If you’ve ever tried to reheat food in a convection oven, then you know that it’s not quite the same as doing so in your regular oven. A convection oven is designed to cook meals quickly and at high temperatures. On the other hand, a traditional oven is excellent for cooking meals evenly without too much heat.
A convection oven can be used to reheat food quickly and evenly. Be sure to use oven-safe dishes and check the food frequently to avoid over-cooking. Avoid using a convection oven to reheat foods, such as soup, stews, or delicate baked goods, as these react poorly to the heating process.
The rest of this article will discuss how you can reheat your food in a convection oven, various food types you should avoid reheating, and the benefits of using a convection oven over a traditional oven.
How To Reheat Food in a Convection Oven
Here are 4 guidelines to follow when reheating food in a convection oven:
Lower Oven Temperature and Cooking Time
The fan in a convection oven circulates heat more quickly and evenly around the food than a regular oven. This reduces cooking time and helps keep food from drying out. When reheating one or two items, set the temperature lower than what’s called for in your recipe. For example, if you’re cooking at 200°C (392°F), reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and cooking time by 30%.
One of the most common mistakes people make when using this type of oven is a failure to check on the food while it heats. A convection oven heats the air around your food without heating the walls of the oven. This means it’s essential to monitor the temperature of your food so you don’t overcook or burn it.
Use Oven-Safe Dishes
A convection oven uses a fan to circulate air for faster and more even cooking. For this reason, it’s essential to use oven-safe dishes labeled as suitable for use in a convection oven. Just as a conventional oven, avoid using any sort of paper or plastic when cooking in a convection oven.
Don’t Block the Convection Fan
To get the most out of your convection oven, you must keep the fan clear of any obstructions. Not only is the fan responsible for circulating heat throughout the oven cavity, but it also vents hot air from inside the oven.
There are holes or slits in the back panel of the oven to allow heat and exhaust gases to escape from within. These openings may appear as unnecessary to an uneducated eye, but it’s critical to avoid covering them up with aluminum foil or anything else.
Foods To Reheat in the Convection Oven
You can reheat foods in a convection oven as long as you follow these simple guidelines:
- Never reheat anything that has been frozen, such as frozen pizza or hot dogs. These foods were initially cooked at very low temperatures and can be dangerous to reheat at high temperatures.
- Convection ovens are ideal for reheating foods with a lot of sauce. They work particularly well for foods like pizza and quiche, where you don’t want the crust to get soggy from sitting out too long.
- Foods that work really well with a convection oven include bread, baked goods, grilled or roasted meat, seafood, pizzas, and pasta. Convection ovens are great at keeping food hot while evenly distributing heat throughout each slice or serving. This ensures food is ready to eat as soon as it’s pulled out of the oven.
When Not To Use a Convection Oven
Convection ovens are a great secondary cooking device for restaurants and households, but they’re not meant to replace your primary oven. They have no temperature control, but rather a thermostat to regulate the temperature of the circulating air. Because of this, they can’t be used to slow-cook foods or bake delicate pastries.
You may be tempted to use a convection oven to reheat foods with a delicate texture, but this should be avoided, as the results will often be disappointing for such items.
For instance, the circulating hot air can lead to crispy edges on the food and over-browning. The hot air is also responsible for drying out foods with a delicate texture, like mashed potatoes or fish fillets.
Everyday foods such as soup, stew, and noodles also shouldn’t be reheated in a convection oven, but instead on the stove or in a microwave. These types of food items will simmer in their own fluids, exposed to very high temperatures. This is detrimental to the flavor and texture of these foods. It can also create some serious health risks!
Why You Should Avoid Using Aluminum Foil in a Convection Oven
Aluminum foil is commonly used to line the pans and trays of ovens. However, aluminum foil isn’t suitable for use in convection ovens because it’s a thin material that draws heat away from food items. This can create unsafe conditions in the oven and cause your dish to cook unevenly.
Furthermore, the fans in the convection oven are powerful enough to blow aluminum foil off a baking tray if not properly secured. Should this happen, the foil can actually block or get sucked into the fan, creating serious safety hazards.
Aluminum foil should be replaced with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. These items are designed for use in a convection oven and won’t warp under high temperatures.
Benefits of Using a Convection Oven
There are 3 main benefits of using a convection oven:
- Reduced cooking time
- Evenly cooked healthier food
- Less energy required
Let’s look at these in more detail:
Reduced Cooking Time
A convection oven is an excellent addition to any kitchen. It allows you to cook food faster by heating it more evenly, which means you can use convection for almost any type of dish. While using a convection oven in the right circumstances, you can save time and energy.
According to one study, convection ovens can cook food up to 25% faster than traditional ovens, but the results depend on the type of food being cooked and the size of the dish.
Evenly Cooked Healthier Food
Convection ovens can be used for reheating food just like microwave ovens. However, the convection oven is better because it cooks the food from all sides to ensure the food is heated evenly and tastes as good as freshly cooked food.
Reheating foods in a convection oven is also a healthier option than using a microwave. This is because fewer nutrients are lost in the heating process.
Requires Less Energy
A convection oven has a unique design that maximizes the heat of the oven. These devices are more energy-efficient than traditional ovens since they don’t have to be preheated as long–if at all–before cooking.
In addition, the constant circulation of hot air through your food prevents “hot spots” from forming and burning your food before it’s cooked all the way through.