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Ideas for Countertop Convection Cooking

Q. My husband bought a small countertop convection oven to replace a toaster over (don’t ask me why!). At any rate, it’s handy to crisp small items. I would like to try to cook small casseroles in it, but the directions that came with it are quite limited and I’m unsure how to figure out cooking times and settings. Any ideas?

—Rashcraft, via FineCooking.com’s CooksTalk forum

A. I have a countertop oven with convection mode that I use for many things. It delivers very impressive results with small roasts, meat loafs, casseroles and small baked goods.

Use the same guidelines as converting any traditional recipe to convection: start by reducing the temperature by 25°F in convection mode and start checking the dish a few minutes before the end of cooking time. The more you experiment with convection, the better you’ll get at it. Just be sure to note any changes you make on your recipes, and the results you got. That way, when making that dish again, you’ll remember any adjustments you need to make.

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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