Most bakeware is made from metal, glass (which includes ceramic, stoneware and porcelain) or silicone. Each of these baking materials has distinct properties suited for specific baking tasks, and each bakeware material has it’s pros and cons. Knowing each bakeware materials unique difference will make for a better baking experience.
Metal Bakeware Pros and Cons
Metal bakeware is by far the most popular because of it versatility. Metal bakeware conducts heat and browns food well, making it an ideal material for baking cakes, pies, breads, muffins, brownies and cookies. Insulated metal pans and cookies sheets also distribute heat evenly for even browning on baked goods. Choose heavy gauge metal bakeware for durability.
The cons of metal bakeware is that it heats too quickly for dense baked goods like casseroles or custards and it can’t be used in the microwave. Metal bakeware is dishwasher safe or it can be hand washed. If metal bakeware claims to be ‘˜non-stick’, it’s still best to use a non-stick cooking spray or grease the pans with butter or shortening before baking.
Glass Bakeware Pros and Cons
Glass, ceramic, stoneware and porcelain cookware conducts heat slowly and insulates well. Glass bakeware makes for ideal cooking, serving and storing vessels and are the best choice for baking high moisture foods like casseroles, souffl©s, custards and cobblers. Glass bakeware is inexpensive and can be purchased in kitchen coordinating colors. Dark glass bakeware absorbs heat and cause food to cook quicker and be more prone to burning.
Glass bakeware will chip easily, will break if dropped and the bakeware materials has poor browning capabilities. Only oven-tempered glass bakeware can go directly from hot oven to cool refrigeration without breaking. Not all glass bakeware is dishwasher safe, porous ceramic and stoneware must be hand washed.
Silicone Bakeware Pros and Cons
Silicone bakeware is the new material kid on the block which has fit in to the cookware lineup nicely. Silicone is heat resistant, works equally well in oven or microwave, safely goes from oven to refrigerator or freezer and silicone bakeware is colorful and dishwasher safe. The best silicone will pass the twist test -Twist the piece of silicone bakeware, if you see white instead of a solid color, filler material has been used in the bakeware and it’s not a top quality piece of bakeware.
Silicone bakeware will not brown foods as well as metal bakeware, and the material is pliable. Extra care must be used when moving pans filled with batter. Silicone is touted as non-stick, but the bakeware should be sprayed or greased before each use.