The Best Convection Oven Cookbook by Linda Stephen

The Best Convection Oven Cookbook
Linda Stephen
Robert Rose Publishing (2003)
ISBN 9780778800675
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (2/11)

 

I’ve had a convection oven for about six years and I have to admit that I really never did understand how to use it.  I’ve read about it and I’ve tried it; but wasn’t convinced of the difference from a conventional oven until I got serious and started reviewing “The Best Convection Oven Cookbook.”  During holiday meals I’ve attempted to use the oven for many dishes at one time and ended up with a juggling dance.  Now I understand that with a convection oven there is no need for juggling and because of the constant circulation of air I can even bake as many as six sheets of cookies (if I had that many racks) at one time.   So…at this point you can tell I’m jazzed about this new find!

For the purpose of this review we are asked to test out three recipes.  I could hardly wait to give my first test and was open to try “Tourtiere,” a French Canadian dish that is very popular in Quebec.  I make this dish often but was open to try this recipe and bake it convection style.  The filling itself was different than what I normally make.  I only use allspice and cinnamon where this recipe called for savory, thyme, cloves and cinnamon.  We like this variation as well.  I cut down baking time by about 15 minutes which on busy days is a godsend.

Wanting to go all out on the test, I tested “Roast Prime Rib of Beef.”  Again, for the size of the roast, I cut down the roasting time by about 1/2 hour.  The sauce of mustard, garlic, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce was a nice addition.   I served the roast with “Turnip and Apple Mash” which was a great complement.  Although the suggested cooking temperatures of the roast and the mash were different, it didn’t make any difference.  I’m not sure if I saved any time on cooking the mash in the convection oven because it just went in with the roast.

The third recipe I tested was “Chocolate Almond Torte” because I wanted to know if using a convection oven made any difference in a baked product.  The torte itself is delicious; it’s rich and the orange zest adds to the flavor.  From my knowledge of making other tortes and cakes, I saved about 10 minutes on the baking time.  I do believe the cake baked more even and that is because of the circulating heat and the cake didn’t have the hump in the middle.

I give using the convection oven a ‘thumbs up’ and am grateful I got to review “The Best Convection Oven Cookbook.”  There are many recipes I will be making now that I’ve been convinced using a convection oven does save time and gives a more even heat distribution.


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