Your reputation as a holiday chef is on the line. You want perfectly browned turkey, succulent ham and evenly cooked pies and side dishes. It’s the perfect time to use that convection setting on your range
For those who aren’t familiar, a convection oven has a fan and exhaust system that a regular oven does not, helping to circulate hot air evenly throughout the oven cavity, allowing for quicker and more even cooking. Here’s when using that convection setting will really help to make your holiday meals shine.
Roasting: Foods that are roasted like meats and vegetables can benefit greatly from convection cooking. They will cook faster more evenly, and the drier environment yields crispy skin and caramelizes foods much better.
Baking: Convection heat melts fat and creates steam faster, which helps to create more lift in pie doughs and pastries such as croissants. Because it is an even heat, convection cooking also allows you to bake more than one tray of cookies at a time without the need to rotate them part way through baking.
Covered cooking: If you’re covering up a side dish with a lid or a casserole dish with foil, moisture loss is not an issue, so you might as well cook on the convection setting.
- Lower the temperature: Lower the recommended oven temperature by 25°F with convection because it heats more evenly and best of all, more quickly.
- Check earlier and more often: Foods cooked with convection should cook faster and be ready sooner than you’re used to, so check on them periodically until you get the hang of convection cooking.
- Make sure air can circulate: Convection cooking depends on air circulation to work properly. Use trays, roasting pans, and shallow baking pans if possible, and don’t cover the oven shelves with foil. Space foods out so there is room for air to circulate all the way around.