Looking for your opinions on convection ovens. If you have one, was it worth purchasing? They cost more but it sounds like there are advantages such as cooking time is less. Thoughts? Thanks! BB
I know that a friend of mine, who had a Jen
Air stove with a very nice convection oven, used a little countertop oven (also convection) from Farberware more often than the big oven. No problem with the Jen Air, but the little one worked really well and didn't involve bending over. I used to house sit for them, and used the JenAir some- it certainly did it's job- things did cook very quickly and evenly- but recipes need radical adjustment, and most of the time I used it on standard doing things I knew how to do. So if you're planning to buy one to see if you like it, be forewarned that you will probably need to spend a fair amount of time learning to use it before you can decide.
I actually have two. I bought a portable microwave/convection then moved to a home that had a double oven, one of them convection (believe it or not I actually use all three on numerous occasion because I am cooking things at different temperatures). I love my convections and use them frequently for baking and roasting. As they have internal fans which constantly circulate the air, the temperature is even all over the oven, and I can bake 2 sheets of cookies at one time without needing to rotate, chickens brown beautifully, etc. To me that is the advantage more than reduced cooking time. And it took little time to learn; just need to keep a keen eye on things in the beginning.
I know you don't mean this, but my toaster oven has a convection setting and I love it. Huge difference when I use it.
I meant I know you aren't referring to a toaster oven. :-)
To me a convection oven is totally worth it. I have not had one since we moved a year ago and I miss it. We're renovating now and I am getting convection again. I can get dinner on the table in half the time, everything is evenly cooked/baked, perfectly browned. The supposed learning curve is not steep at all and "radical adjustment" of recipes is quite an exaggeration in my experience. You just need to start checking for doneness a lot earlier and consider turning down the oven temp by 25 degrees if it's going too fast with over browning before the insides are done. You can also use it like a milder version of a broiler and turn it on the last few minutes of cooking to brown a bit more.
Semantics, I suppose- to me cutting 20% or more off a cooking time is pretty radical, but the different heat distribution means that things brown differently and also has some effect on how leavened foods rise.
It depends. I don't think I would buy one of those separate small convection ovens that sit on one's counter. OTOH, I have had my JennAir Dual-Fuel range for the past 12 1/2 years, and I cannot imagine baking or roasting without the convection feature turned on. It saves time and produces a better product.
Sorry to correct you, smaug, but convection ovens do not require much conversion from a "regular" recipe. It's simply 1/3 less time, or set the oven 25 degrees F lower.
I can only speak from my own experience, which was that there were other differences. However, as that experience was pretty limited, I will emend my statement to "It may take you more than one or two tries at a half dozen recipes to get used to it".