Knowing what type of oven you have is essential to creating perfectly baked meals. With so many types of ovens on the market, it can be confusing to know which type is right for your cooking and baking needs.
We’re here to clear up the mysticism and break down the 3 main types of ovens used for cooking and baking. We’ll let you know how they work and who they’re best for, so you can remain confident in the kitchen and feel like a baking pro.
CONVENTIONAL GAS OVEN
Conventional gas ovens are the most common type of oven you will encounter, having been a fixture in households since the 1950s. However, there are differences even within the tried and true conventional oven. They can be operated by either gas or electric which will alter cooking times and style. Conventional gas ovens work by heating from the bottom up, with a gas flame as the heat source.
Pros of a Gas Oven
Just like cooking with a gas stove top, a gas oven allows for easier temperature control than its electric counterpart. The flame flickers on and off to maintain temperature, making it easy to adjust temperature quickly depending on your cooking needs. This also means the oven will heat up quicker than an electric one making your cooking and baking faster! All of this makes conventional gas ovens the favorites among chefs and advanced home cooks.
Cons of a Gas Oven
There are some downsides to these types of ovens however. They are known to have uneven temperatures at times and release more humidity, making it harder to properly crisp or brown food. This can result in burnt edges and cold or hot spots.
Who is a Gas Over best for?
If you prefer quick cook times, easy temperature control, and don’t mind some occasional inconsistencies in temperature, then a conventional gas oven is for you!
CONVENTIONAL ELECTRIC OVEN
Just like its gas counterpart, electric ovens heat food from the bottom up. However, instead of relying on an open flame, they use metal coils heated by (you guessed it) electricity. While gas ovens get the most praise, electric ovens could be considered the underestimated heroes of home baking.
Pros of an Electric Oven
Electric ovens tend to be cheaper than gas ovens, making it a great option for those on a budget. They also provide more even and consistent temperatures and don’t release as much moisture in the air. This dry oven environment makes it easier to brown your items, making it great for baking bread or roasting meats. They are also easier to clean than gas ovens, making them great for, shall we say… messy chefs.
Cons of an Electric Oven
Electric ovens take longer to heat up than gas, requiring longer cooking times. It also takes time to adjust the temperature of electric ovens, making it hard to switch between different types of cooking. Lastly, while the dry oven results in more even cooking, you do also run the risk of drying out cakes and other baked goods.
Who is an Electric Oven best for?
If speed is your main concern, electric ovens are not for you. However, if even temperatures, reliable browning, a dry oven, and upfront cost are of most importance, then a conventional electric oven is a great fit.
Just like conventional ovens, convection ovens can be operated by gas or electricity. The key difference though is that convection ovens have a fan and exhaust system that helps circulate hot air throughout the oven.
Pros of a Convection Oven
The fan and exhaust system means that you will have even cooking despite which rack your dish is on, also eliminating the need to rotate your dish throughout the cooking process. This means that you can cook more dishes at once, requiring less of your time and energy. The even temperature throughout means that you can get perfectly browned and baked dishes that are still moist and juicy on the inside.
Cons of a Convection Oven
Many are dissuaded by convection ovens due to their lack of familiarity with them. While they have been used for decades, they do require different cooking times. Most recipes were written with conventional ovens in mind. Convection ovens cook faster, meaning you have to adjust cooking times from your recipes.
Who is a Convection best for?
If your priority is both fast cooking times and even heat distribution, then a convection oven is a great fit. However, remember you will have to adjust cooking times for recipes, so if this dissuades you then we recommend sticking with a conventional oven.
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