Food preparation has been a part of our civilization for thousands of years. Cooking is all about heat and how it transforms the ingredients in your kitchen. Interestingly, gas ovens have been with us since the 19th century. While electric ovens are more common nowadays, gas ovens are still used in kitchens worldwide.
Many gas ovens have fans. Ovens use air to transfer heat, burning gas or electricity at the bottom of the range, and the hot air rises into the oven, cooking your food. As the hot air travels upwards, the top of the range tends to be more heat-prone than the bottom.
How often have you read the words “fan oven” or “fan assisted oven” for recipes? The only way to get efficient cooking is through circulation, creating a more even temperature throughout the space, which means faster cooking and more time to enjoy your recipes with your loved ones. Read on to discover more about gas ovens and fans.
Do Gas Ovens Have Fans?
Not all gas ovens have fans. However, the models that do are known as considered fan-assisted or convection. Some gas ovens or gas convection ovens have the option to turn the fans on or off manually.
When you shop for an oven and see a gas range labeled as a convection oven, there’s usually an electric heating element behind the fan. A fan-assisted gas oven uses the gas burner at the base of the oven to heat the cavity. Then an additional fan will circulate the hot air around the cavity, stabilizing the cooking temperature.
Both convection and fan-assisted gas ovens work inside the oven to circulate and distribute heat evenly around the food while heating the oven quickly, cutting cooking time for food, and eliminating cold or hot spots in your oven.
Fan Assisted Gas Ovens Versus Conventional Ovens
The difference between a fan-assisted gas oven or a conventional oven is probably something you’ve ignored until now. However, educating yourself about these products can help you avoid kitchen mishaps when developing your chef-inspired creations.
Convection ovens heat food by circulating hot air around the stove from a fan in the back of the stove. Using a convection oven lets you control the temperature and get better results.
On the other hand, conventional ovens, also known as static ovens, heat food from the bottom. The heat comes from an electrical resistance located at the top, bottom, or sometimes both.
This air can be considered static and is often hotter at one end than the other.
The cooking is slow, and the heat distribution is uneven without air circulation. Static ovens gradually reach a precise temperature, allowing the food to bake more slowly and gently.
While you can use either a fan-assisted oven or a conventional oven for cooking just about anything, a conventional range is better for baking as the even heat can cook faster. However, conventional ovens don’t always cook as evenly as convection ovens.
They can heat one side more than the other and create unequal heated air pockets. You may have to rotate your sheet pan or baking dish while cooking for more even results.
What Are the Benefits of Fan Assisted Gas Ovens?
As mentioned earlier, fan-assisted gas ovens have many benefits without the hassle of rotating your sheet pan or baking dish compared to conventional ovens. These include:
Ability To Cook Faster
With hot air blowing directly onto the food instead of just surrounding it, your meals cook about 25 percent faster with a fan-assisted gas oven. These ovens can conserve power, since they heat the cooking cavity more quickly than most other ovens. In turn, your food gets cooked faster.
Cooks More Evenly
Regular ovens can have hot spots, areas in the oven cavity where the heat is more powerful. This can affect the overall quality and temperature of your dish. With fan-assisted gas ovens, you won’t have to rotate your dish, which means your food will cook more evenly.
Better at Browning
The air in a regular oven can become a bit humid, as moisture can’t escape. Increased moisturel can make it difficult for your food to brown or crisp. Fan-assisted ranges can create a dry atmosphere where meats and vegetables get browner while remaining moist on the inside.
With faster cooking times and lower temperature requirements, fan-assisted ovens are more energy efficient. These ovens will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but they may also reduce the size of your monthly bills.
However, fan-assisted ovens aren’t always perfect. As these ovens circulate heat, they may be prone to humidity as the gas released into the stove increases moisture and can lead to issues with browning, crisping, or even removing the water from the food.
While moisture removal can be excellent for crisping up your chicken or lasagna dish, it can adversely affect the result when baking cupcakes or bread. As an alternative, there are some fan-assisted ovens with a set baking function that uses a lower fan speed, or you can reduce the recipe’s timing.
Tips for Cooking With Fan Assisted Gas Ovens
Whether you are in the market for a fan-assisted gas oven or a conventional oven, there are pros and cons to each option. That said, the decision ultimately comes down to your cooking preference.
If you’re a baker, you may prefer the conventional choice for its moisture maintaining qualities. In contrast, a person on the go may choose the efficiency of a fan-assisted oven.
Regardless, if you keep the following tips in mind, you should have an easy cooking process:
Don’t Preheat the Oven Unless Required
A lot of us grew up with the instructions to preheat your oven before cooking to let it reach the correct temperature. However, with fan assisted ovens, by preheating the oven, you risk drying out your dish and overcooking your masterpiece. These ranges tend to hold a higher temperature than other ovens, so it’s best to modify the temperature based on your dish.
