casserole dishes make cooking faster)
- Preheats quickly
What Is the Difference Between a Conventional Oven and a Convection Oven?
Both a conventional oven and convection oven are great for cooking all types of food. The difference is the time and energy it takes when using one or the other. A convection oven circulates heat using a fan so it is more energy-efficient. It cooks food faster and more evenly. Conventional ovens do not have a fan, so that heat source at the top and bottom can only radiate up or down to cook food. It is more budget-friendly. Ultimately, it comes down to which oven you prefer for cooking.
Standard Bake vs. Convection Bake
A convection oven cooks faster than a conventional oven. You can cook multiple dishes at the same time. It’s ideal for cooking anything that requires a crispy exterior. Bakers prefer convection ovens because the dry, circulating heat is ideal for breads, cakes and other baked goods. Conventional ovens are great for cooking casseroles, stews, and slow-cooked meats. Their multiple racks give you more control over browning and cooking dishes.
How to Use a Convection Oven
A convection oven is easy to use. Preheat to the desired temperature, place the food in the oven and cook. A rule of thumb is to remember the 25/25 rule: Adjust the original baking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce the cooking time by 25 percent when cooking a conventional oven recipe in a convection oven.
Selecting the best convection or conventional oven for you starts with understanding the differences. For example, convection ovens cook faster while conventional overs are usually more budget-friendly. Conventional ovens work well with standard recipes while convection ovens may require some adjustments. When you’re ready to get the right oven for your kitchen, The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need it.