Convection ovens force hot air to circulate around the oven instead of just slowly building up, so they cook food up to 50 percent faster than conventional ovens. To cook the food evenly, the hot air should be able to circulate freely around the food and the top and bottom of the pan.
Use a flat, thin aluminum pan for the best results when baking pizzas, biscuits and cookies in a convection oven. Because the air is circulated continuously, you can place the oven racks very close together and simultaneously cook three sheets of items requiring the same temperature. Place each pan in the center of the rack.
For baking a loaf of bread, a basic aluminum loaf pan will work fine. Specialty muffin pans for convection ovens have shallow bins and space the dough farther apart for even cooking, although regular muffin pans are usually adequate. If your unit has a convection bake option, use it to insure even browning.
Roasting and Broiling Pans
When roasting meat, fish or vegetables containing juices that need to be captured, place a small elevated rack in a regular roasting pan. Arrange the food in the center of the rack so the hot air can circulate freely on all four sides.
If your convection oven has a "pure convection" setting, use it to insure even roasting. When the food is properly positioned on a rack, the circulating hot air will sear it on the outside first, saving a step on recipes that call for pan-searing meat before placing it in the oven.
When broiling food in a convection oven, use a double tiered broiling pan that channels fat from the top pan to the bottom pan to avoid grease fires. When broiling food that is low in fat content, use a heavy sheet pan since thin ones can buckle under intense heat and cause the food to burn.
Size and Type of Pan
Lightweight pans made of aluminum or metal work best in convection ovens.
Materials that are not good heat conductors, like glass and cast iron, are not able to cook the food as rapidly and may leave cold spots. Good results can also be obtained with disposal aluminum pans that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Select convection oven pans that will easily fit the size of the oven to be used. Make sure there is at least 1 inch of room on all fours sides, as well as the top and bottom, between the walls of the oven and the pans.
- Photo Credit blue icing for cookies image by Elke Dennis from Fotolia.com fresh baked cookies image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com the form for an oven image by Leonid Nyshko from Fotolia.com baking pans image by DSL from Fotolia.com
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