Speed Cooking

No, don’t call the Feds…  I’m talking about convection ovens.

Our old microwave was running hot, so we knew it needed to be retired.  We shopped and shopped and debated this option and that,  but we ran out of time before we agreed on what we needed.  Then, life conspired against us, so Mr. eBay – aka: The Knight – took matters into his own fingers and Friday, a new convection microwave arrived.  He had it installed before I got home from work.

It’s a Kenmore Elite.  I also call it the backhanded success, because I wanted a convection combo and he kept arguing I didn’t do enough cooking anymore to warrant the significant price difference.  So, I was surprised when this baby turned up on our doorstep, but I knew the punchline; I would be making more appearances in the kitchen again. 

Friday night, I read the manual and removed the metal rack so I could microwave leftovers for dinner.  That worked well enough, and I didn’t notice the small decrease in power from our previous microwave.

Saturday, we weren’t home enough to play with the new toy, but yesterday, I knew what was coming when the Knight snatched up a little pork loin at the market.  While he was at the station, I stood with instruction manual in hand, and convected a pork roast.  I overcooked it, but unlike a microwave or even a conventional oven, the exterior took the hit/heat, and all but the “skin” on the exterior was moist and tender. 

I was feeling good about the adventure, so I “combi’d” the scalloped potatoes, since the Knight arrived home a little ahead of schedule.  THOSE were a complete success.  I wish I’d done one pan in the conventional oven and one pan in the combination mode (speeds up the convection process even more by cooking with microwaves at the same time – a one quart casserole of scalloped potatoes was done in 15 minutes!) so we could have really compared and contrasted the two.

Convection cooking seems to have a love/hate effect on cooks.  So weigh in if you have a convection oven, and share any tips or warnings, please?

If you’re in the US, happy Labor Day.   We’ve had a rather friend-focused weekend, but I’ve squeezed in a fair amount of knitting and reading too.  How was your weekend?  If you’re off today, whatcha’ doin’??

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16 comments on “Speed Cooking

  1. km says:

    My mom has only ever had a convection oven. I do love it. I think the biggest difference is seen in cookies. You just get better cookies in a convection oven.

  2. gMarie says:

    yea! New microwave. I love the ability to convect a roast for dinner when I get home from work. I will say – I generally stick to “regular” cooking just because I’m comfortable with it. Should be playing with convect more. g

  3. Walden says:

    Hmm, never had one. Sounds interesting to use though. I am sure it’s less of a pain in the butt to clean too! Which unfortunately is more of the cleaning I am doing today 😦

  4. Sue says:

    I’ve never used one and don’t know if I want to start now. I don’t cook as much as I used to, so I’ll stick with what’s familiar.

  5. Marjie says:

    Dudette! You got a new appliance! I’m so jealous! Before we installed stoves, we had wall ovens and induction cooktops. I loved them and want them back, but my dearly beloved controls my kitchen…sigh.

  6. Mary says:

    Congrats on the new stove/combo! Absolutely no convection experience, so no help there. I’ve been cleaning and cutting out a vogue jacket pattern (muslin proof first) to sew. Had all the windows open today..a bit warm, but the breeze helps some. Not terribly energetic.

  7. I have a wall oven that is either “regular” or convection, at the flip of a switch. For years and years now, I’ve used only the convection option…I love it. Very good for baking and roasting. I have very little experience with a micro/convect combo…my friend has had one for years…she loves it. I can pass on questions..

  8. AlisonH says:

    Taking pictures with Ruth for you!

  9. Jessica says:

    i had a convection oven, a TINY convection oven when i lived in Germany, and i called it my Holly Hobby oven. It drove me crazy, and took a bit of time to get used to. Actually, i never got all that used to it for the three years we lived there. Thanksgiving was interesting (yes, we celebrated even though we were in Germany) and had to search for tiny turkeys! Usually i just settled on turkey breasts!

  10. Barbara says:

    I have a (really) old fashioned convection oven, Chan. I really use it as a spare when I’m having company. It’s a gem and I love the way it cooks.

    I’m fascinated by one that combines microwave and convection. (How have I missed this innovation?) But I guess I don’t need one as I have a microwave built in already.

  11. Nichole says:

    Sounds wonderful!!! 🙂 We had a quite a go-go weekend but it was very enjoyable!

  12. Dianne says:

    My full-size oven has a convection setting, but I only use it when I am making dog food. That’s when I have 6 large meatloaf pans in the oven at the same time, and I figure the extra “umph” from convection is a good thing. Other than that, I stick to the regular settings. I’m not very adventurous!

  13. Anita says:

    I’m all for easy & fast so I’d prolly love one. I do like a kitchen gadget. LOL I’m glad your dinner was a success. 🙂

  14. Amy says:

    I remember the one that my Grandma had in her kitchen; it was ancient, from the 1970’s (as far as appliances go, I think that is ancient. Not to emply anything from the 1970’s is old.) I only remember her making biscuits in it, but man – those were so tasty!

  15. Kathy says:

    Sounds like you and the oven hit if off :). That’s a good thing, right? Maybe Bubblesknits will get one ;).

  16. Bubblesknits says:

    ::snort:: Kathy is hilarious, isn’t she? 😉

    I do know that the hubby had a nice convection oven at our old house and it’s all he cooked with, but other than that….I just smile and nod. LOL

    We had friends over for Labor Day and that went really well. The kids had buddies to play with while us parents sat around and talked. Very nice day. 🙂

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