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What Is A Convection Toaster Oven

What Is A Convection Toaster Oven
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What is a convection toaster oven? Convection toaster ovens are toaster ovens that have an in-built fan. Generally, these toasters are like the standard toaster ovens, but the existence of the inbuilt fan is what makes it different. Toaster ovens and convection ovens have different functions.

A Convection Toaster Oven
Photo Credits: amandabergery, Flickr.com

Convection toaster ovens are high speed and very effective types of the non-convection toaster oven. They operate by 4 different principles to steadily heat food: these are warm air, conduction, radiant heat and fan(s). 

After the heating elements inside the appliance warms the air, it is then distributed around the interiors of the toaster oven by the inbuilt fan(s).

You might be wondering how this oven is different from a toaster oven. Not to worry, by the end of this article you will appreciate this lovely appliance. 

We are going to look at everything the convection toaster oven can do as compared to the traditional oven types to make deliciously appetizing meals that you love. 

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

What Makes the Convection Toaster Oven Unique?

Like we earlier stated the convection toaster oven has similar working mechanisms with the normal bake oven. They only differ with the presence of a built-in fan in the former which helps it to steadily circulate heat around the appliance.

Fundamentally, they use three distinct heat sources to cook foods. The first heat source is the characteristic radiant heat emitted by heating elements and metal walls of this appliance. 

The second heating mechanism used by a convection toaster oven is hot air in the appliance that encompasses your food. The third heat source is conduction from the baking pan that holds your food inside the appliance.

The fan inside the appliance forces warm air that surrounds your food to be distributed around the food, heating it comprehensively in the process. This heating process ensures that food is cooked faster and evenly because heat is spread uniformly to all sides.

It also removes steam or moisture from the food which boosts crispiness on meats and browning when roasting vegetables. This reduces the risk of hot spots formation and the temperature inside the oven increases rapidly as a result. 

An amazing fact about this appliance is that it accommodates different recipes. They sometimes include features such as slow cooking and air frying depending on the model. As you can already imagine, you may not need a traditional built-in conventional oven if you have a very big convection oven. 

The best way to know if a toaster oven has the convection features is by checking the appliance for any Turbo or convection (‘Conv’) setting or a fan symbol in the control buttons. 

They are also bigger than other toaster ovens and the inbuilt fan is noticeable as some are located on the sides of the appliance, but this is not a rule.

Some models have their fan turned on throughout your cooking and they can’t be switched off while the toaster oven is working. Others start the convectional function themselves during food roasting or baking but you can turn it off in between if you wish.

Video: Facts About Convection Ovens

This video will show you five facts about convection ovens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdzvkMMDyVc

Facts About Non-Convection Toaster Ovens

They can be small as compared to the convection oven, but it depends on the models. Conventional toasters may be able to accommodate 6 or 8 slices of bread at the same time, but they are smaller in height and are less bulky.

Non-convection ovens are very effective appliances for reheating food. They conserve more energy than the normal built-in ovens. They can reheat pizza, pastries, croissants, leftover pasta and so on. You only have to find the correct temperature settings to get this done.

Toaster ovens are more excellent in functions compared to toaster. This is true as they do more than just toasts. However, the absence of a convection fan inside this appliance is a big disadvantage. As a result, they take a longer time cooking meals like already emphasized.

Toaster ovens are sometimes cheaper than the convection oven type and they are easier to use. Convection toaster ovens usually require adjustment of the temperature for even the simplest recipe. This is because of the hot air circulation changes the cooking process.

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What Is the Difference Between A Convection Toaster Oven and Other Toaster Ovens?

Even Cooking

It is common for thermal-bake ovens like the toaster ovens to become too hot in some areas inside the appliance compared to other areas. This is because they have very fast heat sources inside it like conventional ovens. As a result, it causes foods to be unevenly cooked, convection ovens are not so. 

