A built-in fan oven is a convection oven permanently installed in a kitchen. Convection ovens, also called fan ovens, heat food faster by moving around the hot air using fans. A built-in fan oven is often a convection microwave oven, which is a cross between a microwave and fan oven, that it is permanently installed into a kitchen and cannot easily be moved. It is common for such ovens to be placed above a stove, generally at the height of a person’s shoulders or head.
Convection ovens differ from thermal ovens because they have fans. In general, food cooked in a built-in fan oven are finished about 25 percent faster than a thermal, or radiant, oven. Another advantage of using a convection is that, since fans are pushing around the hot air, food cooks more evenly. Therefore, if a cook places three cookie sheets of cookies into a convection oven, they should all brown evenly. If a similar sheet of cookies is placed in a thermal oven, the cookies nearest the heat sources will cook faster.
When built into a kitchen, small convection ovens are usually placed above the stove. Sometimes they are placed below the stove, however, or even in a different area of the kitchen, though developers generally attempt to make the location convenient for cooks. Installing multiple built-in fan ovens is increasingly common when building large, modern kitchens, much like the installation of multiple dishwashers. Convection ovens are also often used in commercial kitchens, such as in restaurants or hotels which serve food. The way the oven heats allows the business’ staff to place food on each rack of the oven without worry of uneven cooking.
Recipes written for a conventional radiant oven should be adjusted to cook properly in a built-in fan oven. Since the food cooks faster, the temperature may have to be lowered to allow baked goods time to rise before cooking. Neglecting to do so may cause a cake or pastry to be flatter than usual, which can affect the texture, though the taste should be the same. In addition, a built-in oven fan relies heavily on pushing air around to heat food evenly, so pans with low sides are typically favored to allow maximum airflow. Other than this, a built-in oven fan usually does not require special cookware.