Which baking dish is the best?
If you like to cook, you know that the success of your dishes depends on three major factors: a good recipe, good ingredients and quality cookware.
Consider what you like to cook most often and whether your priority is reliable, predictable results or easy cleanup and simple maintenance. Whatever your preference, the Nordic Ware Classic Metal Coated Cake Pan is a great versatile choice. Crafted from professional-grade aluminum, this pan ensures consistent temperature and years of great cooking results for both hobbyists and professional chefs.
What you need to know before buying a cake tin
Baking molds are usually made of metal, glass, ceramic or silicone. For an overview of specific pans made from these materials that aren’t featured in this article, check out BestReviews’ pan buying guide.
Metal baking pans are commonly used. They are usually made of aluminum or steel coated with a non-stick surface. Although stainless steel pans are available, they don’t offer compelling enough benefits to justify their higher prices. Metal baking dishes conduct heat evenly through your food, making it easy to follow recipes and get the results you want.
Glass baking pans do not conduct heat as well as metal alternatives. Therefore, foods prepared in glass cookware require careful monitoring to avoid overcooked edges. Glass is easy to clean but heavy and fragile.
Silicone Baking pans are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their nonstick surfaces that stay cool to the touch even when taken out of the oven. Silicone bakeware is flexible and easy to store. This material is not good at conducting heat, so users of silicone products should add extra cooking time to their recipes.
Ceramic baking pans are aesthetically pleasing to some due to their classic and traditional look. They are usually the heaviest option and retain heat very well. Porcelain cookware can chip easily, resulting in sharp and dangerous edges.
Thin baking dishes are lighter and less expensive than thicker options. However, they do not conduct or retain heat as well as thicker cookware. Thicker pans generally allow for more even cooking.
Think about your cooking plans and choose a pan whose shape will best suit your needs. If you plan to bake stacked cakes, for example, avoid pans with steep sides. If you regularly make pans, choose a pan with an appropriate depth.
Some people occasionally cook for themselves. Others cook food for commercial use or large events. Select a pan size suitable for your most common tasks and recipes. Some baking pan sets include multiple sizes that you can easily buy together.
What to Look for in a Quality Bakeware
At first glance, non-stick surfaces are the best choice for hassle-free cooking. However, these surfaces lack resilience and eventually wear out. Bakeware that is not coated with a non-stick surface will require more preparation on your part to ensure your food comes out easily.
Dark colored pans retain and conduct more heat than lighter colored ones. This means that foods cooked in dark pans are more likely to have overcooked and burnt edges. Choose a lighter colored pan to ensure even and predictable cooking.
Choose a baking dish with smooth lines and no extra details, with deeply embossed logos or other features where food can collect. Even non-stick pans can become difficult to clean if ingredients are cooked in them repeatedly. The glass, silicone and ceramic molds are dishwasher safe.
Other Bakeware Features to Consider
- Use the correct size. Recipes call for specific pan sizes to ensure food is cooked appropriately. Using too large or too small a pan changes the thickness of what you bake and therefore affects your results.
- Use kitchen gloves. Metal, glass and ceramic molds get extremely hot and can cause severe burns. Always use oven mitts or silicone tongs to remove them from the oven.
- Do you want to serve your pastry hot? Glass pans retain heat better than metal. If your dish is best served right out of the oven, cooking it in a glass casserole dish will keep it warm long after it’s removed.
How much you can expect to spend on a baking dish
High-quality baking pans can be purchased affordably for $15 to $20. Complete sets of baking pans that include a variety of shapes and sizes can cost up to $100, depending on what they are made of, how many pieces they contain, and whether they come from a high-end manufacturer.
Baking Pans FAQ
Will the material of my baking dish affect my baking?
A. Yes. Baking with metal molds requires less time than baking with other materials because metal is an excellent conductor of heat. Silicone molds, however, are heat resistant and will require longer in the oven to ensure complete cooking. The thermal conductivity of different materials will take some experimentation to fully understand how it can affect your favorite recipes.
Which griddle material is non-stick?
A. Silicone’s naturally smooth surface and flexibility make it the number one choice for bakers who value nonstick surfaces and quick cleanup over heat retention and quick cook times.
Why is food sticking to my non-stick baking pan?
A. Non-stick surfaces wear out over time. Although disappointing, this does not mean that your baking dish can no longer be used. Simply treat cookware with nonstick spray or parchment paper as you would a traditional skillet.
What is the best baking dish to buy?
Upper baking dish
Nordic Ware Classic Metal Covered Cake Pan
What do you want to know: Exceptional quality and durable aluminum construction make this baking dish ideal for long term use.
What you will love: This large saucepan includes a matching aluminum storage lid. It’s made in America and its rugged construction means it’s built to last even in demanding professional kitchens.
What you should consider: This pan is not dishwasher safe nor is it treated with a non-stick coating.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Upper baking dish for the money
Wilton Recipe Right 9 x 13 inch Nonstick Cake Pan Multipack
What do you want to know: This set includes two large baking dishes at a very competitive price.
What you will love: These baking pans feature a nonstick surface and aluminum construction. Their thick metal prevents warping at high temperatures and distributes heat evenly.
What you should consider: Although these pans are dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing them in hot, soapy water to prolong the life of their nonstick coating.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Rachael Ray Nonstick Bakeware Set with Handles
What do you want to know: This three-piece baking pan set features a nonstick surface and rubbery silicone pads.
What you will love: These pans are made of strong, non-stick steel. Silicone handles provide a safe and secure grip for easy removal from hot ovens.
What you should consider: Some users note that the pans are prone to rusting and the silicone handles can come loose after exposure to high heat.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Register here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.
Derek Walborn written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.