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
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.
(Best) Bake for a little less time than the conventional recipe calls
for, and also reduce the temperature of the oven.
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
A few rules of thumb for best results:
Cookie sheets use convection oven
Shallow pans (inch sides or so) use convection
Anything covered (including roasting bags) use
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
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