You must be following my posts and that’s why you’re here to know more about the toaster ovens and the convection ovens. Since I’m a university going student, I get very less time to cook and eat something properly.
There were times when I used to eat only bread with a glass of milk or just cereals, but that wasn’t energetic enough for me to spend the whole day. Then my friend recommended using toaster ovens for faster and easy cooking.
Now I’m so much used to these appliances as they are a part of my daily routine, and at this point, I’ve learned so much about them that I can easily explain the convection ovens and toaster ovens.
Toasters have been evolved a lot since their inception and now they are very advanced and fulfill almost all the culinary needs.
You can choose from a variety of toaster ovens according to your budget and preference. Most of the advanced and latest ovens are equipped with a toaster oven convection feature which many of us are unaware of.
This post contains all that you need to know about the toaster and convection ovens and some oven recipes too to make your cooking easier and yummier.
Conventional toaster oven Vs. Convection toaster oven:
A convection toaster oven is the one that has a built-in fan. Overall the toaster is similar to a standard toaster oven but the presence of the built-in fan makes it a convection toaster oven. There are convection ovens and toaster ovens and both are used for different purposes.
What heat source does a Conventional toaster oven uses?
A regular/traditional toaster oven uses the following heat sources to cook the food:
- Hot air that surrounds the food within the oven.
- Radiant heat that is produced by the metal walls and other heating elements of the oven.
- Conduction that occurs from the baking pan and reaches the food item placed inside it.
How does a Convection toaster oven heats?
Convection oven is one which has an exhaust system and a fan which other traditional ovens don’t have. The fan and exhaust system help in distributing the hot air inside the oven so that the food is cooked properly and faster.
The heat sources used in the convection oven are the same but the radiant heat that is produced by the heating elements is super-charged by a fan. The convection fan stimulates the cooking process by circulating the warm air inside the oven. This circulation of warm air inside the oven allows the food to cook evenly. A convection oven is more beneficial because it:
- Increases the temperature of the oven and keeps it constant and perfect for cooking.
- Cook the food more evenly and faster as compared to the traditional ovens.
- Roasts the food perfectly as it improves the browning process and removes moisture to avoid sogginess.
Convection Oven Vs. Toaster Oven:
A point to remember is that, not all the toaster ovens are convection ovens. To check whether your oven has the toaster oven convection feature or not, you should go through these points:
- Have a look at the control panel. If your oven is a digital one it will have a small button labeled as ‘convection’ or ‘conv’ or it may show a symbol of fan.
- If the oven has knobs, there must be a knob labeled with convection. Some ovens, however, have a different way to use the convection feature.
- There are some models of Kitchenaid countertop convection oven that don’t have a separate button for selecting the convection feature. Such types of toaster ovens have the fan switched on all the time and it can’t be turned off when the oven is in use.
- Some other toaster ovens such as the Breville Smart oven Pro, start the convection function themselves such as while baking and roasting. If you want to turn off the oven in between, you can just push the button and the fan icon will disappear.
There are many different models of toaster and convection ovens available on the market and they serve to be the best kitchen gadgets. The size of the toaster and convection ovens is more or less the same and you won’t find any such difference. There are large countertop convection ovens and there are small ones too, and you can get one according to your preference.
The cost of all the ovens depends on their functionality and model. Each model has to offer different features and it is imperative that you read the label and know about the features before buying them.
Safety and maintenance:
Whether you’re using a convection oven or a toaster oven, it is important to take care of it and properly maintain it. An important tip to remember is to let the oven cool down and then clean it. Don’t use coarse or harsh cleaners because they can damage the oven’s material. Clean the toaster oven tray regularly and maintain it properly so that it lasts long. Cleaning and maintenance of a toaster and convection oven are same.
The toaster and convection ovens differ from each other in terms of energy consumption. The toaster ovens take more time to get heated and to cook the food, and thus they consume more energy as compared to the toaster ovens with convection feature. The convection ovens cook food faster and they consume lesser energy.
Convection ovens are thus more economical in the long run as they consume lesser energy and they save a lot of time too. This is the reason most of the toaster ovens are equipped with the convection feature these days.
The cooking temperature of the ovens varies according to the type and model. This is because the heat source used in both types of oven is different from each other. The toaster ovens use the same heat source as it is used in a large regular oven and they are equipped with a fast-heating source present inside them.
