Convection Confusion: A Guide to Oven Types

When you are looking for a new oven, it can be confusing since there are so many types of ovens on the market. This article will go over a few types of ovens so you can pick the right one for your home and cooking style.

Conventional Vs Convection Ovens

The first question you will likely have is the difference between a conventional and convection oven. A conventional oven is your traditional oven. It uses heating elements to heat the air inside of the oven. Most recipes are tuned to conventional ovens. A convection oven typically has a switch so it can function as either a convection oven or a conventional oven. 

When you flip the switch, fans push hot air to shorten cook times and eliminate hot and cold spots in the oven. This works well for baking and roasting, but you do need to adjust most recipes and watch food more closely. Convection ovens are typically more expensive upfront, but many serious home cooks love them since they eliminate hot spots that make food cook unevenly.

Heat Source

All ovens have a source of heat. Most homes use either gas or electric ovens. Gas ovens use natural gas that is burned for heat. Gas ovens have finer temperature control and typically retain moisture in food more easily. Gas is very popular for roasting meats. You will need a gas line to supply the oven, and they are typically more expensive. 

Electric ovens use electricity to create heat. They tend to be cheaper to buy and easy to use. They are a bit safer than a gas oven and are more common in apartments. You may also see steam ovens for sale. These use steam as the heat source. Most will have a section for water. These work well for meats and food you want to stay moist. These are frequently countertop units. 

There are also traditional ovens. These are large units made of brick or stone that are heated with fire. The most familiar form to most people is a brick pizza oven. Most homes use only an electric or gas oven. The other two are typically specialist products or are seen more in commercial settings.

Installation Style

There are a few types of ovens that may work for your home. Wall ovens are a popular choice in many homes. One or more ovens may be set in the wall to save space. These are great since you need to bend less to pull out your food. If your home was not equipped with this style originally, it can be a bit expensive to install. You may want to wait for a remodel to do this. Freestanding ovens are common and cheap. Most include a stove-top or cook-top in the unit. Most homes can take these so long as there is floor space and either an outlet or gas line available. Slide-in and drop-in ovens are similar, but they are meant to be installed into cabinetry in your home. They can be expensive and more difficult to install.

All of this information holds true for home use or if you are looking at a commercial oven for your business. The right type of oven for your needs will depend on your home and your budget. If you need to make any major changes to install an oven, that will drive up the cost. You can also select an oven based on your needs. Make sure you consider extra features like self-cleaning, wi-fi connection, or special settings for things like baking bread. Once you understand your needs and your current home set-up, it shouldn’t be too hard to pick the right oven for you.

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