Imagine an oven that is able to reduce cooking time by up to 25%, and cooking temperature up to 30%, when compared to standard radiant ovens. Furthermore, imagine that it is so versatile that it could not only cook, but warm, roast, re-thermalize and bake as well.
What is a Convection Oven?Also called a fan-assisted oven or fan oven, a convection oven has fans that circulate hot air to cook the food faster. Unlike a traditional oven which relies on radiated heat from the walls and heating elements a convection oven spreads the heat to cook food. When researching these ovens you may find something called a European convection or true convection oven, which is an oven that has an additional third heating element that heats the air as it exits the fan.
Advantages and Uses of a Convection Oven
- Convection ovens work so efficiently because they're equipped with a fan that actively circulates the hot air in the oven around the food, creating a uniformly even temperature and cooking every surface with equal heat. Standard radiant ovens let air move around the food at random, which creates hot and cold spots, resulting in burnt and undercooked parts of the food. This system of moving air and equal heat also helps to ensure that the bottom of food doesn't get burnt to a crisp while the top is left nearly raw, a frequent occurrence with many regular ovens.
- You can cook everything in a convection oven that you can cook in a standard radiant oven; oftentimes, items cooked in a convection oven are much tastier, crispier and juicier. Since the cooking time and temperature are less, the butter and flour in a pie crust and other delicate bakery goods won’t have time to fuse, creating flaky layers.
- The skin of a roasting chicken renders its fat and browns more quickly, so the meat cooks faster and stays juicier. Meats also have a higher yield, which means it shrinks less, leaving more product for you to sell. Saving time and money will help your foodservice establishment be more profitable.
What Oven to Buy for Your Space, Things to Consider
- What utility do you need it to run on? Keep in mind that even if you choose a gas model, you'll still need an electrical connection to run the fan. When considering a gas versus an electric model, keep in mind that gas models generally require 1" or more of clearance around all sides of the pans for proper airflow in the cooking chamber. This is because of the placement of the heating elements.
- Do you have the required hood and fire suppression system needed? It's always a good idea to check your local codes and also carefully review the installation requirements of the models you are interested in purchasing.
- Compare the different types of convection ovens to determine which kind you need for your restaurant and menu items.
Countertop Convection Ovens
- Great for convenience stores or quick serve restaurants that have very little floor space for an oven. Concessions operations and off-site catering operations are other great uses for a countertop convection oven. They're easy to install, and may hold anything from small cookie trays up to several half-size sheet pans, depending on the model.
Floor Model Convection Ovens
- Available in both half size, and full size models. Half size models are usually chosen either because of space limitations, or if you don't need high levels of output. For high volume kitchens, a full size convection oven is usually chosen. Both styles of floor model can be stacked, effectively doubling your output within the same footprint.
- Bakery Depth, or Deep Depth models are available from most manufacturers. The advantage of these models is you can load sheet pans in either direction, "staggering" the pans for better airflow during baking.
- Some models offer "cook and hold" functionality, which lets you set the thermostat lower than in a traditional oven, for slow-cooking of roasts. If you were wondering "why buy a convection oven," you should consider that for restaurants that serve a lot of roasted meats that don't have the space or budget for an additional piece of equipment these ovens are a versatile addition.
Convection Oven Cooking Tips
- Reduce the temperature that the recipe calls for by at least 25 degrees
- Reduce cooking time by up to 25%
- Always keep an eye on the food. Smaller batch cookies may only take a few minutes less, but larger cuts of meat may take up to an hour less depending on size.
- Use baking pans with low sides for better air circulation. Our full size and half size sheet pans are a great addition to your convection needs. And remember, the more you buy, the more you save.
- Use low fan speed or pulse fan speed for delicate items like muffins and souffles.
Countertop Convection Ovens
|Model||Size||Number of Pans||Watts||Special Features|
|1/4||3||1440||3 removable wire racks included; Door interlock switch turns off fan when door opened to keep hot air in|
|1/2||3||1440||3 removable wire racks included; Broil function; Door interlock switch turns off fan when door opened to keep hot air in|
|1/2||4||2163/2880||4 removable wire racks included; Door interlock switch turns off fan when door opened to keep hot air in|
|1/2||3||1400||3 removable racks included; Broil function|
|1/2||4||2400||4 removable racks included; Broil function|
|Full||4||4280/5200, 5235||4 removable racks included; Steam injection system; Door interlock switch turns off fan when door opened to keep hot air in|