Most ovens nowadays include Conventional Cooking, Closed Door Grilling, Fan Forced Cooking, Defrosting, Fan Assisted Cooking, Bottom Element and Top Element so we will discuss these functions below.
Conventional Cooking may be the traditional static cooking mode using bottom and top elements without any fan. Our grandmothers cooked delicious meals using conventional cooking and it is still a very good way to bake heavy cakes such as banana, mud, Christmas and fruit cakes. While there is no fan the traditional mode distributes heat unevenly using the top being warmer than the bottom shelves so it is good for cooking desserts for example pavlovas, meringues and sponges at lower temperatures. It is also ideal for large roasts.
MEALS TO COOK While using CONVENTIONAL COOKING FUNCTION INCLUDE:
Roasts Delicate Pastries Pavlovas, Meringues & Sponges Cakes including Banana, Mud, Christmas, Fruit Cake, Slow Cooking Cakes
This is a traditional grill function with heat radiating previously mentioned. This function is best for grilling/browning the top food. Most new ovens include closed door grilling which is a safer option to the old closed door grilling. In case your oven includes a fan grill function you can do multi level grilling so you could cook sausages and chops on top level and baked potato at the base level.
MEALS To prepare USING THE GRILL FUNCTION INCLUDE:
Grilled Vegetables for example Asparagus, Eggplant, Capsicum, Sausages, Hamburgers, Chicken, Beef Bacon Fish Burritos Garlic Bread Melted Cheese on Toast Pasta Bake
Fan Forced Cooking:
The fan forced function may be the new standard, everyday cooking function. The fan at the back of most contemporary ovens is surrounded by a triple ring heating element that will evenly distribute heated air through the oven so there aren't any 'cold' spots. The hot air is produced when the fan is switched on therefore the food starts cooking at the same time making it quicker while you don't need to pre-heat your oven. Also as the heat is efficiently distributed to the food cooking temperatures can be lower than those used for conventional ovens. This really is ideal for multiple baking (e.g. you can cook muffins on one shelf and biscuits on another) where a level temperature is required. This function is the best for general cooking and readymade meals but it's not good for meals with special cooking requirements such as pizzas, flans or grilled recipes.
MEALS To prepare While using FAN FORCED FUNCTION INCLUDE:
Ideal for foods that should be tender or rare on the inside and congratulations on the exterior such as lamb, roast beef and whole fish.
Defrosting within the oven requires the light and fan standing on but no heat. Defrosting in the oven is better than the microwave because this mode doesn't dry or par-cook food. The only disadvantage over a microwave is that defrosting is a slower process within the oven.
MEALS To prepare USING THE DEFROST FUNCTION INCLUDE:
Anything that is frozen and requires to become defrosted
Fan Assisted Cooking:
If you are wondering 'what may be the difference between Fan Forced and Fan Assisted Cooking?' you are not alone! Both of these functions are compatible with most of the same meals. Fan Assisted Cooking uses the top and bottom element using the fan in the rear pushing heat around. While using the fan assisted function the oven will need to be pre-heated for the similar period of time as a conventional oven so cooking times aren't reduced. The cooking temperatures, however, will be the just like fan forced ovens. In case your oven has both fan assisted and fan forced cooking functions you would use the fan assisted rather than the fan forced if you are preparing food that needs either bottom or top heat concentration.
MEALS TO COOK USING THE FAN ASSISTED FUNCTION INCLUDE:
Just like fan forced, just about everything will cook well in fan assisted cooking mode. Foods such as bread (i.e. it needs to be cooked through but cooks well with bottom and top heat concentration) are better in fan assisted than fan forced cooking mode.
This function uses the underside element only. Suitable for slow, gentle cooking for example that required for stews and casseroles. Bottom element with a fan is great for foods including quiches, pastries and pizzas.
MEALS TO COOK USING THE BOTTOM ELEMENT FUNCTION INCLUDE:
Stews Casseroles Quiches Pastries Pizzas
This function uses the top element only. It's suitable for 'au gratin' style cooking for any firm crust.
MEALS TO COOK While using TOP ELEMENT FUNCTION INCLUDE:
Potato Bake Cauliflower with cheese sauce
We have covered the most popular functions on electric ovens however this list is by no means exhaustive. You may even have Rotisserie function, Pizza function, Fan Grilling, Bottom Element with Fan Forced, Bottom Element with Fan Assist, Top Grill, Fan Forced and Bottom Element, Half Grill, and Quick Start/Pre Heat. Depending on your typical cooking style you may or may not need these extra functions. For the average home cook the oven modes that we have outlined tend to be more than sufficient.