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True vs. European vs. Regular Convection Ovens

Q. Do so-called true convection or European convection and regular convection with one fan cook very differently? If so, can you go into the differences for us?

—Marcia, via FineCooking.com’s CooksTalk forum

A. True convection and European convection are the same. As far as I know, all convection ovens have one fan, but a “plain” convection oven does not have upper, lower, and rear elements, just one or two elements and a fan.

In addition to my true convection oven, I also have a semi-commercial oven that has the convection option with only one element and a fan. They both cook very well, but obviously not many households have room for both. (I use the large oven for baking cookies and breads in large quantities and when I catered.)

Most domestic convection ovens on the market now have three elements, the fan, and a baffle. A sales representative should be able to tell you the features of each oven. Manufacturers use different names for their convection features, which can be confusing, but if you’re looking into purchasing, ask for some printed information. That way you can research the models that interest you on the internet.

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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