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A tabletop convection oven cooking pork. For slower cooking, the gridiron here has been reversed to place the meat low and far from the main heat source (at the top of the pot) although near the heat of the glass pot's bottom. Flipping the gridiron would raise the meat closer to the main heat source.

A convection oven (also known as a fan-assisted oven or simply a fan oven) is an oven that has fans to circulate air around food.[1]

Convection ovens distribute heat evenly around the food, removing the blanket of cooler air that surrounds food when it is first placed in an oven and allowing food to cook more evenly in less time and at a lower temperature than in a conventional oven.[2]



The earliest known use of fans to circulate air in an oven was the Maxson Whirlwind Oven, invented in 1945.[3]


A convection oven has a fan with a heating element around, that provides the heat. A small fan circulates the air in the cooking chamber.[4][5]

Convection ovens may include radiant heat sources at the top and bottom of the oven, which improves heat transfer and speeds cooking from initial cold start. On the other hand, some ovens have all the heating elements placed in an outside enclosure and hidden from the food. This reduces the effect of radiant heat on the food; however, the walls of the oven will also be heated by the circulating hot air, and though the resulting temperature is much lower than that of a radiant heat source, it is still hot enough to provide some heating of the food by means of radiation from the walls.[citation needed]


A convection oven allows a reduction in cooking temperature compared to a conventional oven. This comparison will vary, depending on factors including, for example, how much food is being cooked at once or if airflow is being restricted by using an oversized baking tray.[citation needed] This difference in cooking temperature is offset as the circulating air transfers heat more quickly than still air of the same temperature. In order to transfer the same amount of heat in the same time, one must lower the temperature to reduce the rate of heat transfer in order to compensate.[citation needed]

Product testing has not demonstrated that convection cooking within a toaster oven results in notable advantages to toasting or baking.[6]


True convection ovens are the preferred variant of convection ovens[7]. Many convection ovens are the same design as conventional ovens which have two heating elements, one in the bottom and one in the top of the oven. A true convection oven adds a third heating element which increases the oven's ability to cook foods evenly[8].

Another form of a convection oven is called an impingement oven.[9] This type of oven is often used to cook pizzas in restaurants. Impingement ovens have a high flow rate of hot air from both above and below the food. The air flow is directed onto food that usually passes through the oven on a conveyor belt. Impingement ovens can achieve a much higher heat transfer than a conventional oven.

There are also convection microwave ovens which combine a convection oven with a microwave oven to cook food with the speed of a microwave oven and the browning ability of a convection oven.

A combi steamer is an oven that combines convection functionality with superheated steam to cook foods even faster and retain more nutrients and moisture.