While convection ovens and regular ovens offering a convection option are commonplace, knowing how to use this function may not be common knowledge. What’s the difference between the convection bake vs bake functions? Convection bake uses a fan to circulate the heated air inside the oven, while the regular bake function does not. Learn more about these two baking options and when to use each for the best results.
Your Questions, Answered: When to Use Convection Bake vs Bake
Are convection ovens better than regular ovens when it comes to baking? It largely depends on what you’re making; some foods benefit from a convection setting while others don’t. But before we specify what to bake on each setting, it’s helpful to understand how the convection bake vs bake function works.
What’s Convection Bake?
A regular bake setting is fairly straightforward. The heated air inside the oven surrounds the food and cooks it from the outside, in. By contrast, a convection bake vs regular bake setting uses a fan at the rear of the oven to circulate the heated air inside. It also utilizes an exhaust system to help expel moisture.
Difference Between Convection vs Regular Baking
Does the fan and exhaust system in a convection oven vs standard oven produce different results? The extra energy produced by this moving air cooks food at a higher temperature, faster. It also creates a more consistent heat, with fewer pockets of hot and cold air, resulting in more even cooking. Meanwhile, less moisture inside the oven translates to a deeper browning and crispier exterior on many foods.
These are some additional differences to keep in mind when cooking on convection bake vs bake:
- Lower temperatures: Since the circulated air inside a convection oven is hotter, you may need to lower the oven temperature to avoid overcooking food.
- Shorter cook times: Alternatively, you can shorten a recipe’s cooking time to accommodate for the hotter convection temperatures and avoid overcooking.
- Reduce oven capacity: Convection cooking works best when air can circulate freely. Avoid overcrowding the oven with multiple dishes on each rack so air can easily move between each item.
When Should You Use Convection Baking?
What foods are best cooked in a convection oven? Those that benefit from increased browning and a crispy exterior can benefit from convection baking.
Use a convection oven for baking the following foods:
- Cookies: Convection heat can create a brown and crispy exterior while keeping the interior soft and moist.
- Pies and flaky pastries: The increased heat and drier environment add flakiness in addition to a more golden exterior.
- Crusty bread: The additional dry heat promotes a crustier exterior and golden color.
- Roasted meats: Convection cooking promotes a brown and crispy exterior that enhances larger cuts of beef and poultry.
When to Use Conventional Bake
While convection baking certainly has its benefits, it can be a deterrent to certain foods, especially specific baked goods.
Bake the following foods on a conventional bake setting:
- Cakes: The moving air on a convection setting can create ripples on cake batter, while a standard oven will leave the top smooth.
- Quick breads, muffins, and cupcakes: The smaller surfaces of these items can be blown sideways during convection baking, making for uneven tops. A conventional bake setting allows the tops to remain still.
- Soft, yeasted bread: The softness of rolls and sandwich bread is best preserved in the more moist environment of a standard oven.