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All the differences between a static oven and a fan-assisted oven

What is the difference between a static oven and a fan-assisted oven?

Are you unsure about which oven to use and not clear on the difference between a static oven and a fan-assisted oven?

This is a common situation when choosing an oven for your kitchen or purchasing a new one.

It’s important to know the difference between a fan-assisted oven and a static oven, even if you’ve bought a modern oven with both functions. Knowing which mode to use allows you to fully exploit the potential of your appliance.

These two types of ovens use different technologies to cook food.

The fan-assisted oven, as the name suggests, uses a ventilation system to distribute heat evenly. This airflow ensures homogeneous cooking on all sides, avoiding any uneven cooking spots.

The operation of the static oven is slightly different, as it produces heat laterally or vertically using heating elements. This leads to less uniform heat distribution compared to the fan-assisted oven, but it still has its advantages.

All the features of a static oven

The cooking mode of a static oven is based on the diffusion of heat generated by the electric coil (heating element) inside the oven. This coil is generally positioned both at the bottom and top of the oven, offering the possibility to choose a combined action (top and bottom) or a single action (only bottom or only top).

A static oven should be considered for its features:

1. Uniform Cooking

Since the oven is static, there is no airflow moving the heat, and the food is cooked evenly from all sides. This makes it ideal for baking bread, pizza, focaccia, as well as cakes and cookies.

2. Slow and Precise Cooking

The cooking in a static oven is slower, and it's better to cook only one dish at a time. It is recommended for all leavened products that need to be well-cooked both inside and out and require time to rise.

The oven gradually reaches the desired temperature, allowing for gentle cooking, although there is a risk of uneven cooking since food closer to the heating element cooks faster.

A tip?

Always remove the baking tray from the oven to ensure proper heat distribution.

3. Precise Temperature Control

Precise temperature control is one of the distinguishing aspects of a static oven.

This function allows for the separate regulation of the upper and lower heating elements, offering an unparalleled level of precision in cooking.

In practice, you can adjust the temperature specifically according to the needs of each dish.

For example, for a crispy pizza, you might opt for a higher temperature on the lower element to brown the base, while a slightly lower temperature on the upper element will prevent the mozzarella from burning.

4. Suitable for People with Food Intolerances

If you have family members who suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, a static oven is recommended.

Due to the absence of a fan circulating the air, the risk of contamination is zero because any residues of gluten-containing foods do not circulate around the oven.

This means one less worry, and you can still experiment in the kitchen without giving up on oven cooking.

5. Ideal for Delicate Preparations

Thanks to its slow and precise cooking mode, the static oven is perfect for preparations that require care and delicacy, such as soufflés, soft cakes, and other desserts that need gentler cooking.

All the features of a fan-assisted oven

The fan-assisted oven, also known as a convection oven, uses a fan to distribute heat evenly within the cooking chamber. This system ensures a constant and homogeneous temperature, which brings several advantages.

Here are the aspects you should keep in mind when evaluating the purchase and use of a fan-assisted oven:

1. Uniform and Fast Cooking

In a fan-assisted oven, the presence of a fan ensures an even distribution of heat. The circulation of hot air allows for uniform cooking on all sides of the food, similar to a static oven. The difference, however, lies in the cooking times. This type of operation allows you to achieve uniform cooking results even at lower temperatures and shorter times.

One downside is that the fan-assisted oven tends to dry out food.

2. Cooking Multiple Dishes Simultaneously

Thanks to the fan, air circulates inside the oven, allowing you to cook multiple items simultaneously. Additionally, there is no risk of odors or flavors mixing, so the taste and aroma of the foods remain intact.

The advantage of being able to cook multiple dishes together is especially noticeable during a dinner for a special occasion, where there are usually several courses. It is also convenient during meal prep for the week, where practicality is necessary.

3. Reduced Energy Consumption

The fan-assisted oven requires a lower cooking temperature compared to the static oven, usually about 20-25°C less. This not only reduces the oven's preheating time but also the overall cooking time, contributing to more efficient energy consumption and lower energy bills.

4. Food Intolerances

The fan-assisted oven is not recommended if you suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance due to possible contamination caused by circulating air.

However, with small precautions, you can still use it without problems.

For example, if you need to cook gluten-free dishes along with gluten-containing dishes, place the gluten-free ones on the top rack. This helps maintain an adequate distance from other foods and minimizes the risk of cross-contamination.

When to use a static oven and a fan-assisted oven?

The decision between a static oven and a fan-assisted oven depends on your culinary preferences and the recipes you love to prepare.

The static oven offers uniform and slow cooking, ideal for bread, cakes, and delicate preparations. Thanks to precise temperature control, it is perfect if you love experimenting in the kitchen. However, it may be less efficient for quick cooking. On the other hand, the fan-assisted oven ensures even heat distribution and faster cooking times, ideal for dishes like lasagna or fish. It is versatile and practical, but it may be less suitable for leavened products.

If you have an oven with both functions, you can take advantage of the best of both worlds.

If you have a recipe for a fan-assisted oven but are using a static oven, slightly increase the temperature. On the other hand, if you only have a fan-assisted oven and need the static mode, you can slightly lower the temperature and add a container of water to maintain moisture.

Do you have any questions?

The best choice between a fan-assisted oven and a convection oven?