Convection ovens utilize a convection fan that blows air around the cooking cavity. This reduces cooking time since cold air is stripped off of the food surface by the moving hot air. When searching for an oven, consider the overall dimensions, electrical requirements and pan capacity. The overall dimensions of the countertop convection oven will indicate how much countertop space is needed to accommodate the unit. Each model is able to hold a certain number of half-size (13” x 18”) pans. You will want to take this amount into consideration when planning your menu, so you know the unit will keep up with your specific cooking capacity needs. Since countertop convection ovens are a little more powerful than other countertop implements, you will want to check the electrical specifications of each model to make sure it is compatible with your current electrical hookup. The units usually come prewired with a standard voltage and phase, but additional configurations are available on some models.

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Why use a Convection Oven?

Convection ovens deliver even heating that cooks foods fast. Unlike traditional ovens, convection ovens use forced air circulation that spreads heat evenly throughout the baking compartment, and cooks food more quickly. The constant current of steady heat across the food removes the cool boundary layer, which allows items to receive even heating that cooks foods more quickly. A convection oven can cook foods about 30% faster than a static oven.

Full size or half size?

Convection ovens are available in a variety of sizes ranging from table top units, to single deck, to large roll-in double deck units. These are further classified as being full size or half size. Full or half size refers to the width of pan the oven can accept. A half size convection oven will hold an 18 x 13 inch pan, and a full size can accommodate an 18 x 26 inch sheet pan.

Standard or bakery depth?

Like full or half size classifications, standard depth and bakery depth refers to pan size accommodation. Convection ovens in standard depth can hold full or half size pans in one direction lengthwise. Bakery depth ovens are deeper in depth, and can hold pans placed in two directions.

How many decks do I need?

Convection ovens can be a single or double deck design. Each deck is an enclosed compartment with its own temperature settings. Because warmth is spread entirely throughout, a variety of items can be cooked in the baking compartment with no worry about uneven heating. Utilizing a double deck convection oven can further increase productivity in higher volume operations. Two decks can give you greater cooking flexibility by providing different heat levels for separate types of foods, and simply more space for making larger amounts of items.