If you’re in the market for a new oven, consider getting one with true convection. Why? Because they’re faster and more efficient, and they give tastier results than regular ovens. So what is true convection? Well, with a conventional radiant oven, you generally get two heating elements–a bake element in the oven’s bottom and a broil element at the top. With a true convection oven, you get that, plus you also get a fan and an extra heating element around the fan. This system heats air to a uniform temperature before the fan blows it into the oven. We recently spent a day cooking with the latest true convection ovens from Gaggenau and Thermador and discovered that this hot circulating air has several benefits for the cook.
True convection ranges and wall ovens range in price from about $1,150 to $9,000. The list of manufacturers at the end of this article is a good place to start your research.
Some convection ovens have a fan but not the third heating element. This setup will not produce the consistent results of “true” or “pure” convection. When shopping, be sure to confirm that the oven has that third heating element around the fan.
1. Roast a whole chicken in 45 minutes.
Generally, true convection speeds up cooking by about 25%. The time savings is subtle with quick-cooking items like cookies—you’ll shave just a minute or so off the baking time—but with a whole turkey, you could save yourself nearly an hour. We roasted a 3-1/2-lb.chicken in just 45 minutes (15 minutes at 425°F, followed by 30 minutes at 325°F) instead of the usual hour.