Convection ovens cooking temperature is a bit different and it should be less than 25 degrees as stated in the recipe. This is because the hot air is circulating in the oven and it cooks the meal rapidly. The cooking time should also be reduced to 1/4th of the actual time written in a recipe.
How to use a Convection Toaster Oven?
If you aren’t satisfied with your baking thing, you must try using a convection toaster oven. Convection toaster ovens prepare food in just the way you want them to be; that is, crispy on the outside and tender from inside. If you have the toaster oven’s convection feature, you can easily use this setting to bake your foods. However, to use the convection feature, we have some tips for you so that you don’t end up having a bad experience.
Following are the tips to consider:
- Whatever the temperature is listed on a recipe, reduce it to 25 degrees lesser.
- The time for cooking should also be reduced. Check the time mentioned in the recipe and look whether the food is done or not at 2/3 or ¾ of the recipe time.
- To get the best results, use un-rimmed baking sheets or roasting pans. Even if you don’t have them, using rimmed pans won’t harm the cooking.
- Leave some space between your foods and don’t stuff it too much. Always allow the hot air to circulate so that it can do perfect cooking.
- Never cover the food because then it won’t be able to be cooked properly. The hot circulating air should come in direct contact with the food.
Can you put aluminum foil in a toaster oven?
Aluminum foil is a perfect thing to wrap your foods and leftovers. However, it isn’t always the best choice to be used in a toaster oven. Most of the toaster oven manufacturers don’t recommend using a foil in a toaster oven. The reason behind this instruction is that, metal can cause a spark when it comes in contact with heat. The spark can cause damage to the oven and can even result in fire. Aluminum foil is made up of aluminum and it can get very hot and can damage to the oven. However, some manufacturers don’t have any particular instruction for not using aluminum foil and thus it is important to check the manual of the toaster oven before using it.
Can you bake a cake in a convection oven?
Many people might have told you that you can’t bake a cake in the convection oven because it can dry out food items such as bread, muffins, and cakes. We thought to give it a try and we tried baking some chocolate muffins in a toaster oven. The result was pretty surprising:
- The muffins were crispy from outside and tender and moist from inside. You can use the best countertop convection oven with rotisserie and try baking yourself to check the results. Even minimalist toasters with fewer features can help you bake a cake easily.
- Cookies and pies will be cooked very uniformly and they’ll turn up to be as brown as you want. Pastries are also cooked fluffy in a toaster oven but as far as cakes are concerned, many people complain them to be dry. However, you can try yourself by adjusting the temperature and let us know in the comments.
How your toaster oven cooks?
A toaster oven is a lightweight and compact appliance and it is one of the most useful kitchen gadgets one can own. A toaster oven’s main feature is to reduce the cooking time by half as compared to other conventional ovens. A toaster oven cooks small food items that need to be cooked and toasted at the same time, unlike the toaster that can just toast breads and bagels. A toaster oven has heating elements that allow the hot air to build inside and if there is a convection feature, the hot air circulates and cooks the food in half time, and makes it crispy too.
Best Foods to Cook with Convection Oven:
Convection oven can be used for preparing different types of foods, and the functioning depends a lot on the type of meal you’re preparing. Some foods require just the toaster oven function while others will need the toaster oven’s convection feature too. You can also try some convection oven casserole recipes because casseroles cook very finely in such oven.
Tips for better cooking in a convection oven:
Following are the tips to cook foods with a convection oven:
- If you need to roast vegetables or meat, the best idea is to use a convection oven because they’ll get roasted in the best browning way.
- You can also bake pies, croissants, and cookies in a convection oven as they’ll let you achieve the desired lifting you want for them.
- Some really tasty sausage recipes work very well with the convection oven. This is because the fan and exhaust system adjusts well to the steam produced.
- Basically, it all depends on your taste and preference of foods. It depends whether you want your food to be crunchy, soft, and moister or dried up and you can do a countertop convection oven comparison to get the best one for you.
If you’re wondering which the best foods to cook with convection oven are, we have compiled a basic list so that you prepare your food easily without any confusion.
- Roasted meat (chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, beef etc.)
- Roasted vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts etc.)
