Baking can be a rewarding hobby or a lucrative business. Whether you have a catering company or you enjoy baking at home, you need the best bakeware sets if you want to avoid scurrying around the kitchen hoping to find the right equipment.
As with any purchase, think first about your own needs.
- What will you be baking?
- How important is a quick and simple cleanup?
- What equipment do you already have?
- How much can you spend?
Once you’ve got this firmed up, it’s time to think about some more specific questions so you can get the best-rated bakeware sets without breaking the bank. We’ll walk you through step-by-step so you can familiarize yourself with the different options at your disposal. It also pays to read plenty of the best bakeware set reviews and user feedback.
So…We’ll now explore the most important things to look for so you can bake to your heart’s content.
Best Bakeware Sets Buying Tips:
We’ll look now at the basics you should consider before launching into buy bakeware at random. Time spent now could be money saved later.
First thing’s first, why buy a bakeware set rather than individual components?
Why Purchase Bakeware Items As A Set?
The driving reason for buying any products bundled as a set is that you generally get far better value. Any time you buy in bulk, you expect to make savings. The flip side of this is that you need to be sure you’ll make use of everything in the set. If not, it’s likely to prove a false economy. How many times have you bought a set of ten kitchen knives only to find you use just two of them?
Be honest with yourself here. Only you can decide if buying a bakeware set makes sense or whether you’d be better with a few pieces.
What Makes The Best Bakeware Set?
The first thing to make sure of is that the components of your bakeware set are durable and made from suitable quality materials. Whether you want caramelization, heat conduction or better distribution of heat, choose the materials accordingly. We’ll guide you through this below.
Make certain that the bakeware you have in mind is heat resistant and easy to clean. There’s an old saying, “Buy cheap, buy twice.” Don’t aim for the cheapest possible equipment or you’re likely to regret your decision.
What Is The Best Material For Bakeware?
Not all bakeware sets are equal. The material plays a crucial role in performance, durability and overall satisfaction. Bakeware can be broadly classified according to the material used.
If you are looking for bakeware that’s easy to clean and extremely rugged, ceramic makes a smart choice. The use of ceramic cookware dates back thousands of years. The introduction of metal and aluminum sidelined ceramic until the 1960s when it bounced back into favor.
Capable of withstanding ultra-high temperatures and containing no trace metals or toxic chemicals, ceramic bakeware is very effective and completely safe. The enamel finish makes cleaning a breeze. One thing to watch out for is that the ceramic is not glazed with lead. As long as this is not the case, you’re in good hands with this kind of bakeware.
One of the principal advantages of metal bakeware is that it heats up swiftly and cools down just as quickly. If you’re looking to roast some potato wedges or make some cookies, metal works well. Any foods that you want to heat up in a hurry are well suited to this type of bakeware.
It’s also important to know when to avoid metal bakeware… Acidic foods are known as reactive foods. Fruits are a prime example. If you cook reactive foods in metal containers, you’ll get a nasty metallic taste and a gray tinge to the food.
Due to the speed of cooling, it’s also unwise to use metal bakeware for food you want to stay warm for a while.
Although glass conducts heat very poorly, it’s great for even heat distribution. If you want to cook casseroles or dishes that you want to stay warm outside the oven and serve straight to the table, glass bakeware is a smart choice. Since glass takes a while to heat up, this makes it an ideal choice for cakes. Baking cakes demand an even heat at lower temperatures.
A significant disadvantage of glass is that you shouldn’t use it for high-heat direct cooking. It can easily shatter if you pop it on top of the stove. So using glass creates more dirty dishes if you need to transfer sauces to another pan before heating them.
While departing from the traditional metal or glass bakeware is hard for some, more and more cooks are embracing silicone. You’ll find your silicone pans will heat up quickly and bake nice and evenly. You won’t need to grease or oil your pan and removing your food is a cinch.
You need to pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommended temperature range. As long as you take care here, silicone bakeware is safe to use in the oven, dishwasher, microwave, fridge or freezer.
The drawback of silicone bakeware is that it tends to be rather flimsy.
