How to Choose the Right Materials for Bakeware

When baking at home, you want to ensure you use the right pans and also choose the best materials for those pans. Even when baking for family and friends, you still want everything you make to come out picture perfect, and your bakeware will play a large part in that success. Note a few tips on how to choose the right materials for bakeware you might use at home.

1. Glass

Glass is a great choice for bakeware as it's very versatile; you can freeze it, microwave it, and even mix your ingredients in glass pans. The glass also doesn't absorb or transfer flavors, so a pan you use for banana bread won't transfer that flavor to your buttermilk biscuits, something that often happens with other types of pans even after a thorough washing. One drawback to glass is that it does hold heat very well; this may seem like a good feature, but you may know that having your food bake even slightly warmer than it should can ruin delicate cakes or burn a pie crust. When using glass bakeware, you may want to adjust your temperature to a few degrees lower than your recipe calls for in order to compensate.

2. Cast iron

One advantage of cast iron is that you can use it over a direct flame, and then also bake with it. This makes it a good choice for recipes where you may need to brown something before baking it, such as certain meat dishes, or where you want to finish cooking a dish in the oven after cooking on the stovetop, such as chili or certain casseroles. Because cast iron tends to hold heat while baking, it's also good for dishes where you want to slightly brown the outside of your foods without burning them, such as muffins or corn bread.

3. Ceramic

Ceramic bakeware is easy to clean and is often dishwasher safe, so it's good for dishes that might be somewhat messy, such as fruit pies that tend to bubble over or certain casseroles. Ceramic also holds and conducts heat very well and is often used where glass bakeware is recommended, but the difference in the two materials is that ceramic bakeware may simply look better. It's often painted white on the inside and then a color or design is added to the outside, so it may be better for when you want to make a presentation of your baked goods before they're sliced and served.