How to Find the Best Bakeware For Your Kitchen

Cookies, cakes, pastries, and pies are how many of us get through and organize our day. These yummy baked goods are not only delectable treats to eat but are also fun treats to create. If you love sharing your love of food by baking special treats for and with loved ones, then you are going to need bakeware that can keep up with your delicious hobby.  

This is exactly why Whisk and Mix was created. To help home cooks, creative culinarians, and professional chefs easily find the equipment they need for every project. Within this article, we are going to focus on bakeware and how to find the best without stress. This article will list the criteria for what makes certain bakeware the best and it will give some favored product recommendations.

So, grab a cupcake and cup of tea as you browse this helpful guide. My hope is that you will enjoy learning more about the equipment that makes your mouth water and your creative mind flow freely. Let’s get to discovering.

The Most Favorable Features

Bakeware

In order to find the type of bakeware that can fulfill your baking needs, we first need to figure out what features and factors constitute the best bakeware.  With this discovery of information, we will be prepared to look at products already on the market and know which items will best suit our needs.

When you shop for bakeware, keep the following features and factors in mind:

Affordability & Durability 

While some bakeware items might boast that they are better than others because they are pricey and celebrated by celebrities, this isn’t always the truth.  We want bakeware items that we can afford and that will last a long time.  This is why we must balance expense with endurance.  

Cleaning Capacity 

Baking is all fun and games until it comes time to clean up.  Don’t make your favorite home activity a bother by getting bakeware that is difficult to clean.  Let’s look for items that feature easy-to-clean materials and designs.  We can also take some time to learn a few cleaning tips and tricks to make this part of the cooking process less bothersome.

Material Matters 

Selecting the type of material your bakeware is made from is a key part of picking the best.  There are three basic materials, metal, glass, and ceramic, that are used in bakeware.  Each of these has its positive aspects and its negative.  Let’s look at each material a little closer so that you can decide which type is best for you.

Metal

There are actually several different metals that are used in bakeware products so we will need to compare and contrast each type of metal to understand what they do best.

Aluminum

Aluminium

This is a very commonly used metal in creating bakeware because it is inexpensive and does a great job of conducting heat.

Pros:

  • Aluminum conducts heat very well
  • Aluminum is inexpensive

Cons:

  • Aluminum is reactive to alkaline and acidic foods
  • Aluminum can be easily scratched and dented

Anodized Aluminum

Anodized Aluminum

This type of aluminum has gone through a chemical bath process that will make it more durable and resistant to corrosion.

Pros:

  • Anodized Aluminum is durable and scratch-resistant
  • Anodized Aluminum conducts heave very well
  • Anodized Aluminum does not leach metals
  • Anodized Aluminum requires low maintenance care and clean-up

Cons:

  • Anodized Aluminum can be expensive
  • Anodized Aluminum is usually heavy
  • Anodized Aluminum is not dishwasher safe
  • Anodized Aluminum does not last a long time
  • Anodized Aluminum is not designed for high heat

Cast Iron

Cast Iron

This type of metal harkens back to the good old days of pioneers on wagon trains. The fact that this type of cookware has not gone out of style makes you realize that it is a very good and reliable option.

Pros:

  • Cast iron is durable
  • Cast iron is inexpensive
  • Cast iron can be seasoned to create a nonstick cooking surface
  • Cast iron distributes and retains heat well
  • Cast iron adds iron to food cooked on it

Cons:

  • Cast iron is reactive to acidic foods
  • Cast iron is heavy
  • Cast iron takes a long time to heat up
  • Cast iron can be difficult to clean

Copper

Copper Nonstick

This metal is not as popular as the others in this because it has a lot of negative features. That being said, if you want to cook something that is beautiful, copper is the best way to go.

Pros:

  • Copper conducts heat evenly

Cons:

  • Copper is reactive to alkaline and acidic foods
  • Copper should be polished regularly to keep it clean and shiny
  • Copper can be expensive

Enameled Cast Iron

Enameled Cast Iron

This is cast iron with a facelift.  A protective porcelain enamel covers a cast cooking vessel to give it a little color, make it easier to clean, and keep the metal from reacting to certain foods.

