If you’ve never owned an electric oven before, there are plenty of questions you may be asking yourself, such as, “What is the difference between conventional and fan ovens?”
Electric ovens all have fans. However, there are two main types of electric ovens: fan-supported and fan ovens. Both of these operate differently and heat differently. Knowing what kind of oven you have will give you better results in the long term.
We’ll break all this down and give you the information you need to know about different oven types, so keep on reading!
Why Do Ovens Have Fans?
Electric ovens have fans to assist the heating process. These fans conserve power and heat the cooking space quicker than most other oven varieties. They are also more consistent in the long term.
Fans help heat the cooking space more consistently too. This means that the whole oven is kept at a higher temperature over the entire cook time.
However, only electric ovens have fans. You can also call them convection ovens because they use convection to heat the oven space evenly.
There are two types of convection ovens: fan-assisted and fan ovens. Both operate differently.
Fan-assisted ovens are ovens that have both a heating element and a fan to help circulate air. It would be best to give these ovens time to preheat since they have a heating element that needs to get hot enough for use.
Fan-assisted ovens are a fusion of conventional ovens and fan ovens. They have the best of both worlds and are widely effective.
Fan ovens are entirely fan-run and do not have a heating element within the main chamber. They do not need time to preheat, and you should not preheat them before cooking.
These ovens operate by pushing hot air past and around a heating element to send heated air into the chamber. This heat circulates and keeps the whole oven chamber warm and at a consistent temperature.
The heating element itself is not within the main chamber and does not go anywhere near the food.
What Are the Differences Between Conventional Ovens and Fan Ovens?
Conventional ovens heat the space and do not circulate it. Fan (also known as convection) ovens circulate air around a heating element and then put that air into the oven space. They are used for different purposes.
Conventional ovens have heating elements at both the top and bottom of the range. These heat the space and do not circulate air. They are slower to heat and can be inconsistent over long cook times.
Convection ovens heat using fans and heating elements to heat the oven space faster and more consistently in the long term. However, these higher and faster heats can be detrimental to certain dishes.
These both have pros and cons, and there isn’t one correct answer.
If you want to use an electric oven and stove for environmental reasons, you should use a convection oven. They don’t use gas, and some are specifically designed to be more environmentally friendly.
Convection ovens also come in a variety of sizes. You could hypothetically use a toaster oven on your countertop to get the same effect and save yourself countertop space. That is what a lot of people do.
If you want an excellent countertop option, you should check out the Toshiba AC25CEW-SS Oven on Amazon.com. This is a powerful and consistent convection oven that you can get for an affordable price. It can cook up to 450℉ (232℃), so you can even bake cookies in it!
When Should You Use a Conventional Oven vs. a Convection Oven?
It would be best to use conventional ovens more for baking, but fan ovens are better for general use cooking. You can use both for the other, but with different results.
Both types have drawbacks and benefits, so you need to pick the oven that fits your needs. You may also need to make adjustments to your cooking methods to use your range correctly. We’ll break this down in the following sections.
If You Do a Lot of Baking
Conventional ovens are better for baking. They preserve moisture and heat the space slowly.
While some electric fan ovens come with a bake setting, they can also be hit or miss. The fan moving air around can cause issues with baking. Moving air is more likely to dry out baked goods like cakes and other moisture-sensitive pastries.
Many bakers prefer conventional ovens for this exact reason. If you bake frequently, a conventional oven might be the best choice for you.
Conventional ovens heat slower and hold heat at a lower temperature. This is great if you need to give your baked goods time to mix and cook at a lower temperature for longer.
Conventional ovens are also what many historical recipes are based on, so if you want to make your grandmother’s family recipe correctly, you may want to find a conventional oven to use.
If You Mostly Cook
Cooking is better with a convection oven. Convection ovens heat up faster and do not preserve moisture.
This is perfect if you need to cook off excess liquid in the oven or get a golden crisp on your dish. It is also great to get a perfect crust on your roast.
However, if you want to bake with a convection oven, there are some things you need to take into consideration:
- Check temperatures
- Modify recipes
- Keep a close eye on your baked goods
- Don’t preheat
If you are a person who primarily uses their oven to cook dinners or roast things, a fan oven may be a better choice for you. Fan ovens operate at a high temperature during regular use and can effectively heat formerly frozen foods. They do not become overly watery because of the dryness of the convection oven.
These are better in the long-term for people who do not bake and who need to get consistent high-temperature dishes done.
No matter which type you choose, there are ways you can make your oven work for your needs, not against them. It just takes some time and care to make sure you are making it be the most efficient.
How To Bake With a Convection Oven
However, if you want to bake with a convection oven, there are some steps you need to take.
The first thing you need to do is check the recipe you’re using. Convection ovens tend to hold a higher temperature than conventional ovens. You should lower the temperature a little bit when baking in a convection oven.
The next thing you need to look at is if the recipe requires some steaming. Crème brûlée is an example of a recipe that needs moisture in the air. If the water evaporates too quickly, you could end up with cracked crème brûlées.
If you have a recipe that requires a specific moisture level, you should modify it to reflect the difference in your oven’s heating. Higher temperatures will make the water evaporate more, so you should increase the amount of water or lower the temperature.
You should also not preheat the oven in question. This can overly dry what you’re cooking. It can also be more dangerous if you aren’t expecting the temperature or aren’t used to using a convection oven.
Hi all! I’m Cora Benson, and I’ve been blogging about food, recipes and things that happen in my kitchen since 2019.