Convection ovens cook just like conventional ovens (electric coils or natural gas heat), except the air inside is blown around by a fan. This evenly distributes the heat, which means there are no hot spots. In other words, it is as hot near the top of the oven as it is near the bottom. Also, because the air is whipping around inside, you can cook several items at the same time without worrying that one food will take on the flavor of another. Best of all, items cooked in convection ovens require lower cooking temperatures and less cooking time.
Things You'll Need
Prepare food items as you would for a conventional oven. Remember that items, no matter how different they are (e.g., ham-and-egg quiche, chocolate chip cookies and twice-baked potatoes) can be cooked in a convection oven together, assuming they require the same temperature.
Position the racks of the convection oven before preheating it, as the oven will heat up more quickly than a conventional oven.
Preheat the oven to 25 degrees less than what is called for in the recipe. For example, if your recipe requires a 350-degree oven, set the temperature of your convection oven to 325 degrees.
Make sure the corners of parchment paper--and/or any foil you are using--are weighted down with metal utensils (or that they are folded over securely), so they don't whip around inside the oven.
Place food items on the racks of the convection oven, leaving enough room for air to circulate between the pans and the oven walls.
Set the timer for 25 percent fewer minutes than called for in your recipe. For example, if your recipe says the item is to cook for 20 minutes, set the timer for 15 minutes instead (25 percent of 20 minutes is 5 minutes; 20 minutes minus 5 minutes is 15 minutes).
Test your recipes to determine if they are done by following recipe directions (internal temperature, etc.). Don't simply rely on the appearance of the food itself.
Remove pans from a convection oven using oven mitts. Place hot food on one or more potholders. Turn off the convection oven when all food items have been removed.