Pros:

  • Enameled cast iron can be used on stovetops, inside ovens, and on grills
  • Enameled cast iron retains heat very well
  • Enameled cast iron does not rust if the enamel is not damaged
  • Enameled cast iron comes in a variety of colors
  • Enameled cast iron does not need to be seasoned

Cons:

  • Enameled cast iron is heavy
  • Enameled cast iron does not heat up quickly
  • Enameled cast iron does not have the nonstick qualities of regular cast iron
  • Enameled cast iron should be handled with extra care so that the enamel is not chipped or scratched
  • Enameled cast iron can be expensive

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

This is another very popular metal used in bakeware because it is inexpensive and durable.

Pros:

  • Stainless Steel is nonreactive
  • Stainless Steel can be made dishwasher safe
  • Stainless Steel is durable
  • Stainless Steel can be inexpensive

Cons:

  • Stainless Steel does not transfer and distribute heat very well

Glass 

Glass Bakeware

Bakeware made from glass is a popular choice because it is an excellent conductor of heat.

Pros:

  • Glass does not react to food
  • Glass conducts and distributes heat very well
  • Glass is highly resilient to heat
  • Glass can be used to both cook and store foods

Cons:

  • Glass takes a long time to heat up
  • Glass will brown foods with high concentrations of sugar 

Ceramic 

Ceramic Bakeware

Bakeware made from ceramic is both stylish and convenient in the kitchen.

Pros:

  • Ceramic is resilient to heat
  • Ceramic distributes heat well
  • Ceramic is easy to clean
  • Ceramic comes in a variety of colors

Cons:

  • Ceramic will brown foods with high concentrations of sugar

Silicon

Silicon Bakeware

This type of bakeware has become increasingly popular since the 90’s mostly because it is convenient for storage purposes.

Pros:

  • Silicon is flexible and does damage easily
  • Silicon can withstand below freezing temperatures and temperatures up to 580 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Silicon can be used in an oven, a microwave, and a freezer
  • Silicon does transfer heat well

Cons:

  • Silicon does not absorb heat very well (cooking stops as soon as the silicon bakeware is removed from the heat source)

Stone 

Stone Bakeware

This type of bakeware is popular due to its durability and good looks.

Pros:

  • Stone heats well
  • Stone retains heat very well
  • Stone provides uniform heat while baking
  • Stone can withstand the hottest temperatures an oven can reach
  • Stone is natural nonstick
  • Stone is easy to clean

Cons:

  • Stone can crack when exposed to sudden temperature changes
  • Stone is heavy
  • Stone can scratch countertops

Personal Comfort & Taste

This is the area where you get to express your unique style or focus on what you need the most from your bakeware. These features include, but are not limited to, the following:

Brand names – Perhaps you have used a particular brand for most of your baking endeavors and your preference is to stick with what you know. Choosing bakeware by the brand will limit your options, but it could actually make your decision easier.

Celebrity endorsements

There are plenty of celebrities showing off bakeware sets that they have either designed or have used so much that they can’t help but give their opinion in the public sphere. If you follow a celebrity chef or a celebrity who is known for their cooking style, you may want to stick with what they advertise as the best bakeware for them because it just might be the best for you too.

Color

With so much focus on kitchen décor these days, colorful bakeware is something to consider. If you like to mix and match, clash, and complement styles, why not let color lead you to the best bakeware for you?

Design patterns

Bakeware is not only colorful these days, but it is also full of carefully designed features that will catch your eye and endear your heart. If you want to bake with something that is pleasant to look at, keep focused on different design options.

Ease of Storage

You know how much storage space your kitchen offers you and what is easiest for your personal style of cooking.  If you are shopping for bakeware based on color and design, you may also want to focus on how the bakeware can be stored to show off these features. 

If, however, design and color are not a top priority but quick and easy storage access are, you will want to focus on how bakeware can be stacked.

Foods most frequently cooked

This is something you may want to think about especially if you are on a budget. If you know what types of food items you bake the most, you should focus on getting the bakeware that will be best for fixing these foods and worry about acquiring anything else later. You could also splurge on the really nice items that you will use a lot and spend less money on items that you don’t need as frequently. Again, it’s up to you.

