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When to Use Metal, Glass, Silicone, or Ceramic Pans

When it comes to baking, there are so many choices out there for bakeware. So how do you know which pan is best for you or your recipe? Here’s a few helpful tips on knowing when to use metal, glass, silicone, or ceramic pans.

Metal:

We’ve talked about the difference in using light and dark metal pans. Light pans are best for even browning, whereas darker pans can cause uneven spots of browning. But darker pans give a richer golden color. But when it comes to choosing metal, which one is best? Aluminum conducts heat more evenly than a stainless steel pan. Most commercial bakeries use light colored aluminum pans to bake their yummy treats in. However, you shouldn’t store your food in aluminum pans. The acid in the food reacts in a negative way with the pan giving your food a metallic taste. (Which nobody ever wants!)

Best foods for metal: Bread, cookies, cakes, etc.

Glass:

Like aluminum metal pans, glass conducts heat very well. It does have a tendency to create unwanted brown spots when used to bake recipes with a lot of sugar. Glass is also a good choice when it comes to baking because you can store your baked goods right in the glass pan, without getting a bad flavor.

Best foods for glass: Casseroles, cobblers, pies, and many savory dishes

Silicone:

If you are looking for a non-stick choice, silicone is a great one. However, unlike aluminum and glass, silicone does not conduct heat well. Therefore, you could run into problems with even baking. Your baked goods will brown very little, if they even brown at all. It is best to use a silicone pan for smaller portions like cupcakes.

Best foods for silicone: Cupcakes, white cake, muffins, rolls, and anything else in smaller portions

Ceramic:

One of my favorite things about ceramic is the look of it. It has a classic presentation, so most food looks delectable in ceramic pans. Like glass, it conducts heat very well but can tend to cause over-browning in certain sweet dishes. It’s one of the few pans that food can actually be baked and served in. You can also store baked food in a ceramic dish without altering the flavor in any way.

Best foods for ceramic: Same as glass–casseroles, cobblers, pies, creme brulee, and savory dishes

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