The majority of new ovens are convection ovens. Convection ovens work by using a fan at the rear of the oven to effectively circulate the heat produced by the heating element. Manufacturers of convection ovens claim that it makes the oven temperature the same throughout the oven, rather than hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom. It also cooks food quicker, but the majority of recipes still give you the conventional oven temperature and cooking time, meaning you have to somehow work out the conversion. Draw yourself a conversion table and it makes the job simple.
Things You'll Need
1 sheet lined paper
Use a sheet of ready-lined paper. Draw three lines equally spaced from the top to the bottom of the paper using a pen and ruler. You have four columns, ready for filling in the conversion table.
Write "Conventional Temperature" at the top of the first column, "Conventional Time" at the top of the second column. At the top of the third column write "Convection Temp" and at the top of the fourth column write "Convection Time." Shorten the headings, so they fit the width of the columns if you prefer, but make sure they are clear.
Check out the temperatures and times for your most commonly cooked recipes based on a conventional oven. You probably have many recipes you use often. This will start off your conversion table; you can always add to it as you make new dishes.
Write down the temperatures and times under the respective headings in the first and second column. For example, if you often cook a recipe that needs an oven temperature of 400F and takes 1 hour, then write 400 in the first column and 1 hour in the second. Repeat this for all the recipes you use the most.
Go online to find a convection oven calculator. There's a link to one in the Resources section, but there are many more; just type in something like "oven conversion table" or similar. Bookmark the webpage for future use.
Using the entries you made on your sheet of paper, enter each conventional oven temperature and cooking time where requested on the web page. Click "Convert" or similar and the convection oven temperature and cooking time is displayed.
Write the converted temperature and time under the respective headings on your sheet of paper. Repeat the process for all the entries you made on your sheet of paper. When you use a new recipe that has a different temperature and time, then enter the details on the sheet and open the bookmarked page so you can find out what the temperature and time is for a convection oven.
Put you conversion table into a clear plastic sleeve and keep it near your oven, so it's handy.