Check Food Frequently
Fan-assisted ovens can heat your ovens quickly and cook your foods more evenly than a conventional oven. Unless your recipe states it’s for a fan-assisted oven, you need to lower the oven’s temperature to compensate for the oven cooking faster; otherwise, your food will burn.
Try setting the oven 25 degrees cooler than what your recipe recommends and check the progress 10 to 15 minutes sooner than the typical cooking duration. It’s best to keep an eye on the time and the dish while it’s cooking.
Use your senses to determine if the dish is ready rather than going by the recipe timing. As you get used to the functionality of fan-assisted ovens, you’ll pick up food cooking times and feel more confident in your recipes.
Know Your Oven Preferences
Since gas ovens tend to be more humid, consider cooking items that you want more crisp or browned on the top rack. You can also increase the oven temperature by 25 degrees to get more crunch and crisp on the food.
Just be sure to keep an eye on your dish. Avoid cooking in dark metal bakeware, as it can cause your foods to burn at the bottom.
Avoid Crowding the Oven
Since fan-assisted gas ovens rely on air to circulate, avoid overcrowding the oven with multiple pans or baking dishes, as it can block the airflow. Although the food will still cook, it may take longer, and you won’t enjoy the advantage of fan-assisted efficiency. Try cooking or baking on multiple racks, but be conscious of how many pans you fill the space.
Purchase Low-Sided Baking Sheets and Roasting Pans
Fan-assisted gas ovens work best when using low-sided pans or rimless baking sheets, especially for baking cookies or roasting vegetables. This equipment allows the air to circulate better around the food and helps crispy foods become even crispier.
Dishes like casseroles or cakes rely on the high sides of their pans to hold their shape. But where crisping isn’t as important, you can purchase these types of baking sheets and pans like the Baker’s Secret Set of 3 Baking Sheets on Amazon. They’re rust-free and dishwasher safe and allow for low-fat cooking with their proprietary non-stick coating.
Be Careful When Quick-Baking Bread, Custards, or Soufflés
While these dishes would benefit from the heat levels, the circulation of the fan and exhaust system may cause these types of items to cook unevenly, rise less, or be drier than usual.
Custards may form an unpleasant crust on the surface as they dry out. Make sure to watch these items closely in the oven.
What are the Best Fan-Assisted Gas Ovens?
There are several reasons why many people prefer fan-assisted gas ranges over other options. Gas-powered ovens heat up more quickly, which leads to more precise temperatures and control while cooking. Moreover, in the long run, they can cost less.
Purchasing a fan-assisted gas oven usually requires a lot of research to find the perfect fit for your household. If you are in the market for a fan-assisted gas range, you’ll have to consider the size. You should also decide whether you want a slide-in or freestanding unit depending on your kitchen measurements. Finally, see if you need any additional features, such as a glass door or a self-cleaning oven.
Whether you are looking to shop online or at your local big box retailer, here are a couple of fan-assisted gas ranges in the market that can be a perfect addition to your household and budget:
For over 125 years, GE has been a nationally recognized brand in at home appliances. This 30-inch (76.2-cm) Freestanding All Gas Range with Convection Oven is a sleek addition to your home that is energy-efficient and super quiet.
This model features a fan located in the rear side of the oven to evenly circulate hot air around the oven and give you a perfectly cooked dish.
In addition to shorter cooking time, this model also has the added benefit of cleaning up after itself, with a built-in self-clean system. One of the best features of this oven is that no preheating is required, as the rear fan quickly circulates hot air. Plus, it has a built-in Air Fry with additional room for baking, grilling, and more.
The model includes Air Fry, enabling you to create lighter versions of your favorite foods and enjoy healthier meals without the hassle or guilt from frying food.
This model features a convection fan and a third heating element that evenly circulates hot air throughout the oven’s cavity. Not only is this range well-suited for cooking, but it also has a feature for unified quick baking with its true convection setting.
This range also has a stainless steel cooktop and five gas burners, including a power burner, a simmer burner, and an oval burner
Take your cooking to the next level with Thor Kitchen’s professional gas Range. THOR Kitchen’s Gas Ranges are designed with powerhouse features and functionality to take your cooking to the next level.
With dual burners, continuous grates and a commercial convection fan, these ranges bring the thunder. This professional-grade gas range oven is made of durable materials and includes other features such as a durable stainless steel exterior with easy-to-clean porcelain drip pans, a large window to monitor cooking progress, and six burners.
Cook with ease using the FORNO Leo 30-inch, 5-Burner Stainless Steel Gas Convection Range. This range can circulate hot air with a fan through the oven cavity to cook faster, more evenly. With the built-in thermometer, you can easily check the temperature of the oven to avoid any overcooking mishaps. This model highlights its durability and ability to help cut cooking time, easy to clean surfaces, and has free installation with in-house delivery .