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 Convection Oven Tips
From Barb Hofmeister

When we first got our American Dream motorhome, I was thankful that we had a regular oven in addition to the convection oven. I didn't think I would ever use the convection part of that oven. Only four months after we had our new motorhome, we attended the FMCA national convention which was held in Pomona California in the spring of 1997. One of the seminars I attended was the convection cooking class sponsored by Sharp Electronics which makes a lot of the micro/convection ovens for RVs. When I saw how easy it was to convection cook I couldn't wait to try it on my own. And I love it; the only thing I use the regular oven for is a storage place. 

Here are some tips:

In most cases when convection baking the temperature should be reduced by 50 degrees and then bake as you normally would. 

The exception to the above is when the baking time is 13 minutes or less. The temperature can remain the same as a regular oven. In the case of cookies I find they are done one minute earlier or at least on the low side of the suggested baking time. The great thing about convection cooking is that the shelves can be close together and I get even cooking. I bake three shelves of cookies at one time. One on the turntable, and then one on each of the two wire racks which stack. 

For much of my convection baking I use those disposable aluminum pans. I especially love the pizza pans. They fit perfectly. For cakes, Instead of using a 13 x 9 x 2 pan, I use two square pans or three loaf pans. Since they can all be baked at once it doesn't really matter. 

For great baked potatoes that only take a little while to bake, I microwave two potatoes (or more if we have company) for 3-4 minutes. Then I butter the outside of the potatoes and place them on a piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle salt on the potatoes and place the foil and potatoes on the turntable. Set the convection oven at 325 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. It is like they were baked in an oven for one hour. 

Do not use aluminum foil or metal pans when micro waving, but when convection cooking all types of baking pans are okay. 

Use caution when micro waving immediately after baking in the oven. The rack, turntable and walls will be very hot and may melt some microwave dishes. I sometimes bake a roast then want to warm up some leftover vegetables using the same oven at the microwave setting. For this I use ovenware or I have placed the microwave dishes on a dishtowel or pot holder on the turntable. 

Don't be afraid to try the probe for roasts. It cooks them to perfection. What a treat. 

When reheating foods try the reheat button. It uses a sensor to detect when foods are hot. It works like a charm most of the time and doesn't over heat foods. 

I don't know if I have been much help, but basically I wanted to share that the convection oven is not a monster; it is just something new and can be learned. I think it is wonderful. 

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