Pros and Cons of Convection Ovens and Conventional Ovens
Having an oven in your home or apartment allows for easy cooking, but a regular conventional oven might not always be the best option.
There are many models available, and the most popular is the convection oven.
Being familiar with the pros and cons of convection ovens and conventional ovens will give you a clear idea of which one fits your cooking style and needs the best.
Also, knowing information about the oven that you currently have will allow you to make a more informed decision about whether you will want to switch it out for another option.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Ovens
Undoubtedly, most kitchens have traditional ovens since they have been around for years.
Most people are also more familiar with this type of oven, so it is the first thing that they look for when they purchase a new oven.
Traditional or conventional ovens have a lot to offer and have been a staple in most homes and commercial kitchens.
That is because of the many benefits that they offer, such as:
1. Durable and Convenient
Generally, traditional ovens last long because they are made of quality materials and have been improved over the years.
Of course, they will face issues as they age, but they are usually easy to fix.
Likewise, most appliance technicians can repair minor and major problems that may occur.
Conventional ovens are also straightforward to use and install and don't require much maintenance.
2. Affordable and Modifiable
Conventional ovens are also affordable and you can choose from a variety of brands and models.
You also don't even need a variety of pans to use them, saving you money from purchasing accessories.
Modifying traditional ovens is also possible; specifically, you can add a fan and convection setting to them.
3. Easy-to-Follow Recipes
Since traditional ovens have been around for years, most recipes requiring the use of the oven are made for them.
Thus, you wouldn't need to adjust anything when following a recipe unless you need a smaller or bigger serving size.
Traditional ovens have proven their worth, but as similar to any equipment, they also have drawbacks.
Some of the most notable ones are:
1. Requires Money for Upgrades
Although traditional ovens are modifiable, you would need to spare extra cash to do so.
Not only will you pay a professional to install the necessary features, but you would also need to spend for the materials or parts.
2. High Electricity Usage
Traditional ovens cook food using high temperatures and a longer time, so they use up too much electricity.
What's worse is that they can burn food easily, especially the bottom, and don't create a crisp outside and soft inside as easily.
That is not only because of the temperature and time requirements, but also because of how the oven distributes internal heat.
3. Easy to Make a Mistake When Cooking a Dish
When using a conventional oven, there is little to no room for error. One or mistakes will surely ruin the dish you're cooking.
You would either overcook or undercook your food. Worst, if you burnt the food, you have to start over.
Pros and Cons of Convection Ovens
Convection ovens are not as popular as traditional ones since they are newer in the market.
Not only that, but most people are not really aware of the number of benefits offered by this appliance.
The main pros of convection ovens are beneficial for frequent cooks and those who host large events with many guests.
That said, they're still useful for small families, couples, and people who need to cook food quickly or living solo.
1. Multiple Dish Placement
When using a convection oven, you do not need to center the dish with the food you’re cooking like in other ovens.
You can also put it on any rack that you have because the air flows around the dishes and cooks it wherever it is.
Even if you put the dish on the bottom rack, you won’t need to worry about the bottom part getting overcooked or burnt.
2. Cooks Multiple Dishes at Once
A convection oven will allow you to cook more than one dish at a time.
That is all thanks to the airflow that ensures the temperature doesn’t go down when you put more dishes inside.
That also means you can fit several pans in the oven in different areas since the placement won’t affect the cooking.
3. Shorter Cooking Times
The conventional oven works by heating from the bottom up, while the convection oven works by using fans to blow hot air around the pan to heat from all sides.
It makes the temperature and the time spent cooking less than what it would be for a traditional oven.
With a conventional oven, you might have to cook a dish for 60 minutes, but it will take 45 minutes with a convection oven.
This feature makes the convection oven especially ideal for families on a tight schedule.
Also, since you are not cooking as long as when you cook in a traditional oven, you can save some money on energy bills.
4. Lower Temperatures
As noted above, the fans in convection ovens also make it possible to cook your food at a lower temperature. Thus, it further helps reduce your electricity use.
Not only will it keep your bills low, but it is also great for people who want to be more eco-friendly.
5. Even Cooking
Convection ovens can cook food more evenly than a conventional oven because they don’t heat from the bottom up.
The fans push the air around the dish and can cook all areas at the same time. That will drastically lessen the chances of burning your food.
Therefore, they are great for those who aren’t the best cooks, have little cooking experience, or just starting to learn how to cook.
