Heat Distribution and Cooking in Different Types of Ovens

Welcome back to our blog. Today we want to share a few facts about the different types of ovens. Our hints should give you a better understanding of the principles behind cooking devices and hopefully to help you prepare better tasting food.


How do different ovens work?

A strange question at first sight but if you dig deeper into the core of the problem, you’ll find you’ve got no idea how these machines actually work. Of course, heat is what cooks the food but what are the sources? What is different between the types of ovens? How each of them distributes heat and what are the benefits of that?

Ovens have been around for thousands of years. They’ve improved immensely in the last 100 years thanks to the industrial revolution. Today most ovens are fueled by electricity or natural gas or a combination between the two.


Types of ovens and their heat distribution.

Aga ovens

They use radiation to cook and that’s why they’re entirely made of metal. That allows all the radiation (calm down, this radiation is not harmful for you) to stay inside and to cook meals instead of heating the room. Basic disadvantage of these ovens is their inability to check frequently enough the current state of cooking. On the other hand, radiation is distributed throughout the whole oven and therefore it cooks more evenly.


Conventional ones or thermal ovens.

These appliances have heat sources mounted on top and bottom of the chamber. Radiant ovens transfer heat directly to the food. Usually because of the glass door, the side of the meal which faces the door stays poorly cooked. To overcome the issue simply turn the meal or lower the temperature inside the chamber. Slower cooking means lower heat difference in different areas inside the oven. If you need to, purchase an oven thermometer. It will help you estimate the degree levels inside the chamber.


Convectional ovens

These have additional heat source compared to conventional ovens and an added fan. What that fan does is to create a stream of hot air which allows the food to cook better and dramatically decreases the chance of unevenly cooked meals. The fan sucks air from the chamber, transfers it trough the additional heater and back inside the oven. That results in 25% faster cooking. For instance a turkey cooked in a convection oven may save you up to an hour. The temperature difference in different corners inside the oven which tend to exist with radiant ovens, are gone in a convectional oven.


Microwave ovens

A truly magnificent piece of engineering which is arguably the most dangerous of the three types. Whether to use a microwave or not, we’ll leave to you to decide but the principle behind the machines is this:

  1. The power is provided from:
    • vacuum tube or a magnetron,
    • a wave guide which directs the wave to the food
    • a chamber which holds the waves away from us, making the machine safe to use.
  2. In difference with other ovens microwaves heat the entire meal simultaneously. Traditional ovens heat the outside of the food, then heat is transferred to the inner parts trough the water molecules inside the food.


Much more in depth explanation of how a microwave works can be found in the video.

Halogen Ovens

Halogen ovens are smaller and use special halogen heating bulbs. They are among the most efficient in terms of price to cooking potential. Meals are cooked faster and the food comes out evenly prepared. There are a number of recipes that you can prepare without any effort whatsoever. However, halogen cookers are more than suitable for exquisite chef recipes as well.

We hope this information was interesting and helpful for you. Come again next week when we will explain how self cleaning ovens do their magic and what is necessary for us to do in order to maintain them properly.