If you are shopping around for a new oven, you've likely noticed all of the models that now use convection fans rather than just a regular radiant heating element. Some fancier models have both option in one unit, but if you need to go the budget route and can get only one type or the other, think carefully. Both convection and conventional cooking have their benefits, but you have to decide if those benefits outweigh any disadvantages. Consider these four issues before making your decision.
Summer Heat and Speed
Heating up the oven in the summer can make your house feel way too hot, even if you have the air conditioning on. The longer the oven is on, the worse you can end up feeling. Convection ovens tend to cook faster than conventional ovens because the hot air inside the oven is circulated around by a fan, making cooking more even. Convection ovens also require that you reduce the cooking temperature by about 25 degrees, so there's less heat being generated to begin with. If you really want to reduce the amount of heat being spread around your kitchen and want faster cooking, a convection oven is the right one for you.
More Even Cooking
As mentioned, the fan in the convection oven spreads the hot air around, helping to cook the food more evenly. This is supposed to reduce the necessity of rotating foods in the middle of cooking. That in turn saves energy because you don't have to open the oven door as much. That's a plus for convection.
However, that also relies on the oven continuing to work well. Like other appliances, convection ovens can start to just not work as well as they get older. The fan can also make heating unpredictable if one of the heater elements isn't heating as well as it should. Over time and in this sense, the convection oven doesn't have that much of a leg up over a conventional oven.
Adjusting All Your Recipes
Because convection ovens require a reduction in cooking temperature and may speed up cooking time, you'll have to adjust all of your recipes. You'll also have to start babysitting them much earlier on to see when they're done. If you have recipes written for a conventional oven and you don't like having to adjust everything, a conventional oven is going to be far easier for you to use.
One More Thing That Can Break
The main difference between a convection and conventional oven is that fan, which means convection ovens have yet one more thing that can break. To reduce future repair costs, you may want to stick with a conventional oven that doesn't have the fan. If you want to see more models and get more advice regarding which might be better for you, talk to an appliance dealer.