If you have ever wondered how cooking changes with convection bake vs roast in your oven settings, then this is all about it. Both these are cooking settings that enhance the quality of your food. They are not alternative options for one another and are used for two different purposes. At a glance, baking is faster with thoroughly cooking the whole structure of the food, while roasting is slower with a crispy outer surface, but there are certain cooking conditions you need to know about these two methods.
What are Convection Ovens?
To learn the differences between convection bake and convection roast, first, we have to learn the differences between a convection oven and a conventional oven. Convection ovens have an exhaust system with fans to circulate air throughout the oven; this ensures that food is cooked evenly by the hot air. It also makes food cook faster at a lower temperature as the fans blow hot air directly on the food. This feature is unavailable in conventional ovens, making convection ovens ideal for various cooking needs.
Benefits of Convection Ovens
- More even cooking of food due to fans circulating hot air directly on food.
- Faster cooking due to hot air blown directly on the food
- Saves energy due to faster cooking
- Cooks food about 25% to 30% faster than the traditional oven
Drawbacks of Convection Ovens
- More expensive than traditional ovens due to additional components
- It can be louder due to the fans.
- It might blow around the foil and prevent the rise in certain baked food.
- Challenges recipes requiring higher temperatures and longer time
Convection Bake vs Convection Roast
The two settings of convection bake vs convection roast in a convection oven carry out two different cooking procedures. This is accomplished by a third heating element and a fan to circulate the hot air. Here are the major differences between these two convection settings.
Convection Bake Setting
This convection bake setting is used for many purposes, as it cooks evenly. The typical baking temperature is from 325 to 375 ˚F, which remains constant throughout the cooking. Baked food items usually have fat contained within the structure than only on the top. Hence, baked foods are more soft and moist than others. Some liquid food mixtures become solid as a result of baking, which changes the structure of the food while cooking. The convection bake cooks the food faster than the roast setting. However, it does not make the food crispier. Here are some of the best-cooked foods with the convection bake setting.
- Cookies, cakes, and bread
- Smaller meat pieces and chops
- Stews, casseroles, and similar covered dishes
Convection Roast Setting
In the convection roast setting, the broiler is used on and off to darken the food while sealing the juices inside. Most food items, such as meat and vegetable, do not tend to change their original solid form while cooking and are ideal for this. Roasted foods have a fat structure, mainly at the top or applied on the surface. This fat renders quickly and creates a crispy layer on the outer surface, keeping the inner area tender. When considering the temperature of the roast vs bake oven setting, roasting uses a temperature of 400 ˚F or more; this creates a brown crust on the surface of the food, cooking it differently from the bake setting.
However, using the high-temperature setting throughout the cooking process may cause the food to dry. Therefore, it is often used either at the beginning or towards the end of the roasting. The temperature is kept around 200 ˚F to 300 ˚F for the rest of the process to secure the tenderness of the food. Some of the best-cooked food ideas with a convection roast setting include:
- Whole meat
- Pork or beef tenderloin
- Rib roasts
- Roasting vegetables and potatoes for extra crisp
- Toasting bread or buns
How to Choose Between the Two?
If you are still deciding about choosing from convection bake vs convection roast, you need to try considering some factors. Here are some considerations that help you decide on the best option that suits your cooking needs.
Structure of Food
If the food you are about to cook has no proper structure but converts to solid from its fluid-like nature, then baking is the best option. However, roasting is ideal for food items that are already in solid form and need to be cooked.
If you need to add a crusty brown layer around your food, use the roast setting, which goes above 400 ˚F. Baking occurs at a lower temperature of around 350 ˚F and does not create a crusty layer.
Distribution of Fat
Baked foods have fat distributed throughout the structure. For example, baked cakes have butter or oil inside them. The roasted foods have fat applied only on their surface or top to improve the crusty form.
Covered or Open Pan
Food items that need to be baked can be covered as they are put into the oven. But the food items that need to be roasted should be placed on an uncovered pan for better crisping.
Convection Oven Cooking Tips
As you may have figured, cooking with convection settings is quite different from conventional methods. Here are some useful tips when using your convection oven for baking or roasting purposes.
- Using shallow pans with low sides or rimless baking sheets in your convection oven helps regulate proper hot airflow around the food and makes the food crispier. However, casseroles and cakes may need pans with sides to secure the shape where crisping is unnecessary.
- Do not cover the oven racks with foil, as it obstructs airflow.
- Do not crowd the oven, as this cooking mechanism relies on adequate airflow. You may use multiple racks for cooking, but it is recommended not to stuff the racks completely.
- It is better to reduce the required temperature by about 25 ˚F if you are using a recipe made to be cooked in a traditional oven.
- It is also necessary to check the food more frequently as it is being cooked faster than in the traditional oven. Check the condition of the food, especially after about ¾ of the recommended cooking time. Sometimes, your food might be completely cooked and ready by this time.
- Baking Pans: using a thin aluminum pan will give you the best results for baking in the convection oven. You can keep the oven racks close to each other and place the pan at the center of the rack.
- Roasting Pans: you can place a small elevated rack in a regular roasting pan for this. Then arrange the food at the center of the rack, allowing hot air circulation around it.
- If you are broiling food in a convection oven, you need to use a double-tiered broiling pan to transfer fat from the top pan to the bottom pan; this is also necessary to prevent grease fires during cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to convection bake or convection roast a chicken?
Chicken and turkey are meat choices that must be cooked in the convection roast setting; this allows the skin to be brown and crisp quickly while securing the tenderness of the meat inside. Therefore, you will find roasting a better cooking option for meat.
Can you cook raw chicken in a convection oven?
For this, you need to preheat the convection oven to a high temperature of 425 ˚F to ensure fast cooking and crisping of the skin. An unstuffed chicken can be roasted with the convection roast setting at this temperature for 10 minutes per pound.
Roast vs Bake oven setting, which is better?
It cannot be stated that one setting is better than the other because they serve two different purposes. However, you can decide the best option depending on the type of food you are cooking. Convection roast will be a better option for cooking meat, while convection bake is ideal for cake and bread. Convection ovens are also a good alternative to frying and can be cleaned quickly due to fewer components and consume less cooking space.
Is a convection oven fan supposed to run continuously?
The fan of a convection oven may cycle on and off frequently during cooking. This is done according to pre-programmed algorithms to optimize the heat distribution inside the oven.
Since you have gained a wide knowledge about the settings of convection bake vs roast in your oven, it will be easy for you to decide what method to choose to cook your food. The most important thing is to place your food in such an arrangement to allow adequate airflow. Since most recipes are made for traditional ovens, you should keep it in mind when you try out your next cooking experiment with convection settings.
You may find various problems when dealing with kitchen appliances in your day-to-day life. In case you find your electric stove burners not working, you can troubleshoot the problem. Similarly, here are some possible reasons why a GE electric oven won’t turn on and how to attend to them.