Are Pizza Ovens Convection? (Not usually, but . . . )


I really enjoy making pizza from scratch at home. So it got me wondering if I should consider getting a pizza oven. I often see fancy wood-fired pizza ovens at restaurants, but I wondered are pizza ovens convection?

Here’s what I found out:

Traditional wood-fired stone pizza ovens and pizza deck ovens are not typically convection ovens. However, when a restaurant has neither of those options, a convection oven is the next best way to cook pizza.

But that’s not all there is to know about pizza ovens.

So in this article, we’ll take a deep dive, look at a few different types, see if all of them offer a convection fan, and look at how the fan might impact the finished pizza.

Just keep reading to learn more!

Which type of oven is best for pizza?

The best pizza oven is wood-fired with an open flame and a flat stone surface that the pizza sits directly on. The flames and heat naturally heat the stone so the pizza cooks both on top and on the bottom.

But, pizza ovens aren’t exactly easy to install in a home kitchen. And they are limited to pretty much pizza and bread. So, unless that’s all you eat, it’s probably not practical.

Pizza needs heat from the top and the bottom to cook evenly. The next best option for cooking pizza is an oven with heating elements at the top and the bottom.

You can purchase a small electric pizza oven that sits on your countertop, but I bet you already have something in your kitchen that will work just as well.

Your regular, conventional oven will work just fine.

Or even your toaster oven. Convection ovens have great heat and the ability to cook with steam. A conventional oven, toaster oven, or even a convection oven will all cook a nice pizza with a crispy crust and nicely browned cheese.

What you don’t ever want to use, though, is a microwave.

Microwaves are good for heating up those bags of frozen vegetables, but not for pizza. In fact, if you have a toaster oven, you might not even need a microwave.

Check out this recent article to read about whether your toaster oven can replace a microwave. What really surprised me was a combo microwave-toaster oven.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is my oven conventional or convection?

If your oven uses a fan inside the oven on the back wall to circulate air throughout the food, it is a convection oven. But a true convection oven has a 3rd heating element behind the fan, which not all so-called convection ovens offer.

In a conventional oven, the dish closest to the heating element cooks the fastest.

It’s the type of oven that you are most familiar with. Most recipes are written for conventional ovens. Because there is no need to adjust time or temperature, it’s what people are most comfortable using.

But convection ovens are awesome and can speed up the baking and cooking!

The circulating air reduces cool spots and hot spots that may cause dishes to cook faster or slower, depending on where they are in the oven.

Many ovens come in a hybrid form with both options built-in. Just take a peek in the back of your oven. If it has a big fan in it, it has a convection feature.

Cooking with convection may seem intimidating, but it’s not hard at all with a few simple tips. With convection cooking, you’ll be cooking fast and delicious meals in no time.

Here are a few basic steps to get started:

1. Determine if recipe conversions are needed

Check your recipe to see if you need to adjust the time and temperature for convection cooking. Not many recipes will provide times and temperatures for convection cooking, so you will need to check your product manual. It will tell you the exact adjustments to make.

2. Convert recipe temperature and time

If you need to adjust the temperature, just subtract 25 degrees from the temperature listed. For example, if the directions say to cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, adjust to 350 degrees.

Cooking time is going to be a little trickier. Start by reducing the time by about 25%. It’s going to take some trial and error to get it right. So if you’ve never used your convection feature before, don’t try it out for the first time on that Thanksgiving turkey.

3. Preheat the oven

Just like traditional cooking, your oven needs to be preheated. Preheat it to the converted convection cooking temperature.

4. Start cooking

Place your dish in the preheated oven, set the timer, and get ready for some delicious food, cooked quickly and evenly.

What are the advantages of a convection oven?

Convection ovens have powerful fans that circulate hot air inside the oven. This helps the oven maintain a consistent temperature, making it ideal for multi-rack cooking. But it also speeds up the cooking process.

But both convection and conventional ovens have their benefits and things they are best for.

Conventional ovens are what most people are comfortable with. They are easy to use and recommended for certain baked goods, like cakes and quick bread.

Convection ovens have benefits that just can’t be matched by traditional ovens.

Benefits include:

  • Circulating air that helps dishes cook evenly
  • Less rotating of dishes
  • Improved browning and crisping
  • Quick preheating and faster cooking
  • Easy to cook multiple dishes at once
  • More flexibility to cook on multiple racks
  • Cook practically everything – meats, vegetables, casseroles, and cookies

But convection ovens aren’t the only appliances that keep your kitchen running smoothly. If you are moving to your first home, it can be tempting to buy everything.

Before you go on a buying spree, check out this recent article where I talk about the best small kitchen appliances for your first home.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Do pizza restaurants use a convection oven?

Most pizza restaurants use either a wood-fired stone pizza oven or a pizza deck oven, neither of which typically have a convection fan. However, if they don’t have either of those, they will likely use a convection oven for the speed at which it cooks and the evenness with which it distributes heat.

Deck type pizza ovens are specialized for pizza and bread only. If they have to pick between buying a deck pizza oven or a convection oven, most restaurants will choose the convection oven.

If you are running a restaurant, you want to get food out as quickly as possible. And convection ovens are more versatile and a bit faster than a traditional oven.

However, if restaurants are cooking mostly pizza, a deck oven is standard.

The browning that makes pizza delicious is better gotten from a deck oven which do not typically have a convection fan.

Convection ovens need a bit of experimentation to get that browning because there is so much more space between the pizza and the heating elements.

Convection ovens are also good at reducing the amount of wasted heat. Deck ovens will heat up the kitchen hotter and faster.

What is the best indoor convection pizza oven?

The best indoor oven for pizza is the Oster French Convection Countertop and Toaster Oven. The extra-large interior holds two 16-inches pizzas, and the convenient timer can shut off the oven automatically.

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.

It’s big enough for feeding large crowds. Digital controls make it easy to cook at the right temperature for the right amount of time. And it’s more than just a pizza oven!

You can bake in it, broil, toast, warm food, dehydrate food, and even defrost food.

You no longer need to take up space with a separate toaster oven when you have this. And no need to heat up your kitchen with your conventional oven, either.

You’ll want to use this high capacity machine for all of your cooking!

It’s an elegant looking machine, so you won’t mind leaving it out on the counter. And you can open both doors with a single hand, making it hassle-free to open.

You’ll want to keep a machine this great looking as clean as possible. I wrote this recent article describing how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about whether pizza ovens are convection?

Convection ovens are great for home cooks. They offer quick preheating and cooking, and the best part of it all is they are great for pizza!

Restaurants may use stone pizza ovens, deck pizza ovens, or convection ovens. Convection ovens are the most versatile and don’t heat up the kitchen as much.

If you don’t have a convection oven yet, there are some great options for purchasing countertop models.

Now for the question that can never be answered: Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with his wife & 3 daughters, he can usually be found practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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