The fans inside the convection ovens allow for even distribution of hot air around the meal you are cooking or baking. So, you won’t have to worry about having meals that are cold in the middle like is noticed sometimes in toaster oven foods. For example, pantries like pie.

Energy Utilization

The ability of convection toasters to distribute hot air around the appliance makes it consume little energy compared to toaster ovens. It takes a long time for non-conventional toaster ovens to heat and cook food and, in the process, they use more energy. 

Even though conventional ovens usually cook meals faster, they are more economical and saves time. Hence, recent toaster oven models are now equipped with convection features.

Price

The price of all ovens usually depends on their functions and models. Convection toasters cost more than toaster ovens most time. So, if you have a low budget, you should go for toaster ovens. 

Each oven model offers different features, so for every added feature, you would pay more. Before you buy one, make sure you check the product label to know what features it has and if they will meet your needs.

Convenience

It is more convenient to use a convection oven to cook your meals. You can place your baking pan anywhere inside the appliance depending on the recipe instructions. 

This because hot air can get to them regardless of the position of the food. And you are sure the food is evenly cooked at a great temperature. This is not so with toaster ovens.

In toaster ovens, care must be taken to make sure food is not too close to the heating elements. As a result, food is cooked slowly and unevenly if precautions are not taken.

Number of Servings

When you need to cook for a large family, you always need to prepare more dishes per time to serve everyone. Hence the need to get a toaster oven that can cook a lot of dishes at the same time. 

Cooking more than one dish in a toaster oven per time makes your food cook at different speeds because of the uneven temperature. This might make one dish taste better than the others.

A conventional toaster oven works differently. It can cook multiple foods at the same time and cook them as a single item. The upside is that you can pile your dishes on top of each other and they will still come out great.

Size

Conventional and non-conventional toaster ovens all come in different models and they make up the best kitchen appliances. Their sizes are nearly the same but different.

 Convection toaster ovens are usually bigger than other toaster ovens. Your choice of convection toaster ovens depends on what you want.

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How to Use A Convection Toaster Oven?

Conventional toaster ovens make food in the manner you would want them to; tender or soft from inside and crispy outwardly. Perfect baking, right? If your toaster oven includes a convection feature, then you can bake your food under this setting.

Here are tips for effective use of this convection feature below:

i. Always reduce the temperature of the convection oven to 25 degrees lesser than the temperature stated in a recipe. This is because they cook food faster than other non-conventional toasters because of the hot air circulation inside the appliance.

ii. Cooking time should be reduced also. Always note the time stated in your recipe and see if your food is cooked or not about 3/4 or 2/3 of the time stated in the recipe.

iii. For best cooking results, always use roasting pans or baking sheets without edges. If you do not have these types, not to worry. Your cooking will not be affected in any way.

iv. Do not overstuff foods. Always leave some spaces in between your meals to allow good circulation of hot air for even cooking.

v. Do not cover your food. If you do, it will not cook properly. It is important that the surrounding warm air come in contact with your food directly.

What Can You Cook in A Convection Toaster Oven?

It depends on your texture and taste preferences. Generally, you can cook any food you would like to be tender inside and crispy on the outside. Do you want your meal dried up or crunchy? Convection toaster ovens will work for you.

Here are a few tips:

i. Roasted meat (turkey, beef, chicken, lamb, fish, pork and so on).

ii. Buttery pantries, croissants, pizzas, cookies, fries, cakes, and biscuits.

iii. Sausages.

iv. Steak.

v. Roasted vegetables (tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, potatoes and so).

Can You Use Aluminum Foil inside A Convection Toaster Oven?

Aluminum foils are very good for wrapping your meals and leftovers before baking or reheating as the case may be. It is not recommended for use in a convection oven as most manufacturers do not recommend it. 

It is made of metal and the metal can kindle a spark inside the appliance when it is in direct contact with oven heat. This spark may cause harm to the convection oven or a fire can erupt.

