Baking cookies is something of a science. Small changes can have an outsized impact on how your cookies turn out and determining whether a conventional or convection oven is best is just one of many choices you'll have to make. Just so we're on the same page, convection ovens have a fan that circulates the air inside the oven as the cookies are baking. This is compared to a conventional oven, which does not circulate the air. Both types are perfectly capable of baking cookies, but is one better than the other? It depends on your baking style and what's important to you.
Convection is going to be better at making sure the cookies bake evenly, reducing or even eliminating the need to rotate your cookies relative to the heating element. The fan in a convection oven creates a drier environment which is good for browning. They also heat up faster and may cut down on how long the cookies need to bake. The main drawback of a convection oven is that you'll need to remember to adjust your oven temperature from the recipe since most directions are written with conventional ovens in mind.
And, because the cookies will bake faster, you'll need to make sure you're keeping an eye on them so they don't overcook. Conventional ovens are arguably simpler since you can follow the directions as they are written, though you will want to rotate your cookies halfway through since these ovens create pockets of heat which can lead to cookies that aren't uniformly baked. If you think you'll remember to adjust your convection oven when you use it, it's usually the better choice.
How To Adjust For Convection When Baking
Luckily, adjusting the directions from a conventional to a convection oven is relatively straightforward. All you have to do is drop the oven temperature down by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if the recipe calls for 375 degrees Fahrenheit in a conventional oven, set your convection oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, as the cookies are getting close to being done, make sure you are keeping an eye on them. A few minutes before the timer goes off, take a look inside and double-check that they aren't finished earlier than expected.
The more you use one, the more familiar you will become with how it performs and the fewer mistakes you'll make when using your convection oven. If it's consistently finishing five minutes ahead of schedule, simply start setting your timer for five minutes less than what the recipe calls for. That will free you up from staring at the oven while you wait for your cookies to finish.
If you're accustomed to using a conventional oven and all of this seems like a lot of unnecessary work, you're probably fine continuing to bake your cookies how you've been doing it so far. The difference isn't going to be extreme. That said, if you're convection-curious, it's definitely worth a try!
Read the original article on Tasting Table.