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Conventional Ovens

A conventional oven is a kitchen appliance used for roasting meats and stews or for baking breads, cakes, and other dishes. Such ovens can run on gas or electric heat. In gas ovens, there is a gas burner found at the back portion of the bottom of the oven, while electric ovens have a metal heating element located at the bottom of the oven.

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Using Conventional Ovens

Air does not circulate in a conventional oven. Heat rises to make the temperature at the top of the oven higher than at the bottom. This makes it important to preheat the oven and not to place too many things too closely together. You should allow 10 minutes for preheating and provide 2 inches of space between both the pans and the oven walls. These variations in heat levels can actually make conventional ovens useful in cooking a number of dishes together at the same time, when different temperatures are required for the various dishes. Roasting is typically used to cook meat and vegetables at higher heats, over 400 degree Fahrenheit, and the heat is often turned down lower towards the end of cook-time. In baking, one temperature is maintained throughout cook time duration.

Types of Conventional Ovens

There are many types of conventional gas and electric ovens on the market to choose from today. Conventional ovens are much more affordable than convection ovens, and more complicated ovens hardly guarantee good cooking. Freestanding ranges combine a cook-top and oven, or you can purchase a cook-top and wall oven separately. Many manufacturers now provide an optional convection cooking feature that is built into an oven.

What to Look for in Conventional Ovens

The conventional oven you choose to buy should be based on the way in which you cook. If you frequently cook for guests or a large family, look for a large oven with a high temperature burner. In choosing between electric surface elements and gas, keep in mind that electric elements tend to maintain low heat better, and gas flames are easier to adjust heat levels. Touchpad oven controls offer more precise heat control than knobs do, but be sure that computer elements are under warranty--just in case they should be affected by high temperatures. New kitchen designs often have built-in ovens to maximize space efficiency. It is also possible to install double ovens which can be placed side-by-side or stacked on top of each other.