However, you must make sure you check the product manual for specific instructions before you use it.

Rack Placement Inside Convection Toaster Ovens

For good results, you should check the product manual for correct rack placement inside this appliance. It depends on the cooking settings you are using with the convection fan whether roast, bake and so on.

Oven rack placement can change how your meals cook. If a recipe did not specify rack placement and your oven has only 2 positions, then the bottom or middle position is good. But you must ensure that the meal is far from the top heating elements.

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Convection Toaster Oven Recipes

Here are some delicious and sumptuous convection oven recipes. You can also cook them in a non-conventional toaster oven with the convection feature.

Ground Beef Nachos

Servings: 3 people.

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.

Total Time: 35 minutes.

What You Will Need

1 lb Ground beef.

1 cup Tortilla chips.

1 tablespoon chili powder.

1 tablespoon garlic powder.

Chopped green bell pepper.

1 cup Cheddar cheese.

Chopped Onion.

2 chopped jalapenos.

Diced tomatoes.

Sour cream.

Shredded lettuce.

Instructions

i. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

ii. Pour oil in a frying pan. 

iii. Add the minced beef and cook on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spatula.

iv. Then add garlic powder, chili pepper, pepper, and salt and continue to stir.

v. Add the green bell peppers and mix them well.

vi. Cook meat for about ten to fifteen minutes until it is properly cooked.

vii. Place tortilla chips to your baking pan and top with cheese, jalapenos and minced beef.

viii. Bake for about ten minutes under a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

ix. Remove pan and add your preferred toppings. In this case, top with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and sour cream.

x. Serve warm and enjoy.

Roasted Tomatoes

Servings: Three cups.

Prep time: 30 minutes.

Full Cooking Time: 4hrs.

What You Will Need

Peeled (seeded) Tomatoes. 5lbs

Extra virgin olive oil. 1/4 cup

Big sliced shallots. x2

Drained capers. 1/4

Finely chopped canned anchovies. 2 oz

Freshly ground pepper.

Salt.

Instructions

i. Preheat oven to a temperature of 275 oF.

ii. Put 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil inside a big bowl.

iii. Toss sliced shallots into the bowl and mix properly.

iv. Spread shallots inside a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

v. Add tomatoes and more oil inside the same mixing bowl. Then add pepper and salt to season.

vi. Spread tomatoes on top of shallots. Ensure the cut sizes are on top.

vii. Bake tomatoes for 3hrs. After which you take the baking sheet out and allow it to cool.

viii. Put tomatoes, capers, shallots, and anchovies in a big bowl.

ix. Sprinkle olive oil all over the bowl and keep in your refrigerator overnight.

x. Serve roasted tomatoes with grilled bread or sandwiches.

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Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

Servings: 2 people.

Preparation time: 10 mins.

Cook time: 20 mins.

Total cooking time: 30 mins.

What You Will Need

Washed and dried sweet potatoes. 12 oz

Sea salt. 1/8 teaspoon

Ground cinnamon (optional). 1/4 teaspoon

Melted coconut oil. 2 teaspoons

Method of Preparation

i. Adjust the oven cooking rack to the lowest position and preheat to a temperature of 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

ii. Slice the potatoes into 1.5″ rounds and place rounds on a rimmed cookie sheet or your roasting pan.

iii. Rub each potato rounds with oil and sprinkle salt and cinnamon on it. Then turn to the other side and repeat the same process.

iv. Roast the potato rounds for ten minutes.

v. Remove the roasting pan and gently turn the potato rounds with a spatula or fork.

vi. Return the pan to the toaster oven and cook for another eight to ten minutes until it is crispy and perfectly browned.

vii. Serve with your preferred toppings.

Notes

Cut the sweet potatoes with an even width for a thinner look.

You can use any other oil of your choice like avocado and olive oil. But coconut oil tastes good with cinnamon.

Also, you can use any other seasoning of your choices like garlic salt and chipotle powder.