Portability – If you are often bringing baked goods to parties and get-togethers, you should definitely consider how portable your bakeware is. This feature could also refer to how easy the bakeware is to pick up or pull out of an oven.

Product Recommendations

Now that we know what makes the best bakeware the best, we can begin looking for bakeware products that fit these criteria.  Shall we begin?

The Best Aluminum Bakeware: Nordic Ware Aluminum Bakeware

Nordic Ware

 

Pros:

  • These can be purchased individually as needed
  • These are inexpensive
  • These are easy to find online and in stores
  • There are plenty of different types of bakeware options available
  • These are designed to clean up easily
  • These are designed to resist rusting
  • These are designed to conduct heat and cook evenly

Cons:

  • These do not come in a set
  • These are hand wash only items

The Best Anodized Aluminum Bakeware: Fat Daddio’s Bakeware

Fat Daddio

 

Pros:

  • These are sold in sets and as individual pans
  • These are designed to be easy to clean
  • This set has great customer reviews

Cons:

  • Some customers have been sent the wrong or a defective pan

The Best Bakeware Brand

Kalphalon

Calphalon holds the heartstrings of many home bakers which is why so many look at this brand as the ultimate in bakeware.

The Best Bakeware for Color Selection: Fiestaware

Fiesta

 

Pros:

  • These come in a variety of bakeware pans each of which is available in a variety of colors
  • These are designed to be dishwasher safe
  • These are designed to be microwave safe
  • These have great customer reviews
  • These are easy to clean

Cons:

  • These are only made in one material, a composite of clay, feldspar, silica, and alumina
  • Chipped bakeware may be radioactive

The Best Bakeware with Design Features: The Pioneer Woman Bakeware

The Pioneer Woman Flea Market

Pros:

  • These can be bought in sets or as individual pans
  • These are full of colorful designs
  • These are designed to be dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • There are no cookie sheets or muffin pans available with designs

The Best Bakeware with Portability Features: Pyrex 9-Piece Portables Set

Pyrex

 

Pros:

  • This set comes with lids, an insulated bag, and two hot-cold packs
  • The dishes in this set are safe for use in a dishwasher, microwave, oven, and a freezer
  • The dishes in this set resist staining
  • The dishes in this set resist absorbing food flavors and odors

Cons:

  • This set only comes in one material, glass

The Best Bakeware with Storage in Mind: Baker’s Secret 5-Piece Bakeware Set

Bakers Secret

 

Pros:

  • This set of pans is designed to store inside the largest pan
  • These pans are nonstick
  • These pans are designed to be durable

Cons:

  • These pans are very small

The Best Baking Sheet: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baker’s Half Sheet

Nordic Bakeware

Pros:

  • Guaranteed to not rust
  • Guaranteed to bake goods evenly
  • Conducts heat very well
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Cannot be put in a machine dishwasher

The Best Bread Pan: USA Pan Aluminized Steel Loaf Pan

USA Pan Aluminized Steel Loaf Pan

 

Pros:

  • This loaf pan creates beautiful looking loaves of bread
  • This pan has many positive customer reviews

Cons:

  • This pan rusts easily
  • This pan requires intense handwashing to remove food particles from its corners and edges

The Best Brioche Pan: Gobel French Nonstick Brioche Mold

Gobel French Nonstick Brioche Mold

 

Pros:

  • This pan is designed to be nonstick
  • This pan comes with a 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • This pan is hand wash only

The Best Bundt Pan: Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan

Nordic Platinum

 

Pros:

  • This pan is nonstick
  • This pan is designed to be easy to clean
  • This pan has many positive customer reviews
  • This pan has a beautiful design that will transfer to the shape of the cake cooked in it
  • This pan is large and can hold up to 15 cups
  • This pan comes with a lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • None

The Best Cake Pan: USA Pan Bakeware Round Cake Pan

USA Pan Bakeware

 

Pros:

  • This pan is designed for easy cleaning
  • This pan is nonstick
  • This pan has wonderful ratings and reviews by customers
  • Similar pans are offered in square and rectangle shapes
  • This pan is built to be durable

