Temperature Differences in Fan-Forced Ovens
Fan-forced ovens use a cooking method that's different from that of a traditional oven. Also known as convection ovens, these ovens use a fan that pushes heat around the food, cooking it from all sides. These ovens let you cook your favorite food much faster because the heat distributes evenly around the food, rather than heating from one direction as a regular oven does.
Three Methods of Cooking
When cooking in a fan-forced oven, you have three different methods of cooking available. The first method involves cooking the food according to the time frame listed on the recipe, but turning the temperature down 25 degrees from the one the recipes uses. The second method involves cooking the food at the temperature the recipe calls for, but cooking it in less time. You also have the option of cooking the food in less time and at a lower temperature.
The Gourmet Sleuth website recommends looking at the recipe and the type of dish or pan before cooking in a convection oven. The site claims that food cooked in shallow dishes or pans and food cooked on cookie sheets are best suited for a convection oven. Deep pans, large roasting pans, covered dishes and casseroles are best suited for a traditional oven.
Fan-forced ovens push air around the food, cooking the food up to 30 percent faster than it would cook in a traditional oven. When you cook in a large dish or cook an item that requires a lid or cover, you should avoid a convection oven. The air inside the oven cannot reach the food, which means you will have to cook the dish as long as you would in a regular oven. Convection ovens also have a tendency to produce dry food, and food with less moisture should be cooked in a traditional oven.
If you want to cook the food at a lower temperature in a fan-forced oven, try lowering the oven temperature by 25 degrees. For example, if the recipe calls for baking at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, then lower the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the type of food cooked, you may need an even lower temperature. If you want to cook the food in a fan-forced oven at the recommended temperature for a traditional oven, then reduce the cooking time by 25 to 30 percent. For food that's supposed to bake for 30 minutes, bake it instead for 21 to 23 minutes.