Baked Potato Wedges

Servings: 3 people.

Preparation time: 10 minutes.

Cook time: 30 minutes.

Total time: 40 minutes.

What You Will Need

Well washed, dried and sliced Russet potatoes wedges. 12 to 16 oz

Olive oil. 3 tablespoons

Everything Bagel Seasoning. 1 tablespoon

Method of Preparation

i. Adjust oven rack to the bottom position and preheat temperature to 375oF.

ii. Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil over a roasting pan or baking sheet.

iii. Put potato wedges in a big bowl and sprinkle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over wedges. Coat well by using your hand to rub the wedges together.

iv. Add seasoning and mix properly. Then arrange potato wedges in a single layer with the skin sides facing down.

v. Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the roasting pan from the oven and turn the wedges onto its sides using a fork.

vi. Return the roasting pan to the toaster oven and cook for 10 minutes or until it is crispy and perfectly browned.

vii. Serve warm with any sauce of your choice for dipping.

Note

Cut potatoes in half and then slice each half slices into quarter sizes. 

Baked Pita Chips

Serving: 1 person.

Preparation time: 5 mins.

Cook time: 9 mins.

Total time: 14 mins.

What You Will Need

One regular whole wheat pita or Two whole wheat pitas.

Fine sea salt.

One teaspoon olive oil.

Any flavors of your choice.

Method of Preparation

i. Preheat temperature of the toaster oven to 375oF.

ii. Rub each side of pitas with olive oil. Then sprinkle with the seasonings.

iii. Slice regular pitas into six wedges and mini pitas into four wedges.

iv. Put wedges in an ungreased cookie sheet. Then bake at 375oF for six to nine minutes or until it is crispy and perfectly browned.

v. Serve warm or cool with your preferred dipping.

Note

If you want thin chips, run a kitchen knife around the sides of the pita and separate the pita into two thin round layers with your fingers. 

After which you oil, season and slice. Make sure you reduce baking time by a few minutes because they will bake faster.

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Different Seasoning You Can Use to Flavor Your Pitas

Maple Cinnamon

Instruction: Rub pitas with one teaspoon of melted coconut oil and half teaspoon of real maple syrup mixture. Then sprinkle mixture on 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Za’atar 

Instruction: Rub pitas with one teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle half teaspoon Za’atar seasoning on pita.

Sriracha Lime

Instruction: Mix half teaspoon olive oil and half teaspoon Sriracha sauce together. Then rub pitas with the mixture. Sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon lime zest. 

Coconut Curry

Instruction: Rub pitas with a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon curry powder and one teaspoon melted coconut oil. Then sprinkle on half teaspoon unsweetened shredded coconut.

Sesame Soy

Instruction: Rub pitas with a mixture of half teaspoon liquid aminos or soy sauce, half teaspoon sesame oil, and a bit of ground ginger. Sprinkle on sesame seeds or lime zest.

Garlic Chipotle

Instruction: Rub pitas with one teaspoon olive oil. Then sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt and 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder.

Precautions on Use of Convection Oven

i. Do not use a cover or lid when you are cooking a meal. When you do, the cover will not let warm air come in contact with your food directly.  As a result, your food will not be properly cooked.

ii. Always make sure that you unplug the convection toaster oven immediately after use.

iii. Never put a knife or fork inside the oven when it is turned on and in use. You could be electrocuted.

Summary

Convection toaster ovens may not be as popular as the non-conventional toaster ovens. Yet, people who like to cook their meals evenly and very fast prefer convection oven always. The major difference between convection ovens and non-conventional toasters is the manner they cook meals.

A convection toaster oven saves energy, time and gives perfect results. You need some practice so you can cook your meal in this type of oven. Of course, if you want your meals to taste great then you must try to get it right.

We hope that this article has shown you everything you need to know about this new appliance in town. Now, you don’t have any excuse not to cook up some irresistibly tasty meals for you, your family and friends.

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