CONVECTION OVEN RECIPE CONVERSION GUIDELINES

Cooking is not an exact science, due to many variables such as size and quantity of food, temperature of food when first put in the oven, etc.

Convection cooking takes place due to the forced flow of hot air, thus saving energy by cooking approximately 25-30% more quickly than conventional ovens. Foods lose less moisture and retain nutrients.

The internal temperature in the convection oven is easily regulated since the fan keeps the hot air constantly circulating so the food cooks uniformly.

General guidelines for converting conventional recipes for use in a convection oven:

Option one: Bake at the same temperature that the conventional recipe recommends, but for less time.

Option two: Bake for the amount of time that the conventional recipe calls for, but reduce the temperature of the oven by about 25 degrees F.

Option three: (Best) Bake for a little less time than the conventional recipe calls for, and also reduce the temperature of the oven.

TIPS:

ALWAYS PREHEAT OVEN BEFORE PUTTING FOOD IN OVEN! (unless your recipe directs otherwise)

  • If your original conventional recipe baking time is less than 15 minutes, keep the original baking time but reduce the temperature by 25-30 degrees F.

  • As with any recipe, check the food about 5-10 minutes before the expected finish time, due to variables such as the temperature of the food when first placed in the oven, quantity of food in the oven, your preferred level of “doneness”, etc.

  • The more food in the oven at one time, the longer the cooking time.
    Some folks recommend preheating any oven at 50 degrees F above the desired temperature, then turning the temperature control down to the desired temperature once you put the food in and close the door. This is because an oven can lose one degree per second that the door is open. The average loss is about 50 seconds.

  • The choice of when to use a convection oven and when to use a conventional oven with radiant heat often depends on the cooking container rather than the food. The whole point of convection cooking is to have the fan circulating the heat around the food. Casserole lids and high-sided cooking pans block the heat from circulating around the food and prevent the oven from cooking efficiently.

A few rules of thumb for best results:

  • Cookie sheets – use convection oven

  • Shallow pans (inch sides or so) – use convection oven

  • Anything covered (including roasting bags) – use conventional oven

  • Deep roasting pans – use conventional oven

For the mathematically inclined, use either of 2 versions of the “25-30” Rule.

Either option is OK, and neither is better than the other (exception: recipes with conventional baking times of less than 15 minutes, see first Tip above.) For example, if a recipe calls for you to bake a cake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes in a conventional oven.

  • Option one: Bake at the same temperature that the conventional recipe recommends, but for about 25-30% less time. So the cake will bake at 350 degrees for about 21-23 minutes. (100% - 30% = 70%; 30 minutes x .70 = 21 minutes; 100% - 25% = 75%; 30 minutes x .75 = 22.5 minutes.)

  • Option two: Bake for the amount of time that the conventional recipe calls for, but reduce the temperature of the oven by 25-30 degrees F. So in the cake example, bake at 320-325 degrees (350 – 30 = 320 degrees; 350 – 25 = 325 degrees) for 30 minutes.

Source: Cadco Ltd