When NOT to use Convection

Convection Cooking isn’t new technology. (oh thank you Kurt for that brainstorm statement!)

Most people who have it in their oven never use it. According to manufacturers’ Use & Care Manuals you can use that cooking mode for everything. 

Sure you can, but you may get results that go here

Try staying with the Bake mode for cakes. The batter needs the delicate surround of heat and not the variable flow that is provided by convection. 

Below are some Chocolate Cakes that I baked in Convection. 

No I didn’t throw them out!

Once I covered them in frosting they were fine. But they are individual size.  If you are baking in a standard pan you may not like the results. See how the tops are cracked?

This happens because convection heat dries out the top of the batter before the ingredients start to work their magic in the center.


Steaming Shrimp

Here is a simple shellfish preparation. Great for lobster, mussels and clams.

1 pound Key West Prawns 10-12/lb. Set on 215˚ moisture level at 100% for 5 minutes. The preheat was about 6 minutes. Once removed, I shocked the shrimp in an ice bath to serve these cocktail style. Although served hot with a pasta, saffron rice, potato gratin etc. fantastic!

The oven comes with a perforated and solid pan. I placed the solid below to capture the broth (I froze it for a base for another time). This makes cleanup easy. Although this oven is plumbed and juices can go down the drain, but why waste them?

For a sauce I just used a mix of the following:

3 tbls Mayo

juice from 1/2 orange

1 tbls chili sauce

1 tsp prepared horseradish

dash sea salt

Oven Meat Probe, who uses THAT?

Ok we all have an ego. We don’t need someone watching over our shoulder telling us how to do something. Specially a machine.

Well, don’t we have an addiction to smartphones?

The built in probe in your oven is a must.

What better way to judge how things are going or when to start cooking the side dishes.

So go find that meat probe, lost in the drawer of miscellaneous cooking tools you never use and have a roast this weekend?

Breaded Portabello

Baked Not Fried

Breaded Portabellos
by Kurt von Kahle
Convection 425˚
Bake 450˚

Four Portabello Mushrooms, remove stems and wipe clean
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk or water
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Fresh basil leaves
Olive oil cooking spray
Fresh sliced tomato
Fresh Mozzarella

Preheat oven in either cooking mode.
This recipe follows the classic technique of basic breading procedure.
Set up three separate bowls. One with the flour. One with the eggs combined with the milk (creating an egg wash), and the last one with the bread crumb.
Dredge the mushrooms, one at a time, in the flour then egg wash and finally in the crumbs.
When all are breaded, spray both sides with cooking spray and place onto a cookie or bake pan. Place in oven and bake until crisp, approximately 14 minutes. Remove pan and turn slices over, top with a slice of tomato and cheese*. Return to oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. remove from oven plate with basil on each slice and enjoy!

*A great option is to top with Stonewall Kitchens Spicy Corn Relish.