Cooking with convection ovens is not always the same as cooking with conventional ovens, usually because cooking times are different. The cooking times differ because of how each type of oven cooks, and convection ovens usually cook food faster because the hot air circulates throughout the oven rather than just being trapped in the top or bottom of the oven. Most recipes suggest cooking times that are more suited to conventional ovens, but most newer ovens come with a convection feature. The cooking time for a pork roast in a convection oven can be determined easily, but it depends on several variables.
Convection Vs. Convention
Both convection and conventional ovens use hot air to cook food. The major difference between the two is that a convection oven uses a fan to blow the air around the oven, forcing it to circulate around the food. The food will cook evenly in a convection oven whether it is placed on the bottom rack or top rack or in the back of the oven. In a conventional oven, the food may not cook evenly because the food itself can block the airflow.
Canadian Living magazine recommends reducing the cooking time stated by a recipe by about 25 per cent if using a convection oven for roasting. For example, if a pork roast recipe says to roast the pork at 163 degrees Cor 80 minutes, the pork roast should be cooked for only 60 minutes in a convection oven. When baking in a convection oven, the oven temperature should be reduced by about -3.89 degrees Cor the same amount of time as stated in the recipe.
Pork is usually cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. At this temperature, the pork is fully cooked and safe to eat. The required cooking time will usually depend on the type and weight of meat cut, but a good rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound. For example, a 2.27kg. loin roast will take about 20 minutes per pound in a conventional oven, or 15 minutes per pound in a convection oven.
Searing is the process of cooking the outside of the meat at very high heat in a pan before roasting. This process will help develop a flavourful crust on the outside of the meat that cannot be achieved by roasting, and will give the outside of the meat some colour. Searing cooks the outside of the meat, and make the meat cook faster in the oven. If you sear a pork roast before putting it in the oven, check it for doneness using a meat thermometer before letting it roast for the final 20 minutes to see if it is already cooked.