Baking with convection ovens all 15 years that I had my restaurant in my hometown of Rockdale, TX ….I found I enjoyed this type of baking because of its appearance that this was a professional type of baking. With a fan mounted on the side or back of these huge ovens…air circulated around the food and the results were wonderful. Tops and bottoms of the cookies, bread pudding, cakes, pies and sorted breads…all were evenly brown and cooked to perfection. Now that we find them these types of ovens in our RVs today…..I am over joyed!!!
What is the definition of a convection oven? (from Widipedia) A convection oven (or fan-assist oven, fan oven) is an oven that has fans to circulate air around food. Conventional ovens, which do not have fans, rely primarily on radiation from the oven walls, and to a lesser extent, on natural convection caused by temperature differences within the oven, to transfer heat to food. In contrast, the fans in convection ovens allow more heat to be transferred via convective heat transfer. Fans help distribute heat evenly around the food, removing the blanket of cool air that surrounds food in an oven, allowing food to cook more evenly in less time and at a lower temperature than in a conventional oven.
I believe for the most part, people have trouble with convection cooking because of how they are now connected to our microwaves. We basically have used the microwave for heating purposes or at least very little cooking, never being able to use any types of metal cookware inside and if you did…horrible things would happen!!! Today we can throw that type of thinking out the window, for the convection microwave oven will allow you to use most any type of cookware that can withstand high heat.
Important: Just like before… when using a low wattage microwave…slower heating or cooking would occur, the same holds true with this new RV convection microwave oven design we have today. Take a look at the data plate located on the inside around the door opening. I find that convection microwaves start at 900 watts and run up to about 1500 watts. Higher wattage means faster and more energy efficient cooking.
Convection microwaves will brown and cook the outside of your foods penetrating to the center vs. regular microwaves emit waves that bounce around until they come in contact with the food causing water molecules to excite and generate heat which then cooks the food.
Now for the preparation of using a convection microwave; I know from what I have learned that the lower sided dishes, pans, etc. …..are ‘best’ to use. For example, casserole rounds or squares. However, I have used my bundt pan for cakes…and they turn out fine. You will have to experiment with your own unit to see how it works best for you.
Remember, you should always use the circular metal lift tray (that will come with the unit) placing your dish on top of it so complete circulation of air will occur. If your unit is used and you did not get a lift tray then you will need to purchase one online or at a specialty store. I have found them online for around $20- $25. Some of you may have a metal tray that reaches from side to side that hangs on plastic hooks. This is for double dish baking and/or using those 9×13 dishes or some other size that prevents you from using the circular lift tray. When you using the lift that fits from side to side, know that you will need to stop your unit half way through the cooking process and rotate because it is imperative to allow the air to transfer over the item evenly. (Note: if you don’t turn the dish…. there is a good possibility that your food will burn.)
All convection/microwaves are real good about just allowing you to plug in the baking information it requires. First, preheating is a must. With good clean electricity, preheat time should be around 10 to 13 minutes. Place the lift tray inside during the preheat stage. Once it beeps letting you know the preheat is complete, place the dish inside and set the cooking time. Higher wattage will require less time (about 25% less) or the drop in temperature used (about 25%). Lower wattage units will remain the same and in some cases require more time than what is stated on the recipe. Again, you will have to experiment with your unit to see what works best.
You can use aluminum foil inside your unit on convection settings. I suggest not to use in very high temps (over 400 degrees) and pass this information on to others as a ‘safe’ procedure.
This unit will do combination cooking also, where you can use convection cooking for a time and then cook with the microwave, as well. 70% of the power comes from the convection baking…..and 30% comes from the microwave. Use this setting when your recipes calls for an hour or more of cooking time. Using this feature will reduce your cooking time by about 25%. If the cooking time is 45 minutes or less….just use the convection baking only.
There is so much to learn about convection baking that I will have to continue to write about in the future. I do hope that you will use your RV
Convection Microwave Oven RV – learn to use it to the fullest capabilities because it does do a beautiful job and is a wonderful alternative to the propane oven.
Connect with me on Facebook.