Reader question: What adjustments should be made for a convection oven? Do I adjust the time or the temperature? My copy of the cookbook should arrive today – I heard you on Martha Stewart Radio. I am looking forward to making wonderful meals this weekend. – Janelle F., Montgomery, Alabama
[ad#Right align in post]Great question, Janelle! To answer it well, we first need to understand how convection ovens work. In a convection oven, several fans circulate the air as it is heated. The effect is to make the baking or roasting of uncovered foods, like cookies, roasts, cakes, etc. happen more quickly. Convection ovens routinely drop the desired temperature by 15 degrees F to compensate for the increased exposure of the food to the heat so that the food doesn’t become overdone.
Glorious One-Pot Meals remain lidded the entire time they are in the oven; as such, they do not get any additional benefit from the circulating hot air. Moreover, they do not cook properly at 435° F; For Glorious One-Pot Meal success, your oven must be at 450° F before placing the loaded and covered pot inside.
Many ovens offer the choice between convection and conventional settings. I always choose conventional when possible as it uses less energy. If using a convection oven, however, just be sure to compensate for the automatic temperature drop. Your best bet is to place a stand-alone oven thermometer in the oven to ensure you have the correct temp before inserting your Dutch oven.
Thanks for listening to the interview and happy cooking!