Toaster Oven Recipes:
We have compiled some tasty and scrumptious countertop convection oven recipes for your toaster oven with the convection feature. You can try these toaster oven recipes and surprise your family because these recipes are very mouthwatering. Following are two delicious convection oven recipes for a happy meal time:
Preparation time: 30 mins
Total cooking time: 4 hours
Serving: 3 cups
- 5 lbs. tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- 2 large sliced shallots
- ¼ cup extra virgin oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup capers (drained)
- Finely chopped can anchovies (2 ounce drained)
- Preheat the toaster oven to 275 degrees and put two tablespoon extra virgin oil in a bowl. Toss the shallots in the bowl.
- Spread the shallots in a paper lined baking sheet. Now put tomatoes in the same bowl and add more extra virgin oil. Also add salt and pepper for seasoning.
- Spread the tomatoes over shallots and make sure the cut size is on the top.
- Bake these tomatoes for 3 hours, then take out and let them cool.
- Take a large bowl or tray and place the tomatoes and shallots along with capers and anchovies.
- Cover the food with olive oil and refrigerate overnight.
- Serve with grilled sandwiches or bread.
2.Ground beef nachos:
Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3 persons
- Ground beef 1 lb.
- Tortilla chips 1 bag
- Cheddar cheese 1 cup
- Jalapenos chopped (2)
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Chopped onion
- green bell pepper chopped
- sour cream for topping
- garlic powder 1 tbsp
- chili powder 1 tbsp
- Preheat the toaster oven to 350 F.
- Put oil in a pan and add beef and start cooking it on medium heat. Keep on stirring it with a wooden spoon.
- Add salt, garlic powder, pepper, and chili powder and continue stirring it.
- Add chopped onion and bell peppers and mix properly.
- Cook the meat for around 10 to 15 minutes till it’s completely done.
- Add the tortilla chips to a baking pan and top them with minced beef, cheese, and jalapenos.
- Bake it on 350 F for around 10 minutes.
- Take it out and top with sour cream, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes.
Convection Oven FAQ:
Do I need some special pans for cooking?
It isn’t necessary to use some special pans for cooking in a convection oven, but there are some cooking pans that cook better than others. Some pans made up of aluminum are mostly recommended for baking because they ease browning. Pans and dishes made up of earthenware or ceramic don’t conduct heat readily and thus bottom heating element has to be used for them.
Can I use glass cookware for cooking?
Yes, you can easily use glass bakeware or cookware. If you’re using a conventional oven you’ll have to reduce the temperature by 25 degree F but this doesn’t need to be done with a convection oven. You can easily use glass bakeware at the normal temperature in a convection oven.
Do I need to adjust the conventional oven recipes before cooking in a convection oven?
Yes, you have to adjust those recipes which are written for conventional ovens because convection ovens cook faster than conventional ovens. If you’re baking you’ll have to lower the temperature of the convection oven by 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I cook evenly if there is more than one rack?
You can easily cook evenly if you have to use more than one rack for cooking. This is what a convection oven is designed for, as the hot air circulates around the rack and keep the food well-heated and brown. You won’t even need to rotate the rack because the heat will circulate and cook evenly in the oven.
Words of Caution:
- Never use a lid or a cover for cooking in a convection oven. This is because a lid won’t allow hot air to come in direct contact with the food.
- I don’t recommend using the self-cleaning method of an oven because it can be hazardous for the health.
- Always unplug the toaster or convection oven after using it.
- Never stick a fork or knife in the toaster oven when it is plugged.
Convection ovens are not very common as compared to the conventional ovens. However, people who prefer cooking food in a fast and uniform way always use the convection ovens. The difference between the toaster and convection oven is the way they heat the food. A convection oven saves time and energy and gives uniform results. However, some practice is needed to cook in such an oven and if you’re willing to improve the tastes of your food, you must give it a try.
Jeannie Adamson says
Thank you, I appreciated your detailed explanation and discussion, of the difference between conventional and convection toaster ovens. As a result, I am going to spend the extra money and get a convection toaster oven that will better serve my needs, Sincerely, Jeannie
Glad to hear that our research helped you make a better decision.
Mr. D says
Good explanation, height inside of oven and shelf height (some are adjustable) also factors in especially without convection feature and also wattage of oven.