Cons:

  • This pan has folded corners that can trap food in them

The Best Casserole Dish: The Great Jones Hot Dish

the great jones hot dish

Pros:

  • This pan has a retro design
  • This pan comes in three different colors
  • This pan is designed with handles
  • This pan is dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • This is an expensive pan
  • This pan is not designed to be used under a broiler

The Best Cast Iron Bakeware: Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cookware Baking Dish

Bruntmor

 

Pros:

  • This set is designed to be used for both baking and grilling
  • This set can be purchased in enameled cast iron if desired
  • This set comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • This set is designed to be durable
  • This set is lead-free
  • This set is designed to resist staining and chipping

Cons:

  • This set is heavy
  • This set is smaller than it appears in online photos
  • This set requires careful cleaning and seasoning

The Best Celebrity Endorsed Bakeware: Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Bakeware Set

Rachel Ray

 

Pros:

  • Designed with silicone grips to help pick up and carry the pans
  • Includes a cake pan lid for easy transportation
  • These are designed to be nonstick
  • These are designed to be easy to clean
  • These are designed to be durable and last many years
  • This set has many positive customer reviews

Cons:

  • Some customers have mentioned that water can get into the edges of the pans and rust the metal
  • Some customers have mentioned that the pans warp and scratch easily

The Best Ceramic Bakeware: Corningware Bakeware

CorningWare

 

Pros:

  • These can be purchased in individual pieces and in sets
  • Most items come with a lid
  • These have a classic and chic design
  • These are reasonably priced
  • These are durable items that last for years
  • These can be used to cook, serve, and store food

Cons:

  • Most items are small in size

The Best Copper Bakeware: CopperKitchen Baking Pans

Copper

 

Pros:

  • These are toxic free
  • These are nonstick and designed so that there is no need for grease or liners
  • These are designed to be durable
  • These come with a lifetime guarantee
  • These are dishwasher safe
  • These are designed to be easy to clean

Cons:

  • Some customers have commented that the copper peels after a few uses

The Best Doughnut Pan: Wilton Non-Stick Food-Grade Silicon Donut Baking Pans

Wilton

 

Pros:

  • These pans distribute heat evenly
  • These pans are safe to use in a microwave, freezer, fridge, oven, and dishwasher

Cons:

  • These pans are oven safe only up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

The Best Enameled Cast Iron Bakeware: Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron Baking Pan

Bruntmor enameled Square

 

Pros:

  • This set is designed to be used in both baking and grilling
  • This set comes in a variety of colors
  • This set offers two pans in one
  • This set is easy to store
  • This set is designed to be easy to clean
  • This set can be used in a microwave

Cons:

  • The pans in this set are not very big
  • This set is not dishwasher safe

The Best Flan Pan: Zenker Non-Stick Carbon Steel Flan/Tart Pan

Zenker

 

Pros:

  • This pan is nonstick
  • This pan conducts heat well and evenly
  • This pan can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • This pan comes with a 5-year guarantee

Cons:

  • This pan does not come with handles

The Best Glass Bakeware: Anchor Hocking Bakeware

Anchor

 

Pros:

  • These can be purchased as individual items or in sets
  • These come in several different designs
  • Some items feature lids for ease of storage and transport

Cons:

  • These can crack or break if exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations

The Best Muffin Pan: USA Pan Bakeware Cupcake and Muffin Pan

Muffin

 

Pros:

  • This pan is designed to be nonstick
  • This pan is designed to be easy to clean
  • This pan is PTFE, PFOA, and BPA free
  • This pan has great online reviews and ratings from customers

Cons:

  • Some customers have commented that it loses its nonstick attributes after a few uses

The Best Pie Pan: OXO Good Grips Glass Pie Plate

OXO

 

Pros:

  • It comes with a lid for storage
  • It is safe to put in a freezer, dishwasher, oven, and microwave
  • It is designed to resist cracking when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations

Cons:

  • None

The Best Popover Pan: Bellemain Nonstick Popover Pan

Bellemain

 

Pros:

