Conventional ovens bake and roast by surrounding food with heat from the bottom of the oven cavity. Broiling food has intense heat coming from above, either in the oven, or behind a small door under the oven.
Convection ovens work basically the same as a conventional oven with the addition of a fan in the back of the oven that circulates heated air around the food in a swirling pattern. When the fan is turned on, hot air blows around the inside of the oven. It’s the fan that promotes even heating and more rapid cooking than a conventional oven.
So does a convection oven cook faster than a conventional oven? The short answer to the question of which cooks faster is simple: the convection oven cooks faster. Studies show that though cooking times vary slightly from oven to oven, generally convection ovens cooks 25% faster than conventional ovens at a lower cooking temperature of about 25 degrees F.
The more interesting question is why this is so.
Why Does This Process Produce a Faster Cooking Time?
The word convection itself answers this question. In the laws of physics, convection is defined as the transfer of heat by the circulation or movement of the heated parts of a liquid or gas. By circulating heated air through the use of a fan in the oven, the convection principle takes hold.
In a conventional oven, the heated air is stagnant. There is no rapid flow, thus producing a slower cooking time.
The convection oven creates a dry atmosphere that caramelizes faster when roasting, so foods like meats and vegetables get browner but the interiors stay moist. Cookies also bake to chewy, delicious perfection.
Advantage of a Convection Oven
More Energy Efficient
Less gas or electricity is used because food cooks quicker and at a lower temperature than in a conventional oven. This translates into a savings in both dollars and energy usage.