5 Must-Tries for Convection Cooking
5 Must-Tries for Convection Cooking
We love food! Delicious and nutritious, there’s nothing better than the taste of freshly baked, whole wheat bread, freshly-picked vegetables roasted to a crisp and juicy taste, or homemade dessert made from fresh ingredients.
We’re sure you agree.
While we as a company cannot provide you with the farm-fresh ingredients you need, we certainly can provide you with the equipment necessary to bake, roast, or cook your products to undeniably good perfection.
For instance, we can provide you with convection ovens. With the ability to bake at low- or high-heat, they have the versatility to cook a variety of items to varying degrees. Want medium-rare or well-done meat? Our convection ovens can accommodate. Want roasted vegetables that still retain their juiciness and crispness? Invest in convection! Want a dessert that tastes like heaven the moment you bite into it? Convection!
These pieces of equipment are amazing. Convection ovens are designed with this unique ability to generate and circulate warm air throughout the entire oven cavity. That means no more hot spots, no more burnt food (unless you just leave it in the oven too long?), and no more foods that taste dry or stale.
Convection ovens, because their fans circulate the air throughout the entire oven, ensure that items are evenly and consistently baked. This gives operators greater confidence that items will get done in all areas and not just where heat is primarily directed because, with convection, the heat is distributed evenly. Regular ovens have hot spots, single areas where heat is primarily generated. This can cause items to be crisper or even burnt in some areas while other sections don’t even taste done. Certain types of bread would be a good example of this.
Whatever the item may be, convection can save you time, energy, and even money. It reduces the worry that products will come out dry or overcooked in spots while undercooked in others. They usually come with helpful timers that alert employees when items have finished their cooking process. Some convection oven brands come energy star certified, retaining energy and, therefore, energy costs. It has been reported that an energy star certified convection oven can save businesses up to $70 to $165 a year (Read our Energy Star Certified Cooking Equipment).
That sounds worth the investment to us. But, all energy star certified equipment can save you money and energy. And, you could argue, with careful baking and planning, your items are deliciously baked in a regular, standard oven. We won’t argue that you’re a good cook (you couldn’t be in this business if you weren’t), but there are certain types of equipment that just raises the bar for certain items. They can give your items a better taste, texture, color when prepared in equipment that is designed for the job.
So, with all that being said, here are 5 foods that are just better when cooked in convection.
1) Meat- Of Any Kind
Turkey, ham, beef, chicken, you name it- meats taste better when cooked with a convection oven. This is mostly due to the way convection works. Convection surrounds the meat with warm air, almost like it’s giving the meat a nice, big, warm hug. Baked in this warm embrace, every part of the meat is evenly cooked. There are no hot spots, allowing the entire piece of meat to be baked or roasted consistently. This allows the heat to more evenly penetrate any layers of skin, getting the middle sections evenly heated as well, not just the outside edges.
Cooking with convection will bake the meat faster than a conventional oven, but without drying it. The process will give the meat nice brown edges while allowing it to retain all its juices. For more about this really cool process, read our post about "The Great Oven Debate or Fine Cooking’s “Better Cooking a Convection Oven.”
In summary for this point, if you like meat that’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, evenly baked without burnt spots, invest in convection.
We’re talking about croissants, muffins, buns, biscuits, and scones. Convection ovens will bake these items to consistent, fluffy perfection. While they are not ideal for certain types of breads (the heat is often too dry for home-baked bread and rolls), convection ovens will enhance pastries’ natural tendency to be crisp and flaky without making them taste dense of heavy. They will retain a light, fluffy taste and appearance, but will have the rich, crispy, layered taste we all know and love.
3) Pies and Pizzas
Specifically, their crusts. Convection ovens are ideal for pie and pizza crusts because they enhance their crisp, flaky texture. This makes the crust seem lighter.
Convection ovens also bake items really quickly. Because the warm air is circulated and penetrates items from all angles, the regular cooking time is significantly reduced. For example, watch our Cadco convection ovens in action! They fully bake a batch of croissants in only 15 minutes! Crusts, which are significantly thinner, won’t take long to bake.
For quicker baking, invest in convection.
It’s not all about bread. Vegetables retain more of their crispy, juiciness when baked in convection for the same reasons that meats and breads do. The circulated warm air creates a dry heat that rapidly penetrates items. Because items cook faster in convection, they often retain more of their natural juices. Compare this to a conventional oven, where items sometimes have to bake for hours before fully completed. They steal the natural juiciness and crispness out of vegetables, making them somewhat soft or mushy. Convection is the way to go if you desire crisp, juicy vegetables freshly roasted.
Roasted nuts and seeds taste delicious when baked in convection. They retain their natural juiciness and crispness, giving them a fresh taste. Baked in salt, sugar, or other flavorings, they make the ideal addictive snack. For more details about how to toast or dry nuts and grains in your convection oven, read Epicurious’ “How to Cook with a Convection Oven.”
Other items that can be baked in a convection oven are cookies, casseroles, custards, and puddings. While it is true that you could bake anything in a convection oven that you can a regular oven or visa versa, these five items definitely taste crisper, juicer, and fresher when baked in a convection oven.
Is there another type of food you prefer baked in a convection oven? Let us know! We can add it to the list and would be happy to try it. These five items are just some products that we think to make investing in a convection oven beyond worth it, never mind the other cool things they can do.
But, if you want ideal flexibility in achieving the perfect texture and taste for all the food products you bake, check out our combi ovens. They have settings that allow them to be used as conventional ovens, convection ovens, and steamers. For more information, read our blogs about convection ovens and steamers.
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