  • This pan is nonstick
  • This pan is inexpensive
  • This pan conducts heat evenly
  • This pan has a lifetime warranty
  • This pan can be put in a dishwasher
  • This pan has great customer reviews and ratings

Cons:

  • None

The Best Springform Pan: Nordic Ware Springform Pan

Nordic Springform Pan

 

Pros:

  • This pan is nonstick
  • This pan is designed for easy cleanup

Cons:

  • This pan should only be washed by hand

The Best Stainless Steel Bakeware: Hammer Stahl Bakeware Set

hammer stahl

 

Pros:

  • This comes with five pieces of bakeware
  • This set is designed to resist rust, peeling, and cracking
  • Stainless steel is a sanitary cooking surface
  • This set is designed to be durable

Cons:

  • This is a pricy set

The Best Stone Bakeware: Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage Casserole Dish

Le Creuset

 

Pros:

  • This dish resists staining, soaking in odors, and chipping
  • This dish is safe to put in a dishwasher
  • This dish can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • This dish comes with a lid and handles
  • This dish is available in a variety of colors

Cons:

  • This is a small dish

The Best Tart Pan: Wilton Excelle Elite Non-Stick Tart and Quiche Pan

Wilton Excelle Elite Non Stick Tart Pan

 

Pros:

  • This is a reasonably priced pan
  • This pan has a removable bottom
  • This pan is dishwasher safe
  • This pan comes with a 10-year warranty

Cons:

  • This pan can stick to food

The Best Tube Pan: Wilton Fluted Tube Pan

Wilton Premium

 

Pros:

  • This pan has handles
  • This pan is nonstick
  • This pan transfers heat evenly
  • This pan is priced affordably
  • This pan comes with a 10-year warranty

Cons:

  • None

FAQs

Question: What are Reactive and Nonreactive Bakeware?

Answer: These terms refer to the material used to make a pot or a pan.  Materials that are reactive will cause food to taste metallic and even turn colors when they are cooked in them.  Materials that are nonreactive will not do this.  It is for this reason that some recipes make mention of the type of cooking ware or bakeware that should be used.  

If you are wondering which metals are which, here is an easy to reference list:

Nonreactive Bakeware Materials:

• Ceramic
• Enamel coated metal
• Glass
• Silicone
• Stainless Steel

Reactive Bakeware Materials:
• Aluminum 
• Cast iron
• Copper

Question: Is There a Way To Easily Clean Bakeware?

Answer: After being used to create many tasty treats and satisfying meals, bakeware can begin to look old and worn out.  If you would like to keep your bakeware clean and looking as beautiful as possible, try these cleaning tips:
Soak baking trays and pans in baking soda and vinegar for thirty minutes, then wash them with warm water and soap. Do not apply this to cast iron, copper, or any pans you think will be damaged by this method.
Remove stains from glass bakeware by rubbing toothpaste, dish soap, and baking soda on them, then scrub them with a ball of crumpled aluminum foil.  Finally, wash them with warm water and soap.
Shine copper pans by scrubbing them with a lemon half that is dipped in Kosher salt.

Question: Do Some Types of Bakeware Leach Toxins?

Answer: Yes, some bakeware can leach toxins such as PTFE, PFOA, or PFOS.  If you are concerned about cooking safely, you may want to learn more about what these chemicals are and how they can be detrimental to your health.  If you are seriously concerned about the possibility of adding chemical toxins into your food, consider purchasing bakeware that is known to be nontoxic.  Here is a reference list:
Toxic Bakeware:
• Aluminum pans
• Ceramic-coated pans
• Copper pans
• Silicone
• Non-stick pans
Non-toxic Bakeware:
• Cast Iron pans
• Enameled Cast Iron pans
• Glass
• Stainless Steel

Bringing It All to the Table

There is so much to love about baking.  It is cathartic.  It is an opportunity to be creative.  It provides a time to be with your community.  Baking is just a wonderful and heartwarming part of our lives.

My hope is that you have found the resources you need in this article to get back into your kitchen and to enjoy baking for your loved ones with the best bakeware out there.  I can hardly wait to grab my Fiestaware bakeware and fill my home with the sweet and spicy smell of freshly baked blueberry cobbler.  Delicious!

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