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Updated November 2022
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Buying guide for Best countertop convection ovens

The convection oven is a relatively recent invention, but it’s a great one. Unlike traditional ovens which cook food by surrounding it with heat, a convection oven circulates heat with the aid of a fan, allowing it to cook more thoroughly. Convection ovens cook faster than their conventional counterparts and can be combined with other methods (such as conduction and infrared cooking) in the same unit.

If you'd like to add a countertop convection oven to your home, we've created this buying guide to help you find the features that will work best for the way you cook. We've also included our favorite models to help you start your shopping.

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Convection ovens are great for frying, and they can do so with less oil. Because of the manner in which a convection oven circulates air, food in this type of appliance can be cooked on several racks at the same time.

How it works

Convection ovens accommodate any oven-safe cookware with a safe temperature range between 100°F and 350°F. That variance allows you to roast, broil, steam, air dry, and dehydrate foods in a convection oven. Many ovens include several racks which can be stacked vertically to create even more cooking space.

Because convection ovens cook faster, home chefs must perform some math in order to convert recipe cooking times. In most cases, temperatures should be reduced by 25°F for convection ovens. (Alternatively, you could drop the overall cooking time by 25% to achieve the same result.)

Some ovens automatically convert the time or temperature, but that feature is primarily found on high-end wall ovens with convection capability.

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Expert tip
Convection ovens bake hotter, so they bake faster. Any presence of baking soda or baking powder in batter activates faster, as it’s made to activate with liquid and heat. Higher heat makes the leavening agent more effective, so there’s a chance your cakes and muffins could puff up in the middle very fast (before the cake is baked enough to support the big puff), then fall in the middle. to avoid this, lower baking temperatures by 25 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

The heat source

Convection refers to the circulation of air. In the case of a convection oven, a fan circulates hot air to cook the food.

The primary difference among convection ovens is the heat source. A convection oven gets its heat from traditional conduction, halogen, infrared, or a combination of those elements. Each heat source has its advantages. For example, halogen is great for steaming, and infrared can be used to fry foods with only a small amount of fat.

Oven types

Convection ovens come in two varieties: standalone products that operate solely in convection mode and “multifunction” units that include functions such as toasting, broiling, and baking.

Convection-only ovens

These appliances have a space-aged cylindrical look with one or more heating elements and a fan. The cooking area is made of glass or food-grade plastic and can hold wire racks, bowls, or other oven-safe cookware.

Certain features differentiate these models, including the type and number of heating sources as well as the control panel, ability to preheat, temperature range, and accessories.

Because of their portability and ability to fix meals quickly, convection ovens have become a favorite for RVers

Multifunction ovens

Kitchen technology has come a long way since the invention of the toaster oven. The development of precise preheating, temperature control, and other user-friendly functions has ushered in some awesome improvements. Thanks to convection capability, shoppers can now choose from excellent toaster ovens that are also convection ovens. They’re useful countertop appliances that are great for small baking and broiling jobs.

"A European convection system differs from an American version in that it has a six-pass broil element in the top of the oven and a six- or eight-pass baking element in the bottom of the oven."

What to look for in a convection oven

The ideal convection oven for you depends on your budget, space, and primary needs. Consider these factors when selecting a convection oven.


How much room do you have for a convection oven in your kitchen? During the course of our research, we found convection ovens as little as 15 inches wide and as much as 19 inches wide. Height matters, too. You can find convection ovens that stand about a foot tall and convection ovens that tower over that at closer to 1.5 feet tall.

The depth of your convection oven greatly impacts which pieces of cookware you can fit inside it. Some convection ovens are only about six inches deep, so you're quite limited as to what you can use. Others are twice that depth.

A convection oven’s dimensions are important, as they dictate the size of the cookware you can place inside.


Both convection-only and tabletop models are extremely good at a wide variety of cooking tasks, but an oven’s heat source dictates its primary strengths.

  • Halogen-powered heat is suitable for air frying, grilling, and rapid cooking from a light source at the top of the unit.

  • Infrared heat performs all the basics, such as baking and broiling, in a smaller space. Because of its direct heat, the food may need to be turned several times during cooking.

  • Gas/electric (conductive) heat is good for baking, broiling, and toasting. It’s also handy if you want to brown the food to render a crust or create crispiness.
"Because of their portability, standalone convection ovens are ideal for families on the go."


Among convection-only appliances, both glass and plastic domes exist. Glass domes are more common, especially with convection ovens that use halogen as the primary heat source.

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Expert tip
Don’t crowd a convection oven. The hot air and fan are there to circulate the air – crowding inhibits this.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert


The choice between knobs and push-button settings is a matter of personal taste. Some convection ovens have buttons to control the functions. This allows for precision, which busy cooks appreciate. But many convection-only appliances have dial controls. This may be easier for some, but dials lack the ability to set precise times and temperatures.

Convection oven prices

Under $75

A wide array of countertop toaster ovens with convection capabilities fall in this price range. Often, these products are limited in their functions and have dial-based controls that are known to be less precise than their digital counterparts. Nevertheless, they are good options for budget-minded chefs who want a solid product.

Under $250

The bulk of the best and most reliable convection ovens are sold in this price range. You'll find lots of great convection-only and multifunctional convection ovens for your countertop here. If you plan to use your convection oven regularly, it may be worth the splurge to invest in a higher-end convection oven from a respected manufacturer.

Expert tip
Use low or no-sided baking sheets in a convection oven for better hot air circulation around the food.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert
Convection ovens are ideal for producing all sorts of snacks and meals.


Q. Is infrared cooking safe?

A. Even though infrared cooking is safe, keep safety in mind. Do not use your infrared oven if the hinge, seal, or latch is damaged. Because of its high heat, be cautious when removing food. Also, monitor children if they are nearby.

Q. Can a convection oven cook frozen food?

A. Yes. Some convection ovens even include settings for frozen foods.

Q. Can my convection oven be used as a dehydrator?

A. Countertop ovens rarely allow time settings long enough for dehydration, but many convection-only models have temperature ranges low enough for the lengthy time required for dehydration.

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