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Thread: Convection vs. Conventional oven--worth the extra $$?

  1. #1
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    Convection vs. Conventional oven--worth the extra $$?

    Hi! After a recent kitchen mini-renovation (new counters, sink and cooktop) we have also discovered that we will need to purchase a new oven to work with the cooktop (our old oven is 15 yrs. old and works fine but it does not have a compatible hookup for the new cooktop).

    After doing some research I've found that convection ovens are becoming a popular option but I'm not really sure if I need one. I do love to bake but am not sure if the extra $500-$750 for the convection feature would be worth it. Basically we had not planned on spending the money for a new oven at all but since we're faced with this decision, plan to stay in this house for awhile and I do love to cook we don't want to just settle on something basic.

    Any advice you can provide is appreciated--thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Yes, it's worth it to me. I love mine. I have finally gotten the hang of it after a few goofs. Everything cooks faster and browns more evenly. Mine automatically converts the temperature to make up for the difference in convection cooking. The convection roast setting makes chicken brown wonderfully. If you can swing it, I think you will enjoy it.
    Margaret

  3. #3
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    I still have not figured out baking in mine, but I love it for roasting and other baked non-baked goods (i.e., like baking a chicken or making nachos, stuff like that).

    Depends on your finances and the price difference ultimately though--witness my sad thread about organic dairy.

    Actually, those of you who love it maybe can tell me the difference between baking convection and roasting convection--2 different buttons on mine.
    -Laura

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljt2r View Post
    Actually, those of you who love it maybe can tell me the difference between baking convection and roasting convection--2 different buttons on mine.
    I also have the baking and roasting convection modes. In mine (Monogram ZET2PLSS), convection bake uses the heating element at the back with the fan. Convection roast uses all 3 heating elements - fan, bottom, and top. My manual shows which elements work with which modes. I use convection roast for roasting meats and vegetables, convection bake for baked goods.

    (I can't recall if there's a heater element difference between Conv. Bake 1 rack and Conv. Bake multi rack in mine, but I have those 2 options within Convection Bake, too).

    Michelle

  5. #5
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    Ok, thanks guys for your replies! Before I posted I was kind of leaning towards sticking with the conventional but talking with DH over dinner he made the point that maybe convection is the way of the future? With the thinking that b/c it cooks faster that it might be more energy efficient?

    Anyway, I really don't roast meats that often (or veggies) but use my oven primarily for baking cookies, pies, cakes, etc. and heating/cooking other dishes like meatloaf, baked fish, etc. But maybe I would do more roasting if I had the convection.

    Primarily I'm wondering what kind of learning curve I can expect and if there is a big hassle to "convert" my standard recipes to use in a convection. Thanks so much for your input!

    Good news is that my old oven is still working but we haven't hooked up the cooktop so I can still do my baking for Thanksgiving (just pies for me--all the rest is done at my parent's house!)
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brendat4 View Post

    Primarily I'm wondering what kind of learning curve I can expect and if there is a big hassle to "convert" my standard recipes to use in a convection. Thanks so much for your input!
    Just don't walk away for any length of time when you first start using the convection feature. I was pretty surprised at how much faster everything browned. The GE Profile converts the temp to correspond with a recipe without you having to figure it out. I think you should go 25 degrees cooler with convection, not sure. Other than beautifully roasted chicken, I think my favorite thing is being able to cook 3 racks of cookies at once!
    Margaret

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brendat4 View Post

    Primarily I'm wondering what kind of learning curve I can expect and if there is a big hassle to "convert" my standard recipes to use in a convection.
    I don't adjust any of my recipes at all for the convection, neither time nor temperature. At best, with baked goods you *might* see a 10% time reduction, which isn't all that significant with the length of time of most baking. Roasted meats, especially those that take a while (like turkey ) will sometimes see more than 10%, especially the larger cuts.

    You generally won't see any advantage for dishes where the surface of food isn't exposed to the air movement, like casseroles.

    The primary advantage I've seen of convection is uniform, even heating/baking/roasting. There is significantly more even cooking with convection so you're not opening the oven to rotate pans, etc. I love my ovens!

    Michelle

  8. #8
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    Just don't get a Kitchenaid range with convection. In mine, whatever is in the rear of the oven, by the fan, browns quickly while the food in the front stays white. It's a pain to use in convection mode, so I never do. A regrettable purchase.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkc View Post
    I don't adjust any of my recipes at all for the convection, neither time nor temperature. At best, with baked goods you *might* see a 10% time reduction, which isn't all that significant with the length of time of most baking.
    Same here, although I think see somewhere around a 20% reduction in baking time for most baked goods.

    gperls, I had a KitchenAid convection oven and hated it. It would randomly shut itself off (it had overly sensitive electronic touch controls), but it was really the stovetop on the unit that drove me crazy. I was so glad when we got rid of it.

  10. #10
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    THere is "true" convection and "fake" convection. I don't know if it is applicable to wall ovens but I learned about this when shopping for stoves several years ago.

    True convection ovens have an additional heat source whereas the "fake" convection ovens just have a fan or something that blows the air around to distribute it.

    Needless to say the stoves with the "true" convection were the priciest.
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