When I first started using my FiveStar range three years ago, I had never used a convection oven before. (In fact, I had never even cooked with gas before!) Since I work for a range manufacturer, I was armed with some knowledge of how convection works and what it’s used for in cooking and baking, but using it was still somewhat intimidating. Am I supposed to reduce the temperature when using convection? Do I still turn my cookie sheets mid-way through cooking like usual? If a recipe calls for baking for 20 minutes, should I reduce the time to 15? Or 17? Should I keep the convection on for the whole baking cycle or just the last two minutes?

After some research I learned the answer to all these questions is: It depends.

I know… what an annoying answer, right? I thought so, too.

First, several variables can affect the final baked product – for example, the temperature in the kitchen, the number of times you open the oven door during the cooking cycle, and the position of your oven racks are just some of the factors that can affect your results.

That being said, FiveStar’s TurboFlow convection feature has been found to promote more even baking, reduce the oven’s baking time by up to 30%, and remain within the same cooking time while reducing baking temperature. But the question remains… what does that all translate to for the chef? Well, it means a number of things, really. With all variables remaining the same, the convection fan can reduce baking time of cookies when set to the normal temperature (meaning that if you usually baked them for 15 minutes, they may be done in 12 or 13 minutes at 350 if the convection fan is on the whole time). However, there is some flexibility to play around with your baking temperature and rack position(s) to achieve the results you seek. For best results, be sure to center the cookie sheet so that the air may flow evenly around it, and always stagger baking utensils if baking multiple dishes at the same time. For the most part, the baking times and temperatures will be similar to that of the recipe instructions. But, to be safe, always keep that oven light on and keep an eye on the dish, especially when first trying out the feature.

Additionally, some owners simply flip the convection switch on during the last couple minutes of baking to achieve a nice evenly browned surface. This method works for cookies, casseroles, pizzas, and so on. Again… be sure to keep an eye on your dish and make adjustments as needed.

Bottom line: Experiment, experiment, experiment. And use the above suggestions to guide you.


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