When buying cookware, many people focus so much on pots and pans that they completely overlook an important cooking category: baking pans. The pans that you buy for baking are just as crucial to your success as the pans that you buy for cooking, so be sure to choose them carefully.
Bakeware comes in a variety of materials and shapes. If you are trying to decide whether to buy silicon or glass baking pans, here is a quick breakdown of the most common types of materials:
o Aluminum – Aluminum baking pans are inexpensive and lightweight, and therefore popular. However, they do not brown baked items well, and they may react with acidic foods. The cheaper aluminum pans also tend to warp and stain quickly, meaning they must be frequently replaced. Nonstick and anodized aluminum may reduce some of the disadvantages of the less expensive aluminum pans.
o Glass – Glass is a favorite material to use with baking pans because it is non-reactive, easy to clean, browns food nicely, and bakes evenly. It tends to last a long time without visible signs of wear. However, it tends to be on the pricey side, and it can shatter if cooled too quickly.
o Stainless steel – Although stainless steel looks beautiful and has a highly reflective shine, it is a poor choice for bakeware because it does not transmit heat well. This will cause burning when you bake.
o Stoneware – Stone is an excellent material for baking pans, because it transmits and retains heat beautifully. It helps to keep your baking warm long after removal from the oven. However, stone bakeware can be very expensive.
o Silicone – Silicon baking pans are new on the market, and they work very well. They are flexible, inexpensive, can be frozen or microwaved, and they can be easily folded to take up less room in your cabinets. Furthermore, they do not retain any heat at all, meaning that baking will not burn when it is left in the pan.
When you are creating the budget for your cookware, be sure to remember to factor in your baking pans as well. Good baking equipment is a huge help in creating beautiful cakes, cookies, pies, and more.