Sunday, December 11, 2005

Requesting Opinions on Convection Ovens

This is not a blog related question, but it is a food-related question so I hope no one minds me asking it here. (I don't know of a better place to get opinions from highly skilled home cooks.)

Every year for Christmas "Santa" brings me some kind of new cooking toy. I have a 1940's era gas stove that I love and want to keep (especially since Dr. Biggles taught me via the internet how to turn up the burners), but the oven is not that reliable. It's ok for something like a casserole, but anything where you need to cook it at a very specific temperature is iffy.

I was thinking of getting one of those new countertop toaster oven - convection oven combinations since I have tons of counter space. I like the idea of the convection oven cooking more quickly. I'm wondering if any of you use a convection oven, and do you like the results? Are they mostly just for baking, or are they good for roasting? I'd love to hear from anyone who has one.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen.


Rachael said...

I have used them with frequency, (convection ovens I mean) and am a fan. It takes a little getting used to, so dont start with your favorite recipe, but I say go for it.

Valyn said...

I've got a Cuisinart convection oven/toaster oven, and I love it. I don't use the convection part, as I've not a clue what it's for, but I use the bake and broil functions all the time. I've roasted cherry tomatoes and broiled veal chops for example, and I roast sausages in it on a regular basis. Hope this helps.


Tana said...

I wrote an entire post about my Cuisinart 175BC convection toaster oven, which I adore more than any appliance I've ever had...and almost as much as I adore my Mac G5 tower.

You want this.

It heats up to 400 degrees in less time than it takes to make a piece of toast. I use it every single day, and every single day it makes me happy. I can make pizzas, roast chickens, you name it.


drbiggles said...

Someone's cage you may want to rattle about this might be Shuna. Roasting meats and veggies is an easy trick for ovens, accurate or no. I've got an older countertop convection oven and use it for nearly everything. I'm not a baker, but my wife is and she refuses to use it for bread. The crust isn't the same as our gas fired oven and it seems to cook too quickly. The bread doesn't have time to form and do whatever it is that it needs to do. Plus, when you need to lay down cornmeal or flour on the pizza stone, the convection oven blows it all over the darned place. It works great for pies though! And cookies! And it flat out rules for baked taters.
While it isn't a solution for everything, I would NEVER hesitate to keep one at arms reach at all times.
You need a new thermostat for your oven Kalyn. My 53 year old oven is within 2 degrees of what the knob says (using a digital probe) and comes to 400 degrees in less than 15 minutes. Cost? 170 bucks. They're semi-easy to replace yourself too!


Kalyn said...

Hey thanks everyone for the great input. The cuisinart does sound like a good one. Biggles, I know I need a new thermostat, and I will get a second opinion, but the last time the guy came to adjust it he told me at least $300 to replace the thermostat. That was 3 years ago, so I figure it's even more now. My stove is a magic chef, I don't know if the parts are less common or what, but over $300 seems like a lot to spend on it. Plus I would love to try the convection part. I'm always in a hurry.

David said...

You need to determine if it's a 'real' convection oven, or just an oven that they stick a fan in. For a low price, most likely they just stick a fan in there and call is convection. Normally the best ones (and the ones that work properly) are called True Convection.

Several years ago Fine Cooking did a big article on convection ovens so you may want to search their web site for it, or an old issue.

David said...

Here's the article...

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