Skip to footer

Do You Need a Convection Oven?

One of the favorite gadgets for both home and restaurant cooking is a convection oven; with fast cooking times and efficient design, it combines practicality with a kind of futuristic luxury. But it may seem to some people like an extraneous purchase. After all: regular ovens still exist, and are a mainstay of restaurant equipment and home kitchens alike. Most reputable restaurant supply stores with large appliance inventories carry both conventional ovens and convection models. Truly, it’s a matter of taste and necessity; there are some kitchens both home and commercial that benefit more from installing a convection oven than others. But there are a few things to consider when making the decision. First, there is the question of what exactly makes a convection oven different from a standard or conventional oven. Where a conventional oven uses radiant heat to cook foods, a convection oven uses a combination of radiant heat and moving air, which allows for faster, more even cooking. Many fast-casual restaurant chains put this capability to good--if limited--use in quickly heating and toasting items they carry; for example, Starbucks uses a high-end convection oven to warm its signature sandwiches and toast or warm its pastries, all in a manner of about a minute. Of course, for restaurant and home applications, a convection oven will still take longer than a couple of minutes to cook most dishes completely, but time in the oven will be significantly shorter. The main factors to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a convection oven are the efficiency you need in oven cooking and the budget you have. Since convection technology has been around for decades, it’s no longer as expensive as it once was to purchase these appliances, however, they do still tend to be pricier than conventional ovens, and can in some respects require more maintenance. If you are a home cook who has a consistent need to cook meals quickly, or a restaurant operation that has a lot of turnover for the oven, it can be a worthwhile investment indeed. Convection ovens can cut down cooking time for baked goods and other items alike to half what it would be in a conventional oven--and that’s a significant benefit for cooks pressed for time. If you have decided that a convection oven might be a good choice, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind while shopping for one: for example, gas versus electric is an important factor not only to the cost of the oven itself, but also the integration into the existing system you have. In addition, gas-powered convection ovens have a slightly different strength compared to electric ones; the gas convection heating process produces moisture as a byproduct, which makes it ideal for baking, while electric convection ovens are better suited for cooking operations that require more even, stable temperatures. Another major question is the size of the convection oven you want to buy. Because they’ve been around for so long, convection ovens exist in a variety of sizes, from full-size floor models to tabletop ones, and even in between. Depending on what use you intend to put your convection oven to--whether it’s toasting and warming things quickly, or a full baking operation--along with the floor space you have available, different options may be more useful or less useful to your particular operation. Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that the amount of space that your convection oven will take up is directly related to the yield it will have--that’s basic math. But whatever your need, there is a convection oven that is suited to filling the role. If your home or commercial kitchen could benefit from a more efficient, faster cooking system, then it’s possible that a convection oven is a good decision. Restaurant supply stores often carry a variety of models for whatever your level of need, and the long history of the appliance’s existence in both commercial and residential spheres means that it is an affordable piece of equipment. Do your research to find out which model and what type of convection oven will work best for the use you intend to put it to, and take advantage of one of the most clever innovations in cooking technology in the past 50 years.
2018-05-21 00:00:00
77 view(s)