Which Oven Bakes Better - Convection or Conventional?
A reader asked what is best for baking, a gas convection oven or an electric oven so I asked Chef Leslie Bilderback, a certified master baker what she thought. As you will see from her answer, it's not about gas or electric, but more about convection or non-convection. I have a 6-burner gas stovetop but the attached oven is electric, where Chef Bilderback has a gas stove top and oven.
So here is Judy's Ask A Chef Question and Chef Bilderback's answer. By the way, you really want to read my Novice to Pro Interview with Chef Leslie, and if you are thinking of going to culinary school, you definitely want to read her book,
Would you please inform me if a gas convection oven is better to bake cakes, cookies, etc than an electric oven. I am ready to purchase a gas convection oven to bake with. Thanks
Chef Leslie Bilderback reply's,
In my opinion, convection ovens are only useful if the fan can be disabled. The fan makes it hotter, which is useful when you want to cook something faster. This works for cookies, biscuits, muffins, puff pastry, and other laminates, and small stuff. Larger items will brown on the outside, and look done, before they are done on the inside. This is terrible for large loaves of bread, pound cakes, white meringues, or anything that's delicate, like custards.
Gas or electric is not an issue for me in terms of ovens, but I must have a gas stove, and the oven is attached, so that's what I have.
If you can disable the fan, then go for it. Otherwise, stick with a conventional oven.
FYI, convection ovens were developed for restaurants to speed things along. The fan was supposed to circulate air so that things brown evenly. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Things still brown unevenly with the fan. It is always necessary to rotate pans throughout baking.
One more note...Don't be in such a hurry... stop and smell the rosemary! Some of my most enjoyable kitchen experiences happen while waiting for things to be done!