Recent cooking innovations in kitchen ranges have resulted in more evenly cooked meals being served to the table quicker than ever. Thankfully, restaurant-caliber features are becoming increasingly available to households, as mid-level brands continue to manufacture products with technology meant to surpass expectations for reliability.
Home cooks, rejoice: Convection and air fry oven ranges have hit the mid-end market, upping the ante on how efficiently we can prepare our foods—both in terms of how the cooking fuel is channeled and how fast they can churn out dinner entrées and delicious desserts.
Because convection cooking and air frying both operate with increased heat being directed in a more encompassing manner, you’ll need to modify the temperature and cooking times for recipes of your favorite foods. Here is Aztec Appliance’s guide for cooking with these two revolutionary oven settings!
What is a Convection Oven Range?
Most compellingly, thanks to the convection setting, your meals can retain their flavor without losing any natural juices or smoking out the nutrients during the baking process.
Before we continue, it should be noted that there are distinctions between convection settings. With standard convection ovens, there is still a fan on the back that circulates heat, but the hot air is coming from elements at the bottom of the oven cavity, just like your classic oven. Due to the heat rising from the bottom-up, a drawback of standard convection is that it struggles to bake multiple racks at once. In other words, there may not be even results across the top, middle, and bottom racks.
Then, there is true convection. Also referred to as “European” or “True European” convection, this setting features an additional heating element behind the fan. With true convection, the oven’s heat is coming from the back of the cavity rather than from the bottom, and what’s more, this option circulates fresh hot air rather than pre-heated air. With this option, you can bake on all your racks and achieve equal results no matter where you set down your tray or pan.
What is an Air Fry Oven Range?
Also available as an option in convection ovens and ranges, an air fry oven setting replaces the need for a countertop air fryer.
Requiring far less oil than traditional oven-roasting and deep-frying methods, air frying your foods is the healthiest cooking approach with minimal fat involved.
And before you ask: Yes, despite their similar results, this tech does differ from convection bake settings—both in terms of the speed at which the convection fans operate and the temperature of the oven. Air fry settings step it up on both counts.
Available at a touch of a button on all models available in the market currently, including the famed Frigidaire Air Fry range, the air fry setting doesn’t require you to preheat your oven. To use this cooking mode, just place your tray of food on the rack, press the Air Fry button on your range’s control panel, set the appropriate temperature (between 350 and 500 degrees), and select “Start.”
How to Convert Recipes for a Convection Oven Range
Now that we’ve outlined the key differences between convection and air fry oven settings, we can discuss how your favorite recipes can be modified for each method.
Let’s start with convection ovens again.
There are actually two options you can try when using the convection oven setting. The first option is decreasing the time by about 25 percent (multiplying the time in minutes by 0.75) while retaining the temperature set forth by the recipe for a conventional oven. The second option is to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and abide by the cook time in the recipe for a conventional oven.
The second option is generally preferred while the first option is deemed viable for those who are cooking on a time crunch. Since there are convection ranges and wall ovens that automatically convert the temperature and lower by 25 degrees, we advise reading your user manual closely.
For illustrative purposes, we provided a cheat sheet with approximate temperature and time conversions for cooking holiday favorites with a convection oven, along with some pro tips. Check them out!
|Food||Conventional||Convection Option #1||Convection Option #2|
|Roasted turkey (12 pounds)||325 degrees for 3 hours 30 minutes||325 degrees for 2 hours 45 minutes||300 degrees for 3 hours 30 minutes|
|Baked ham (6 pounds)||350 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes||350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes||325 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes|
|Meatloaf (1.5 pounds)||350 degrees for 1 hour||350 degrees for 45 minutes||325 degrees for 1 hour|
|Chicken wings (3 pounds)||400 degrees for 45 minutes||400 degrees for 35 minutes||375 degrees for 45 minutes|
|Baked potato||400 degrees for 45 minutes||400 degrees for 35 minutes||375 degrees for 45 minutes|
|Roasted vegetables||400 degrees for 55 minutes||400 degrees for 40 minutes||375 degrees for 55 minutes|
|Cookies||350 degrees for 12 minutes||350 degrees for 9 minutes||325 degrees for 12 minutes|
|Brownies||350 degrees for 30 minutes||350 degrees for 22 minutes||325 minutes for 30 minutes|
Other Convection Cooking Tips:
- For crispier exteriors and juicier flavor in your roasts, try dry-brining and refrigerating meat and chicken for at least one hour before cooking.
- Check the oven 5 to 10 minutes sooner than your recipe says. Note that some ovens automatically lower the temperature when you use the convection setting.
- To allow optimal air circulation, convection works best with a light-colored aluminum pan with low sides.
- Because convection relies on air being able to circulate, be careful of overcrowding the oven and blocking the flow of air.
- Place a pan filled with 1 inch of simmering water on the oven floor before baking artisan breads that need to bake at a very high heat. The steam helps create a crispy, crackly crust.
- Don’t use convection for cooking cakes, quick breads, custards, or soufflés—these run the risk of cooking unevenly, rising less impressively, and developing unpleasant crusts.
How to Convert Recipes for an Air Fry Oven Range
Now, onto recipe conversions for air fry settings!
When following recipes for conventional ovens, the formula is this: Reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and reduce the cook time by about 20 percent. To calculate the latter, multiply the cook time in minutes by 0.8. The resulting number is the estimated number of minutes it will take your air fry oven range to churn out your food. And, as is the case for convection ranges, be sure to check your user manual for automated temperature settings.
Once again, we provided some pro tips and a cheat sheet with approximate temperature and time conversions for cooking the same holiday foods with an air fry oven. Check them out!
|Food||Conventional||Air Fry Option|
|Roasted turkey (12 pounds)||325 degrees for 3 hours 30 minutes||300 degrees for 2 hours 50 minutes|
|Baked ham (6 pounds)||350 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes||325 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes|
|Meatloaf (1.5 pounds)||350 degrees for 1 hour||325 degrees for 45 minutes|
|Chicken wings (3 pounds)||400 degrees for 45 minutes||375 degrees for 35 minutes|
|Baked potato||400 degrees for 45 minutes||375 degrees for 35 minutes|
|Roasted vegetables||400 degrees for 55 minutes||375 degrees for 45 minutes|
|Cookies||350 degrees for 12 minutes||325 degrees for 9 minutes|
|Brownies||350 degrees for 30 minutes||325 degrees for 25 minutes|
Other Air Fry Cooking Tips:
- Use minimal oil to avoid soggy results. Lightly spray, using no more than 1 tablespoon.
- Avocado, grapeseed, peanut, and extra light olive oils achieve the crispiest results. Extra virgin olive oil and other vegetable oils can cause food to dry up quickly and prevent them from getting crispy.
- To allow optimal air circulation, air fry works best with a dark, non-stick baking sheet with low sides.
- Don’t overcrowd the food on your baking sheet. If air can’t circulate around each item, the cooking and crisping process may slow down and allow more grease to settle or drip.
- If your catch-tray is smoking, try placing parchment paper on it to hold grease.
- Keep foil, parchment paper, and bakeware off the bottom of the oven. The oven bottom needs to stay clear so air can circulate.
Hungry for More?
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