What is a fan forced oven?
Modern day ovens aren’t limited to one kind of heating method: if you have a top of the line oven, it’s likely that it can cycle between several different cooking functions. Most ovens today are convection ovens, which means they use a fan to speed up cooking. You can compare different convection ovens by the number of cooking functions they have, and where the fans and heating elements are located.
A fan forced oven uses a fan at the back of the oven to distribute heat evenly. The heating element around the fan equalises the temperature inside the oven, heating every level or tray inside the chamber equally.
In most ovens, the fan forced symbol is represented by a picture of a spinning fan inside a circle. Fan forced ovens are always electric and can be as small as bench-top oven or as large as the ones used for commercial bakeshops.
Fan forced vs. conventional ovens
So why use a fan forced oven? Here’s how they stack up compared to other ovens or cooking functions:
Fan forced ovens equally heat every oven shelf. They’re ideal if you’re cooking or baking a large batch of food that needs to be prepared at the same temperature. They also heat the fastest, cutting down on cooking time.
Fan assisted ovens use two heating elements, one on the top and one on the bottom. There is a fan at the back, but no heating element around it. It’s used for delicate dishes or pastries that need a gentler heat.
Conventional ovens don’t use any fans at all. They saturate the chamber with heat (via electricity or gas), which results in a slower yet gentler cooking method. Their temperatures are a little unstable to work with, as they can range from 25 to 30 degrees cooler than a convection oven set at the same temperature.
How to use a fan-forced oven
A fan forced oven might seem a little daunting if you’ve never used it before. However, as long as you keep these tips in mind, you should have an easy time cooking with it.
- Don’t preheat unless needed: you risk overcooking by doing this, which can hamper your efforts to make bread or pudding.
- Convert your temperature: if you’re used to cooking with conventional ovens, lower your usual temperature by about a quarter to account for the difference.
- Check your time: fan forced ovens can heat surprisingly fast. Even an additional minute in the oven can be enough to burn your food, so it’s best to keep an eye on the time AND the dish while it’s cooking.
The best fan forced ovens in Australia
Features: Triple Fan Technology and Thermoseal heat retention
This freestanding cooker is more than a colourful oven: it carries a European energy efficiency grade of A+, the highest grade possible for a large cooker. It’s a top-of-the-line Italian oven that has all the pre-set and customisable cooking functions that are worth every penny.
Cost: $9490 available at The Good Guys.
Westinghouse 60cm fan forced oven
Features: Multi-layered FamilySafe doors and 120 minute auto off timer
When it comes to safety features, you can’t do any better than a Westinghouse. While their oven lines may lack all the bells and whistles of other high-end brands, they’re still a solid and reliable choice that can get the job done while keeping the well-being of the user in mind - and this particular model is built in Australia.
Cost: $1,999 available at Bing Lee.
Chef Australia CVE662WA
Features: Separate grill and easy to clean
Chef Australia offers some of the most affordable wall ovens out there, ideal for a household with plenty of people to cook for. If you want a simple machine that’ll fit your budget, their ovens are the ideal choice for you.
Cost: $1,036 available at Appliances Online.
Miele H 7440 BM Speed Oven
Features: WiFi capabilities and adjustable power ratings
Miele ovens are all about convenience, answering old cooking problems with new technology. The H 7440 is one of the fastest-heating ovens on the market, and the adjustable power feature can further customise the temperature for the perfect dish.
Cost: $4699, available at Harvey Norman.
AEG 60CM SteamCrisp Oven
Features: Pyroluxe Self-Cleaning system and SteamCrisp technology
AEG focuses on making innovative, feature-packed ovens that can fulfil every possible cooking need. The 60CM SteamCrisp Oven is loaded with functions that put it head and shoulders above other fan forced ovens in the market. And if ever your crucial heating element fails, you can easily replace it without dismantling the entire thing.
Cost: $3,599 available at Winning Appliances.