Convection Vs. Gas Oven Cooking

Traditionally, kitchen ovens utilize either gas or electric to prepare meals.

Convection Cooking

Convection cooking may not be ideal for everyone due to its advanced cooking platform.Convection cooking may not be ideal for everyone due to its advanced cooking platform.
The actual cooking platform of these appliances is quite similar as gas and electric ovens heat dishes through a lower and upper heating element. Convection ovens are significantly different from their traditional gas oven counterpart as the heat transfer and quality of heat control are significantly different.

The goal of a convection oven is to circulate evenly heated air throughout the interior oven cavity. Unlike conventional ovens, which use an upper and lower heating element to cook foods, convection ovens utilize a third heating element and a fan to move heated air around the dishes, which promotes even temperatures in the oven, resulting in foods being cooked faster and with even results. Nancy’s Kitchen states convection ovens reduce overall cooking time by 20 percent even though the foods are prepared at a temperature 20 percent lower.

Conventional Gas Cooking

Conventional gas ovens work by introducing gas to the pilot light, which raises the temperature to prepare foods. Traditionally, a gas oven features a thermostat on the main gas line, and when the oven knob is activated, gas is released to the pilot light and small flames are ignited. The thermostat monitors the temperature within the oven, and when the set temperature is met, the safety valve cuts off gas flow to the pilot light. In a typical gas oven, there is a lower main heating element joined by a broiling element at the top of the oven interior.

Drawbacks

Perhaps the main drawback of a conventional gas oven is the lack of air circulation. Because there is no fan circulating the air, heat can become blocked due to large pots and pans, which creates hot pockets of air that can cook foods in that area faster than in different spots of the oven. When this happens, the user must manipulate the pots and pans on the racks throughout the cooking process, which may result in unevenly cooked foods. A major drawback for a convection oven is the difference in cooking times and temperatures when compared to a traditional oven. Due to the swift cooking properties of a convection oven, recipes must be reworked for this type of oven.

Price

As of February 2011, convection ovens typically cost more than a conventional gas oven. The mid-grade Whirlpool WFG374LVS gas oven features an MSRP of $800 while the comparable Frigidaire FGGF3054KF Convection Range is priced at $1,150.

About the Author

Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.