The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Convection Baking question...

amkight's picture

Convection Baking question...

So my mom has a fancy new oven and it has the option to use convection baking. Does anyone have experience with this? Should I adjust the baking time or anything? Please give me LOTS of advice!!!! (i'm excited about using it but would prefer to not burn down my mom's kitchen :))


pattycakes's picture

The rule of thumb with convection adjustment in recipes is to lower the heat 25 degrees and bake a shorter time. What I notice is that each oven is different, and you really have to get a handle on what your mom's oven does. Start with the above adjustment and notice how it turns out. Keep an eye on the time and peek halfway through normal cooking time. Keep peaking until you whatever you're baking is done.

You can expect a drier bake of anything, and if it's has good convection, you should be able to load the oven up more than normal. My first convection oven was the Vulcan Snorkel, a real commercial oven, and I could bake twenty loaves of bread, hip by jowl, top and bottom shelves full loaded, and they all came out exactly the same. I have a Thermador now, which cost 3 times as much and won't even bake a sheet of cookies evenly. They are not all engineered the same, to put it mildly.

Good luck!


ladychef41's picture

Some of the newer convection ovens automatically adjust when using the convection option. I have an older one that does not, but my sister bought one less than a year ago and hers automatically adjusts for convection cooking. I agree, rule of thumb is drop temp 25 degrees (if it doesn't automatically adjust already) and keep an eye on everything the first time you bake/cook it... THEN be sure to NOTE the adjusted time on your recipe for the future!



bobm1's picture

as above, reduce bake temps 25 to 30F. don't be surprised if you bake times shorten by half. also, if your using steam be aware that in convection mode your oven is venting. maybe use convection to breing the oven to temp, then turn it off during the first part of the bake and return to convection to vent steam and crisp the crust. above all, keep a close eye!

davidinportland's picture

I just got a convention oven today ... was a gift and I'm thrilled. I'm a confident cook and baker, but other than baking program in culinary school, haven't used convection. What do you convectioneers use it for other than baking? Roasting, broiling, etc.? Any things you absolutely do not use it for?




maurdel's picture

My favorites are :

-roasted vegies (half-sheet of sliced onions, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, sweet pots.etc... whatever you've got. Toss w/ a light coating of olive oil and some seasoning

Convect. roasted chicken. Simple, quite a bit faster than conventional oven and comes out both crisp and juicy.

DON'Ts - for me are : cakes,  and anything you want to stay moist, such as casseroles, creme caramel, custards.

I don't like mine for yeast breads, I believe the crusts harden too quickly and stunt the oven rise.

I do like it for cookies and pie crusts, whole fruit pies too. I usually don't reduce temp. for the cookies and crusts, but I do for filled pies.

I would try known cookings first and watch for the differences.

What does everyone think about pizza?  convect. or not? I'm leaning towards NOT--- and (NO i'm not talking about the frozen kind, cause I think that would be a yes for convection. ;))


Pain Partout's picture
Pain Partout

Not all ovens cook alike in convection mode.  Not all home ovens are alike, even at holding a temperature.   I love my Dacor, now 5 years old.  I had a Thermador before, and it was not nearly as good, and very noisy.  There certainly seems to be big differences between oven manufacturers.   As others have said, just lower your temps about 25 degrees from "standard" oven baking.  I cook ALL my breads via convection.  Pizza... though.. I cook with "regular baking".  Convection ovens can over-brown dairy products, and a few other things.  Go for it.  Baking breads via full convection in a good oven can not be beaten.

ladychef41's picture

Everything!!!! Except broiling!! lol... The beauty of the new convection ovens is that you can choose to use the option or not. Experiment; that's part of the fun!

Enjoy David!



pattycakes's picture

If you have a very powerful convection, it will beautifully roast turkey or meat, but you won't get the pan drippings that a regular roast will produce...or they will be burned if you don't add liquid to the pan.


davidg618's picture

I've had a convection oven for six years, and use it for nearly everything.

The exceptions are any tightly foil wrapped items, or covered dishes. For example I smoke pork butt and spare ribs in a backyard smoker, charcoal fired, and it is labor intensive. Once the meat has smoked enough, 4 to 5 hours for butts, 2 to 2 1/2 for ribs, I wrap the meat in aluminum foil and finish it in a slow oven in the ordinary thermal mode. Braised meats, baked beans, cassolettes, and covered casseroles I also use the thermal mode.

I use probe thermometers with remote readouts for all my roasting, so I've no idea how much time I'm saving in convection mode, but I do lower the temperature 25 degrees of long roasting periods--more than three hours. Short roasting periods--less than an hour--wherein I want to sear the the meat's surface, I use the recommended temperature.

Baking: I use convection for everything, but I don't lower the temperature. I use a hand-held probe thermometer to measure the internal temperature for doneness, so I don't know if I'm saving time. However, biscuits or cookies usually take the recipe's recommended baking time, so I don't think I'm saving any significant time on convection baking. I also like the high heat influence on steam and crust formation. I usually use 480°F at the beginning of most lean dough bakings, and I lower the temperature midway.

A final caution: Depending on the pan or bread loave's size and shape despite the convection I get slightly uneven browning. Scientifically, I think it's because the airflow from the rear-mounted fan breaks into turbulent flow on the far side of the larger shapes, much like cars create a vacuum at the rear when driving down the road. Consequently, I rotate large boules, batards, multiple baguettes and large rectangular pans about half-way through baking. Small boules, cookies, biscuits, and rolls don't need to be rotated. It's a bit of a nuisance, but I do it with the peel or oven mitts for safety. You might want to watch for this.

David G

davidinportland's picture

Thanks for all the good advice. I've been enjoying convection cooking and having great results.



saracarrol's picture

After reading your post I searched a little bit in the web and got this. I think this is going to be a comprehensive guideline for you. Best of luck to you J