Oven Function Selection
We often get asked which function is the best to use. And the most common answer is the fan forced setting. And for the main part this is the most popular setting that customers tell us they get the best results from.
But, and isn’t there always a but! Many people get confused between fan forced and fan assist. There is only one ‘fan forced’ setting, and that is the one with the circle around the fan symbol! If you have two lines at the top and bottom of the fan symbol, then you have selected the ‘fan assist’ mode!
Got something to add to this discussion? Look forward to hearing about your experiences with which function cooks best! There wouldn’t be so many function options if they didn’t all serve a purpose. But many of the instruction books make it seem like a science rather than a general rule. Which sometimes puts people of using the other fucntions.
So perhaps the best way to explain the functions is to start with the basics. A line (curved or straight) at the bottom indicates an element that is located at the bottom of the oven. In some ovens you can see this element and in some ovens you can’t.
Some times refered to as the “Conventional” setting. Lines at the top and bottom (curved or straight) indicates both the top and bottom elements are engergised. This setting is probably best for cooking Meringues. Things that are light and full of air and can collapse from the air movement. This setting relys on what we refer to as radiant heat. Radiant heat simply radiates the heat they generate to the product ie roast, much like a campfire.
Fan Assist! Not to be confused with Fan Forced! The cooking fan at the rear of the oven is energised along with the same top and bottom elements as in the Conventional setting. At 180 degrees this setting will cook around 10% faster than the conventional setting (for example 160 degrees fan assist / 180 degrees conventional oven). This setting combines radiant and convection heat. Convection is a process that involves fanning air across the heating element(s). The air absorbs the heat and is then distributed throughout the oven cavity.
Fan Forced is the most commonly used function in the any oven. This element is circular and positioned around the cooking fan. Hence the term Fan Forced as the air is forced past the element before being distributed thoughout the oven cavity. We encourage customers to use this setting most for two reasons. 1. Because it cooks more evenly as a rule and 2. Because we carry in the van 5 fan forced elements for every 1 top or bottom element. Which means you are more likely to get this element replaced on the first visit. This setting relys on convection, which means it is less likely to burn the top of whatever you might be cooking. Make sure you study your setting carefully as they can look almost identical on some ovens. The difference is normally a broken circle for fan assist and a complete circle surrounding the fan symbol for fan forced. *note not all ovens have a fan forced setting.
Fan Assist Grill looks like the top element but is always represented by some form of broken line; some times upside down triangles. Some ovens only offer a grill setting without the cooking fan. This is what starts to separate the expensive ovens from the cheap ovens. Those that have 4 function settings are far cheaper than those that have 10 oven functions. Some don’t allow temprature control; where the grill is either full on or off.
Turbo which energises three element at once. You get variations on this concept, some offer Fan Bake which is often only the fan forced and bottom elements engergised. This is the fastest cooking setting and would be best used for Pizza’s or Naan etc. where you want intense heat for short periods. You will note a broken cirle and a complete circle in the one symbol.
All ovens have thier own unique terms and symbols but most adhere to these universal indicatiors. So next time you choose fan assist, why not try fan forced! It’s normally easier to use and cheaper to fix if when the element fails.