Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Complete Convection Oven Cookbook - Robin Donavnan

In my opinion, this book is worth having just for the convection oven information at the beginning. It explains, not only how different convection ovens work, but also how to adapt recipes designed to be cooked in conventional ones.

It has several recipes, organized into sections like, "Breakfast and Brunch", "Appetizers and Snacks", "Poultry", "Breads" and so on. Each recipe gives a brief description of the food, at times even explaining how the convection oven cooks it to perfection, and also lists which types of Convection Ovens the recipe works best with, Full-Size, Countertop, Halogen…etc. And which setting to use, BAKE or ROAST.

The one thing I think that this cookbook could be improved by is having pictures of each recipe.  But many of the titles and descriptions of the foods sound tasty just to read about, so it's not too important. There are many (in my opinion) easy to follow recipes, like  Juicy-Oven-Grilled Bacon Cheeseburgers, Crispy Chicken Wings with Sweet-Hot Honey Mustard Sauce ("crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and bathed in a zippy sauce"), Pecan-Sour Cream Coffee Cake ( I tried this recipe, my dad really liked it with his coffee!), Streusel-Topped Caramel Apple Muffins…and so on.

I only tried one recipe so far from this cookbook, but am definitely planning on trying more in the future.  Mainly for the past couple of months I've been referring to it in cooking some of our normal meals.  For instance, I referred to it when I made some chicken that we normally fry in oil, and wanted to see what they did to make oven fried chicken and what setting they used, Bake or Roast.  

The section I must appreciated about this book is it's section about convection ovens and how to cook with them at the beginning.   I learned something brand new about my family's convection oven. I was reading the section "convection settings and how to Use Them" when "Convection Roast" caught my eye.  "I don't remember our oven having a roast setting",  I thought, but then I seemed to have this faint memory of seeing some sort of button that said "roast".  I went to our kitchen and looked at the buttons on the oven.  It has a "Roast" setting! The button is right NEXT to the "BAKE" setting, and yet I had never really noticed it.  We've had the oven for over ten years and yet I never realized we have that button? I was very eager to try the setting, especially since the book points out that "Convection Roast can also be used to 'oven-fry' breaded or battered foods such as chicken nuggets or tempura shrimp, or to turn veggies into crispy chips or fries." French Fries, I've always had trouble cooking them in the oven.  They never seem to come out nice and crispy.  Just hot and squishy.  "Perhaps", I thought, "it's because I've been using the wrong setting on the oven".  We always used BAKE, 'cause, of course, we thought we didn't have another setting on the oven. I really feel crazy for not noticing that Roast button all of these years. Not only is it next to the BAKE button but It's even the same size!

 Anyway, so one day I tried a small batch of frozen french fries, using the newly discovered ROAST setting.  And it worked! They were beautifully crispy.  And as I scarfed some down one of my sisters kept asking if she have one, and another one, and another one… they were good!  And then I tried it with a normal batch of fries.  I come from a large family, I have 13 brothers and sisters with twelve of us still living at home.  So a regular batch of fries for us is two cookie sheets full of fries. The pan on the top rack came out nice and crispy, but the ones on the middle rack weren't done yet (I think the pans are probably a little too large to allow an even circulation of air in the oven).  Next time I'll need to put them back in the oven on the top rack to allow them to finish.  But the crispy ones were still really good! I've made many small batches of fries for snacking in the past few weeks with that setting.  It's so much easier to roast the fries in the oven instead of having to make a mess frying the fries in oil. 

Anyway, I'd highly recommend this book, for the convection oven tips alone!

Many thanks to the folks at the Callisto Media for sending me a free review copy of this cookbook! My review did not have to be favorable, I truly do like this cookbook!

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars

This book may be purchased at

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