Circotherm Ovens

Q. I have always used a gas oven, but now I have an electric one with a
bewildering number of oven settings – circotherm, circotherm intensive,
bread baking, top/bottom heat, bottom heat, circo-roasting…..- and I’m
never sure which to use. The handbook is not very comprehensive.
What would you recommend for, say Yorkshire puddings, victoria sponge, oven
chips, rich fruit cake ? Is the basic circotherm suitable for most things,
or is it better to use the range of settings ?

A. Circotherm is just a fancy name for our old friend, the convection oven. In other words it blows a lot of hot air around your oven. In theory, this means that heat is maintained very efficiently throughout the oven, and this in turn, leads to quicker and more efficient cooking. That, as I say, is the theory, and reviews of ovens using circotherm technology are pretty positive on the whole. Therefore, cook at the temperatures you are used to, but keep an eye on the time involved. If it is quicker and more efficient, then the Yorkshire puds, Victoria sponges etc should cook quicker. As always, it’s also a good idea to have separate oven thermometer. Those that come with ovens are notoriously unreliable.

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