Convection ovens are becoming the staple in households throughout the United States because they cook faster than convection ovens, use less energy, making them more cost-effective. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to get one, here’s what you need to know about them.
Is A Convection Oven Electric?
Convection ovens can be both gas and electric and come in many different models with various features. All will require electricity to operate various features such as the fan and exhaust system that circulates hot air. Most countertop models can operate on a 110 -120V standard electrical outlet, 60Hz, and 1800 watts. Larger convection like the Blodget SHO-100-G will use natural gas (British Thermal Units).
For this article, we’ll be discussing the electric countertop convection ovens because that is what I own and am familiar with. It’s also what most people have in their kitchen.
Suppose you live in a country where the standard electrical outlet is 220V or more. You’ll need a converter before plugging it into the electrical outlet.
Before we get into how much electricity, amps, etc., a convection oven uses, you first need to understand the differences in how they operate and how they differ from convection ovens.
How Are Convection Ovens Powered?
They are powered by electricity. When plugged in and powered on, the fan and exhaust system begin circulating air around the oven cavity.
The hot air helps food cook faster and more evenly and in less time than a convection oven, which is why it’s essential to know how much clearance a convection oven needs.
Convection Vs. Convention Ovens
It may surprise you that convection ovens are almost the same as regular ovens. That said, the convection oven has an additional fan and exhaust system that blows food to cook, heat, warm, and bake.
A conventional oven uses two heating sources (top and bottom). The bottom heating element cooks and bakes, and the top broils food.
How Much Electricity Does A Convection Oven Use?
Most people believe that the convection oven uses less energy than a regular oven because of its compact size. However, an electric oven (depending on the size, model, age, hook up, etc.) can use up to 2,500-5,000 watts and uses about 2kWH (kilowatt-hours) for 60 minutes of cooking time.
The table below provides a sample of how many watts are used based on the mode selected. (wattage usage will vary depending on model)
To figure out how much electricity a convection oven uses, you’ll use some basic math skills. But, first, figure out how many watts of electricity it uses per day.
This formula will help you determine how much your appliance uses. You can then determine how much it will cost you monthly based on your electric company’s price per kWh.
Watts * hours used per day * days used per year = Kilowatts/hour consumption (kWh)
How Much Does It Cost to Run A Convection Oven?
Once you know how many kWh per month, look at your last monthly electric bill to see how much it costs per kWh. If you can’t find it, this website has electric rates by different states you can use.
A convection oven will reduce cook times as well as the temperatures required. On average, you can expect it to use 20% less energy using a convection oven than a regular oven.
How Many Amps Does A Convection Oven Use?
Every convection oven is different, so you’ll want to refer to the owner’s manual for your particular make and model. An 1800 watt convection oven will use on average 15 amps.
To figure out how many amps your convection oven uses, you’ll need to know how many watts your appliance uses. You can find the wattage use on the side or bottom of the machine.
Once you know the wattage, you’ll want to use the following formula.
Watts / voltage = amps
The table below will give you the wattage of convection ovens and their corresponding rating for operating voltages 120V (US) and 220 (Europe, Asia)
|1100 Watts||9.16 amps||1100 Watts||5 amps|
|1200 Watts||10 amps||1200 Watts||5.45 amps|
|1300 Watts||10.83 amps||1300 Watts||5.9 amps|
|1400 Watts||11.66 amps||1400 Watts||6.36 amps|
|1500 Watts||12.5 amps||1500 Watts||6.81 amps|
|1600 Watts||13.3 amps||1600 Watts||7.27 amps|
|1700 Watts||14.16 amps||1700 Watts||7.72 amps|
|1800 Watts||15 amps||1800 Watts||8.18 amps|
Can You Use An Extension Cord With A Convection Oven
No, a convection oven should not be used with an extension cord; at least, that is what most appliance manufacturers will tell you.
According to this Environmental Health And Safety pdf, power strips, surge protectors, and RPTs (relocatable power taps) should not be used for high-power loads such as; toasters, microwaves, space heaters, convection toaster ovens, etc.
That said, if you are careful, it should be fine to use an extension cord with a convection oven temporarily. Plus, I know people who do use an extension cord because they have a small kitchen.
Convection ovens utilize a 3-prong electric cord. Most come with a short supply cord (24″ -35″) to reduce the hazards of getting entangled on other appliances or tripping.
The small power supply cord makes it hard to use on some kitchen counters, especially if your kitchen doesn’t have many outlets. If you decide to use an extension cord, there are some precautions to consider before buying one.
Buying An Extension Cord for Your Convection Oven
The voltage of the Cord
Choosing the right extension cord is vital based on your convection oven’s wattage or amperage rating. A higher amperage requires a more heavy-duty extension cord.
Choosing the wrong type can result in severe damage such as; overheating the cord, increased risk of electric shock or fire, or damage to the appliance.
Do not simply plug the convection oven into an extension cord you have lying around in your garage.
Instead, use the formula above to find out the amperage of the appliance and make sure the extension cord is certified for the amperage.
Length of Cord
Avoid buying an excessively long cord. Instead, only buy the length you need. The longer the distance from the outlet, you’ll need a cord with a bigger wire gauge.
Most people go with the longest cord they can find because it’s easier to move the appliance anywhere in the kitchen. Below are some tables to help you find the cord gauge easier.
|Amps||Minimum Wire Gauge||Cord Ft.|
If in doubt, take a trip to your local hardware store and have them help you find the correct extension cord. Check out these extension safety cord tips.
Make Sure It’s Certified
People are discouraged from using electric cords with their appliances because they usually buy the cheapest one they can find. Unfortunately, cheap extension cords are not certified and won’t be safe for use in the kitchen.
Instead, look for an extension cord where you see a UL or CE (label.
UL: Underwriter Laboratories (a third-party certification company) has tested and ensures the product can handle the amount of current they say it can.
CE: Conformité Européenne is the European equivalent of UL that can’t be sold in the EU until it passes the CE tests.
You can buy UL-certified extension cords at your local hardware stores like Lowes, Home Depot, etc.
Type of Plug
Most appliances have 3-prongs. The third prong helps reduce the risk of shock and electrical fires. Ensure the extension cord uses 3-prongs, utilizing an extension cord with two prongs will the device won’t be connected to the ground wire in the cord.
Making it prone to severe damage and risks of fire.
Convection ovens are electrical appliances that make cooking so much fun. That said, most appliance manufacturers, safety inspectors, handymen, etc., will tell you that you should NEVER use an extension cord with one.
That said if you need to use one temporarily, ensure you use a certified extension cord from a respected name brand with the minimum length possible. Don’t overload the cord, and keep it away from water, appliances, and other hazards.
Be aware of counterfeit UL extension cords, as they are out there. Staying safe and enjoying your convection oven starts with using it properly!
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