I love my Convection Rotisserie Oven not just because it is faster, but because it is handier than my large oven and I don’t have to wait so long to pre-heat!
Convection cooking uses a fan to circulate the hot air around the food thus cooking it about 25% faster than traditional ovens. It also produces foods that are golden brown outside while remaining juicy and tender on the inside; perfect! I love cooking with convection and I think you will too!
Many manufacturers sell convection ovens, rotisserie ovens and combination convection with rotisserie ovens. Although the capacity and the rotisserie feature may vary, the basic techniques do not. Below are some basic things you should know about Convection cooking in General, Convection Roasting, Convection Broiling & Using your Rotisserie.
Convection Cooking in General
- The oven uses a large amount of electrical wattage to work properly. Make sure that it is plugged into a wall outlet all by itself. If an appliance like a coffee maker or toaster (even if it is not turned on at the time) shares the receptacle, electrical current will be drawn away from the oven causing it not to reach optimal temperatures.
- Preheating; necessary or not? I have cooked with and without preheating the oven and the difference is the time it takes to cook the food once it is in the oven. If the oven is already hot, the food cooks faster; not exactly rocket science to figure that out! So, what I do is turn the oven on when I start preparing the food to go in and however long it takes me to prepare the food is how long I preheat! If I am cooking dinner rolls, I haven’t preheated as long as I did if I was making a cake, but it seems to work!
- When cooking in your convection oven it is necessary to reduce the temperature recommended in recipes and on the package of frozen foods by 25◦F. You will find that I will list temperatures for both conventional and convection ovens in my recipes to avoid any confusion!
- Because the cooking time is up to 25% quicker in your convection oven, be sure to check your food earlier than normal. I reduce the time called for in the recipe by 25%, set my timer and then check the food in 3 minute intervals until it is done to my liking. I did not include convection cooking times in my recipes as different models will have varying cooking times so be sure to adjust your timing as directed above! Refer to the cooking time chart included in your Owner’s Manual for average cooking times.
- One rack or two? Because of the fan circulating the air, you can bake on either one or two racks. However, the type of pan you choose and food placement is important; you want to give room for the air to circulate properly. For example, if you are baking two cake pans at once, stagger them so one pan is back further and one is toward the front. If baking two layer cakes, put them on the same rack but allow 4-5 inches between them. I do not recommend baking two cookie sheets at once, unless you alternate racks halfway into the cooking time, because the air flow is blocked and the bottom will cook faster than the top.
- If you are baking on two racks it may take a little longer to reach the desired doneness than if cooking on one rack.
- Any cookware/ bake ware that is oven-safe for a conventional oven, will work in your convection oven. This includes heat-resistant paper and plastic containers that manufactures recommend for use in conventional ovens. However,
- Shallow pans with lower sides allow the air to circulate and work the best.
- Avoid using pans that are so large they cover the entire rack.
- Dark or matte finish bake ware will produce darker browning on food surfaces.
- Aluminum foil reflects the heat away from food and increases the cooking time.
- Aluminum or silver-colored bake ware produces the fastest results.
- When roasting meats, it is not necessary to preheat.
- Cooking times will be between 25-30% quicker, so adjust your timing and check periodically with a meat thermometer to obtain desired results. Refer to the cooking time chart in your Owner’s Manual for average cooking times.
- Roast meats and poultry in a shallow pan with low sides for best results. However, add about ¼ inch of water to the pan to avoid splattering oils. Add water as necessary throughout the cooking process.
- When seasoning the meats, the redder the spice, the darker brown the outside of the meat will be. For example, paprika on a chicken can make the skin burn; cover the meat with foil if the outside is getting too dark.
- If basting meats with Bar-B-Q Sauce, Honey, Preserves or anything that contains a lot of sugar, apply the sauce, by brush, only in the last 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.
- Always use the broiling pan that came with your oven. It is designed to minimize smoking and splattering!
- Position the rack in the center of the oven for cut of meat 1” or less and on the bottom rack for meats over 1” in thickness. Move the rack to the very top for the last 1 minute of cooking if a darker brown color or heavier crispness is desired.
- Slice or slit fat evenly around the outside edges of steaks and chops to prevent curling.
- Use tongs when turning meat to prevent piercing the meat and loosing juices.
- If desired, marinate meats or chicken before broiling. Brush on additional marinade or sauce only in the last 5 minutes of cooking to prevent burning.
Using Your Rotisserie:
The Rotisserie feature and included accessory items in your oven varies greatly depending on the model of oven you purchased. Please refer to your Owner’s Manual for size limits and skewer assembly instructions. Below are some basic tips that are pertinent to all models.
- Trim large cuts of beef or pork to remove any fat from the outside edge.
- When putting the meat onto the spit rod keep it centered and balanced. Otherwise, the food may actually fall off or hit the heating element causing the machine to stop or stall or the food to catch fire!
- When placing the food on the spit rod, remember that the end is sharp so take care not to push toward your hand!
- After the meat is on the spit, season as desired. When seasoning the meats, the redder the spice, the darker brown the outside of the meat will be. For example, paprika on a chicken can make the skin burn; cover the meat with foil if the outside is getting too dark. Also, if basting meats with Barbecue Sauce, Honey, Preserves or anything that contains a lot of sugar, apply the sauce, by brush, only in the last 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.
- Some meats and chickens should be tied. It is easier to do this once the meat is on the spit rod. Use cotton kitchen string to tie the chicken’s legs and wings to prevent flopping around during cooking or to truss a beef roast tightly together. Wetting the ends of the string before tying will keep it from burning.
- If the oven makes a groaning noise while the rotisserie is activated, lubricate the gear wheel with a Q-Tip and a drop or two of vegetable oil.
- To remove the meat from the oven, turn the rotisserie off first and then use the handle that came with the unit. Lift first from the side that is not inserted into the oven wall and then gentle release the other side.
- To test the met for doneness, remove the roast and use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat; just be careful not to hit the spit rod in the meat!
- When the meat is done, place it on a cutting board or platter and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Removing the spit rod or cutting the meat too early will release the juices and the meat will rapidly become dry.
- Use a kitchen towel or triple thick paper towels to prevent your fingers from burning when removing the spit rod.
- Tips for using the Rotisserie Basket (not included with all models) :
- Make sure the basket is closed tightly to keep the food from shifting during cooking.
- You want the food to be secure, but not packed together. Try to leave a little room between the items so that all sides will cook evenly. If you are cooking a small number of things, crumple aluminum foil and stuff into the corners to prevent food from sliding around.
- Coat the basket with non-stick spray before loading to prevent the food from sticking.
- Make sure no food is sticking out of the oven to prevent it from hitting the element.
- Try cooking steaks, burgers, peppers or anything else you would normally grill. You will get great results without the hassles of grilling!