What’s the best oven for baking? We outline all the pros and cons for gas, electric & convection ovens for baking - learn which one is best for you.
Whether you’ve discovered a newfound love for the kitchen or you just want to make something special for your Valentine, you may be wondering if your current oven is the best oven for baking. The good news? You can certainly create some baked masterpieces, no matter what type of oven you have! However, each type comes with some need-to-know info to make the best out of its baking capabilities. Thanks to the experts at The Kitchn, here are some tips on how to overcome any shortcomings your oven type may have in the baking department, so you can officially get out those cookie molds and soufflé ramekins and get to cooking!
Using a Gas Oven for Baking
- Unlike electric ovens, the heat on a gas oven is instant, so it heats very quickly.
- If your home is already equipped with a gas line, a gas oven will be more cost-effective than an electric oven.
- The oven doesn’t heat as evenly, as the temperature can fluctuate widely.
- Most gas ovens have “hot spots,” affecting how evenly food is cooked.
- The inside of a gas oven tends to be more humid than other oven types, leading to issues with browning and crisping of food.
- Because of their notorious hot spots, it’s imperative that you rotate your cooking trays during cooking.
- To make your oven heat more evenly, place a pizza stone on the floor or lowest rack of your oven. Don’t cook directly on the stone, though (it’s just there to even out the heat).
- Since it’s more humid in a gas oven, consider cooking items that you want more browned on the top rack or turning up the oven temperature by 25 degrees to get more crunch and crisp on the food.
- Avoid cooking in dark metal bakeware, as this can cause your foods to burn at the bottom.
Using an Electric Oven for Baking
- Because the electric coils heat and cool slowly, the radiant heat that is produced is fairly steady and even, with fewer spikes and drops in the temperature.
- The inside of an electric oven remains dry, which helps food crisp up and turn golden brown.
- When the coils are completely on, it’s a less intense heat, so you don’t have to worry as much about the undersides of your food burning.
- Electric ovens cost considerably less than gas ovens.
- Unlike gas heat, the electric coils take a little while to heat up to the full temperature.
- Your food can easily over-brown in an electric oven.
- Since the coils needs to take some time to warm up, consider preheating longer than you may think is necessary, to ensure an optimal temperature.
- To avoid over-browning the food, loosely “tent” some aluminum foil over the top of the dish if you notice the edges or tips starting to brown long before the rest of the dish is done.
- An electric oven’s “sweet spot” is in the middle. For the most consistently cooked food, place the trays on the middle rack.
Using a Convection Oven for Baking
- Because of its third heating element and fan, the hot air directly around the food is steadily maintained.
- Your food cooks quicker than with other ovens.
- Your food is cooked more evenly than with other ovens.
- Because “convection” is typically a setting on the oven, when it’s turned off, the same issues arise as with using a conventional oven for baking — whether it’s gas or electric (convection ovens can be either).
- Ovens with a convection setting are generally more expensive than conventional ovens.
- Because it cooks the food so efficiently, lower the temperature that a recipe calls for by 25 degrees.
- Likewise, because your food tends to cook quicker, keep an eye on it, especially toward the end of the cooking time.
- To ensure the air circulates well, cook with low-sided pans.
- If you’re cooking something “fragile,” such as a soufflé, don’t use the convection setting, as the air may blow the mixture around and distort the end result.
Now that you know your oven is up to the task, it’s time to ensure it consistently brings on the heat. Sign up for an American Home Shield® Home Oven and Cooktop Home Warranty today!