6. Caramelizes Sugars
One benefit of a convection oven is that the sugars in marinades for meats and vegetables caramelize in the dry heat.
That means the exterior of the skin will brown nicely and create a more flavorful experience.
Likewise, the inside of the meats will stay tender and moist while vegetables' interiors stay nice and soft.
That can upgrade your cooking experience and make your food tastes even better.
7. Makes Certain Desserts Easily
Though not designed for raising dough, a convection oven can be beneficial for denser desserts.
Pastries and certain pies are perfect for this oven because the outside is browned and the sugar is caramelized.
The dry heat of the oven will make the dough flaky and sweet, while the inside is still soft.
If you like to use lots of spices and butter, the convection oven can intensify their taste.
Below are the negatives that come from using a convection oven and why you might not want to use one.
1. Traditional Recipes Will Need Adjustments
Unless the recipe you use is made for a convection oven, you will need to adjust the time and temperature.
Generally, you must set the temperature to about 25 degrees lower than the one required for conventional oven recipes.
You’ll also need to shorten the time by 25%.
2. More Parts to Take Care Off
In a conventional oven, you only have the heating element to deal with when cleaning and repairing.
With a convection oven, you have both the fans and the heating element, so you have a little more to take care of.
If one breaks or stops working, you will need to fix it to use the oven.
For those who don’t like maintenance, this can be quite frustrating.
3. More Dishes Can Mean More Problems
One problem that people might run into is that they overuse the oven by putting too many dishes in the oven at the same time.
You can cook more than one at a time, but adding too many can affect the oven's cooking ability.
It will cook the food longer than expected, and that could affect a tight cooking schedule or put off the start of a meal.
When it comes to knowing how many dishes you can cook at once, though, it is tough to know how much is too much.
That is because there is no specific number. Nonetheless, the thing you should look at the most is where the dishes.
If the fan is at all covered, then you will need to take one or two out of the oven so that it can work as efficiently as it was designed.
4. Dough Will Not Rise
The convection oven fans are a part of their build, which might prevent the dough from rising as expected.
If you bake often, this will probably be a deal-breaker, or you will need to have a second oven to use for baking dough.
However, if you don’t bake frequently or you bake items that don't need rising, this won’t affect you that much.
5. Noise Level Is Often Higher
With a regular oven, you don’t hear too much noise when it runs, so it keeps the home quiet when you need it to be.
On the contrary, most convection oven models have fans that tend to make more noise and could cause distraction.
6. Can Have a Higher Price
Most conventional ovens have an average cost ranging from 200 to 300 dollars, and a convection oven often costs almost twice.
That makes it harder for low-budget customers to purchase one.
It also means that the higher-end convection ovens can be almost three times the average cost of conventional ovens.
7. Specific Baking Tools Needed
With many convection ovens, you will need to use certain tools for cooking food successfully.
Since the fans do a lot of the work, you will need rimless baking sheets to allow the fan to blow the air around the entire dessert.
If you don’t have the pans needed for this kind of cooking, you will need to purchase some.
That could be an added expense that you don’t want to spend money on.
8. Might Require a Vent System
The convection oven's fan might need a ventilation system in your kitchen that requires more work to set up.
This system will work similarly to the way your dryer blows hot air out of its vent outside.
It could be an issue for some homeowners because of building and city codes.
If you want to install a convection oven, but can’t install the ventilation system needed, then you might face several risks.
How to Know if You Can Install the Vent System
If you want to install a vent system for your convection oven, you will need to get a permit from the city.
If the addition is against the city’s building codes, then you have to stop there.
You might also want to speak to a contractor about how much the cost would be to do the job for you.
The cost is likely not too much, but it is another added expense. That might be the last straw for those on a strict budget.
Which Should You Choose?
Unless you want to have two separate ovens in your kitchen, you will need to choose between these options.
That choice can be made by looking at the pros and cons of convection ovens and conventional ovens.
If you find that one of the options listed will be a better fit for your cooking needs, then you can choose to switch your conventional oven for a new convection oven.
As you can clearly see, for conventional ovens, there are just as many cons as there are pros. This makes it evenly matched.
However, because a conventional oven is a popular option for homes, apartments, and condos, many come with them already installed.
You can opt for this if you are tight on the budget, bake a lot, and love to work on traditional recipes.
Convection ovens might be expensive and newer, but still, they have a place in the kitchen.
Those who like baking certain desserts or marinated meats will particularly love that these ovens make the meats tender and sweet while making the desserts flaky.