Silicone, aluminum, glass… with so many choices, it’s hard to decide what the best material is for your baking pans. We’ll show you the advantages and disadvantages of each type of pan, and help you pick the best one for your baking style.
Aluminum is one of the most common types of cookware available. It’s popular because it is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to use. Aluminum heats evenly, meaning that your cakes and cookies won’t end up burned in some places and undercooked in others.
On the other hand, aluminum can be very difficult to clean. Non-stick coatings will wear away over time, and stains and rust are common. The chances are that you will have to replace your aluminum baking pans frequently, making the costs add up in the long run.
Silicone is a relative newcomer to the world of baking, but it’s making a big splash. People love it because can withstand the heat of the hottest oven, and then be popped straight into the freezer with no adverse effects. It is very light, flexible enough to store rolled up or folded into a corner of a cabinet, and comes in fun, bright colors. You can clean it easily by popping it into the dishwasher, and you never have to worry about rust or dents.
The major disadvantage of silicone is that it does not distribute heat well. Shallower pans usually work better than deeper silicone pans. Also, it is easy to scrape or puncture silicone, so you should be careful with the utensils you use to remove your baked goods from the pans.
Pans made of glass are not only attractive, but they also provide excellent heat distribution for even baking and pleasant browning. Glass does not dent or rust and you don’t have to worry about scratching it when you cut a pan of brownies or a pie. It can be cleaned in a dishwasher. You can also pop your bakeware into the microwave for reheating, when appropriate.
The main drawback of glass pans is that they can shatter under the wrong conditions. It is also heavy, which can make it difficult to store.