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Convection /Electric Ovens...What to ...

Holly_'s picture

I am in the process of researching appliances for a major kitchen remodel. I am going to go with a Viking gas cooktop and double wall ovens. Well the wall oven issue has left me wondering...What is the best brand and would I be smartest to go with one "pure convection" type oven and use a standard electric for the second. (My husband is concerned that his prime rib roasts will be dry as a bone with convection type heat, is this concern founded?)

To date I have looked at Dacor and Viking wall ovens. If anyone has input on brands and or the merits/ pitfalls of a convection/ electric combo, I would love to here them. Thanks!

Rebecca's picture

(post #53587, reply #1 of 13)

My electric Dacor oven has three settings: regular bake, pure convection, & convection bake (bottom heat like regular bake plus convection air circulating at the same time). So you can have one oven that does all. I'm happy w/the Dacor, however, have never owned another oven except a gas Magic Chef range which was very good. I use the convection bake for focaccias & flatbreads. I find I use the regular bake more often than I thought I would when I opted for convection.

Convection is supposed to be good for baking multiple racks of stuff, however, if you bake cookies on sheets w/sides (like I do), multiple rack conv. will yield unevenly baked cookies because the air gets bounced around by the sides. Other combos like meat on one rack & veg. on another work pretty well. The oven does have a booklet that tells which method works best for which food, however, I don't rely on it much - a lot of it addresses frozen/packaged-type foods which I don't use. I would like to see a magazine article that addresses this. Wolf makes an unbelievably expensive oven that opens like a door, not top-down - maybe others make one like this. I would have liked this feature.

I'm happy w/my Viking gas range, however, it really doesn't have as low heat as I was led to believe - even using a flame tamer doesn't help much for really low heat - it takes fiddling w/the heat to cook rice, for example. Mine is several years old so maybe the settings are lower now. This is my only complaint. I have the six burner model which is we really like. Even though I rarely use all six, the large flat surface of the whole thing is great - like an extra heat-proof countertop and the pots aren't crowded. The price difference between the 4 & 6 burner models was not very much, relative to the entire cost. BTW, the delivery of our cooktop was delayed so our supplier got Viking to throw in the giddle as a comp - we LOVE this griddle. I will prob. get the wok someday, too.

Gerard's picture

(post #53587, reply #2 of 13)


Go out and buy a panasonic rice maker, works like MAGIC!, a real tool, not a gadget.

The Jennair is not bad, my brother had one and liked it(convection).

If you find cookies baking uneven...I wonder if you are turning the trays during baking?
You really have to, reason being is the fan rotates the air in one direction only.
I've worked with convections for 30 yrs, we had the 1st commercial unit available and you have to do a couple of things different but they work.
A still oven is probably better for cakes that use baking powder but I don't make that sort of product.

Regards, Gerard

Rebecca's picture

(post #53587, reply #3 of 13)

Thanks for the advice Gerard!

I've wanted a rice maker for a while, I'll check the Panasonic price (money for it is what's holding me back). The one I wanted a few years back was pricey.

I'll try rotating multiple cookie sheets, too. I didn't do that, assuming I wouldn't have to w/conv. You may not have time, however, if you wrote an article on how to use a conv. oven, I'm sure it would be well received. It would by me!


Sandra_'s picture

(post #53587, reply #4 of 13)

Rebecca: cheaper than a Panasonic rice maker -- try bringing the rice to a hard boil, then turning the heat off altogether, and letting the rice steam-cook. (Takes about 20 minutes.) In my experience, this is the easiest, best, fail-safe method for perfect rice. I've never understood the need for special rice makers.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53587, reply #5 of 13)

As usual' I'm going to stick my neck way out.
First, unless you are going to make a ton of rice often, a rice maker is a total waste of space and money. Another method that I use most often is to saute a bit of shallot in butter, stir in rice to coat, add stock, bring to a boil, cover, put in 400 degree oven for exactly 16 minutes, done.

I use convection ovens at work and I have an oven that goes both ways at home. At home I never use the convection option except for some last minute browning. At work I have learned to live with it, but it is not good at all for pies, tarts and cakes. It is ok for high heat roasting. Personally I would not buy one again. Look at it this way: a regular oven can do everything a convection oven can do, but a convection oven can't do everything a regular oven can do. Just try to make a cheesecake in a convection oven.
It is possible that the newer ones are better.

Jean_'s picture

(post #53587, reply #6 of 13)

I thought I had tried fixing rice every way humanly possible, but I missed this one. Will have to try it.
Do you have a favorite kind of rice? Lately I have been steaming the cheapest kind (long grain that tends to be sticky), dumping it in a bowl to cool completely, then refrigerating or freezing it in the portion sizes I'll need. The grains then separate nicely and I reheat it gently in the microwave for use with stir-fry or whatever dish I want to serve it with. That way I can do a big amount at one time and always have some on hand when I need it.

Juli_R's picture

(post #53587, reply #7 of 13)

I used to think "why would I need a rice maker" until I received one as a gift. Now it's a mainstay. I know that there are other ways to make rice that are perfectly easy and fail-safe but I don't need to time the rice any longer, the rice stays hot for an hour or more (never tried it longer) after cooking without me having to do a thing, and it comes out perfect every time. Plus, the container in the cooker is easier to clean than a pan.

mica's picture

(post #53587, reply #8 of 13)

I agree. Plus it's one less pot on the stove when you're trying to get everything else ready.

Carolina's picture

(post #53587, reply #9 of 13)

An old-fashioned rice steamer that belonged to my grandmother is the only way to go for this rice lover.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53587, reply #10 of 13)

I generally make basmati rice. Only 1 1/2 cups of liquid per cup of rice. However arborio is my favorite, but htats another discussion.

Rebecca's picture

(post #53587, reply #11 of 13)

I will also try MC's recipe (until I get my rice cooker - we make a lot of rice & have plenty of counter space).

We make Basmati a lot, however, most often we use Jasmine rice (we always use it, or Basmati, instead of long-grain white, even for non-Asian dishes). These two smell heavenly when cooking.
Unfortunately, Jasmine is not enriched like regular white rice. I'm hoping for this to change. Try the Jasmine!

Gerard's picture

(post #53587, reply #12 of 13)

Well I married a chinese gal , so its rice and never bread or spuds. the benfit to the rice maker is perfect rice every time, the fuzzy logic feature allows the rice to be made ahead and it holds it perfectly, also re-warms perfectly.
Its a set and forget feature.
Perfect sticky Jasmine, easy to eat with chopstix but i prefer a shovel. !
Has anyone ever tried glutinous rice? very sticky and kinda odd but interesting.

Convections you have to learn, you can make anything but it requires technique.
Cheesecake requires water bath to prevent inflation and cracking.
Eclairs require the fan be left off for 10 minutes to slow the crust formation or they won't inflate at all.
Makes great bread, croiss,pastry etc.
It helps to have a 2 speed fan if the option is available. I keep a sheetpan in the bottom to pour boiling water for steaming the bread.

Delicate items need double sheetpans to protect the bottom, maccaroons especially.

..and then theres the speed...100 croissants in each oven take about 15 mins, 800 per hr.
Considering the small space they use I couldn't see getting a deck or rack oven.

Mary_Sarber's picture

(post #53587, reply #13 of 13)

I have Jenn-Air double ovens-electric the top oven is convection, bottom is straight electric both are self cleaning and they are great. The Jenn-Air cook-top is a pain. It is black under glass 5 burners and impossible to keep clean. I absolutely hate it. I'm looking into a Viking cooktop to replace it, but will keep the wall units.