A gas convection oven is an oven that uses a combination of gas flame igniters and an air circulation fan to ensure even baking. The fan is what differentiates a gas convection oven from a conventional, or standard, oven. Circulating the air helps promote an even temperature in all parts of the oven. This ensures that food cooks evenly and uniformly, no matter the rack on which it is placed.
One of the benefits of cooking with convection is reduced overall bake time. When the air circulates around the oven, food cooks more quickly than it would if the air was still. Cooks can also refrain from rotating baked goods during cooking.
In a standard gas oven, the heating elements are usually located on the oven’s floor. This means that food placed on the bottom rack usually cooks the fastest, followed by food on the top rack, where the hot air rises. Food in the middle often remains underdone the longest. In order to ensure even cooking in a standard oven, cooks often rotate pans between racks at scheduled intervals.
Using a gas convection oven is usually no different from using a conventional oven, with the exception of cook time and, sometimes, temperature. Convection baking usually finishes in anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes less time, depending on what is being cooked. The convection element can also improve the accuracy of overall temperature, which may mean that cooks need to adjust the oven settings by a few degrees. Depending on the model, convection baking may be an option that can be turned on or off by the user.
A convection oven can be either gas or electric based. Many of the most efficient models are electric convection ovens, or at least are ovens with some electric components. This is mainly because a true convection oven has a total of three heating elements: one on the top, one on the bottom, and one inside the fan. It is not uncommon for a gas convection oven to have only one or two heating elements.
Gas ovens are heated by flames that ignite from various spouts placed just beneath the oven’s floor. Some models also have ignition spouts on the roof of the oven for broiling. Most gas convection ovens use fans that circulate air, but do not necessarily heat that air beforehand. This means that the oven is circulating air, but it is not all the same temperature. Cooler air from the oven’s center mixes in with the warmer air from the top and bottom, which lends a more even effect — but hot and cool spots still remain.
The only way to counteract this is by placing heating coils inside the fan element. It is not usually possible to power these coils with gas. A gas oven powered with an electric fan can still be called a gas convection oven, however, as the title primarily derives from the heat used to cook the food, rather than the heat used to warm the air. Such an oven is typically marketed as a “true convection” oven.