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The Best Pans for Convection Oven Cooking

Q. I have only had my new ovens for a few weeks, so I’ve tried a few things with the convection mode, but not if a recipe had to be perfect because I didn’t want to risk it. I read that the sides of pans can interfere with the convection cooking. If I am going to roast a whole chicken or two, should I not use a stainless steel roasting pan? If not, what should be used?

Also, I read that convection increases splattering. I found that to be true; is it normal? 

—teebee, vis FineCooking’s CooksTalk forum

A. Many ovens come with a shallow roasting pan and a rack that is slightly inverted, which is perfect for chicken as it sits up out of the pan base and allows the circulating air to surround and brown it. If your oven did not come with one of these, you can improvise by lining a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and placing a rack on top for the chicken to sit on.

As for splattering, I have found there is more in a convection oven and have not yet found a solution. I usually just try to plan my cooking so that if I am roasting a chicken or turkey, I then clean the oven before my next cooking session. I put up with the splattering because I really like the way poultry roasts in the convection oven.

For more details on cooking with convection, read Susie Middleton’s Better Cooking Through Convection, visit our special section In the Kitchen, and watch a video detailing how convection ovens work.
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