10 Types Of Bakeware
Now you’ve got a good overview of the pros and cons of different materials, how about the huge variety of bakeware available? We’ll break down 10 of the most common components that make up the best-rated bakeware sets.
#1 Baking Sheets
- Baking sheets are also known as sheet pans.
- These wide and flat trays sometimes have a little lip around the edge.
- The lipped version is great for making sure any liquid remains on the tray.
If you need to eat bread, pizza, cakes or cookies in the oven, a baking sheet is indispensable.
#2 Cake Pans
- These broad pans with vertical sides are usually about 1-½ inches deep.
- When you’re baking cakes, bars or brownies, cake pans are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
#3 Loaf Pans
- Again coming in a range of sizes, loaf pans come into their own for baking bread.
- You can also use them to cook meatloaf or fruitcakes.
- The characteristic tall edges are perfect to give baked goods plenty of support and form.
- Adding an insert makes it easier to clean and also helps you to lift your bread out of the pan fuss-free.
#4 Pie Pans
- A round pan 8 – 10 inches across, these pans are tailor-made for pies or quiches.
- The depth of these pans varies to cater for different types of pies. The sides are angled.
- Fluted edges ensure you can get trademark scalloped edges.
- Ceramic or glass works best as they will both retain heat far more effectively than metal pans.
#5 Springform Pans
- Round 2-piece pans with nifty removable sides come into their own for tortes and cheesecake.
- This bakeware is named for the way the sides can spring away from the baked goods inside.
If you’re cooking a delicate dish that would be awkward to prise out from a regular pan, springforms work wonders.
#6 Tube Pans
- Also known as bundt pans, tube pans are deep and ring-shaped. The edges are fluted.
- Heat flows on both sides so you’ll get a quicker and more even bake than you’ll get with a solid pan.
- Tube pans are great for cakes.
#7 Muffin Tin
- These baking trays have 12 round wells so you can bake multiple smaller items in one hit.
- You can get smaller versions that will accommodate 24 mini quiches or cakes.
- You can use non-stick spray but paper liners are best.
For single-serve desserts of any nature, muffin tins are essential.
#8 Soufflé Dishes
- These round, deep dishes with elevated sides are normally ceramic for superior distribution of heat.
- The sides will hold your custard or soufflé in place so you can bake with confidence.
#9 Gratin Dishes
- Gratin dishes are also ceramic, round and shallow.
- If you want a glorious golden crust on your gratin, the large exposed surface area allows for plenty of contact with the heat in the oven.
#10 Cooling Racks
Last but not least, you’ll need some cooling racks. You need to remove baked goods from the oven as soon as they are cooked to sidestep dry food.
Choose a shape and size in line with space in your kitchen.
How To Care For The Best Quality Bakeware Set?
Whatever the product, proper maintenance helps to extend its lifetime. If you have non-stick bakeware, it’s best not to put it into the dishwasher too often. This will diminish the protective coating. Make sure you dry your bakeware thoroughly after washing it. If you have lots of food stuck on, allow it to soak in hot water for a while first.
Excessive build-up can be removed with some baking soda and diluted hydrogen peroxide. Aluminum foil or parchment paper can be used to protect your bakeware from getting clogged up in the first place.
Looking after your bakeware set is straightforward and requires very little effort.
What Are The Best Bakeware Brands?
Before we wrap up, a few quick words about 4 of the leading bakeware brands on the market…
Founded in 1963, this American company offers a comprehensive range of non-stick bakeware sets. Get some dishwasher-safe carbon steel bakeware without breaking the bank.
ChefLand is an online retailer with a huge range of kitchenware. With a vast array of bakeware for the commercial or residential kitchen, their products are not the cheapest but they’re built to last
Rachael Ray is an American author and cook. Her brightly colored bakeware is pretty expensive but that’s the price you pay for celebrity-endorsed goods. For colorful bakeware with a twist, check out Rachael Ray today!
Wilton Enterprises, founded in 1929 in Illinois, is a bakeware market-leader with an enormous selection of kitchen equipment. They sell bakeware under a number of different brands
We hope you’ve found this brief guide to the best bakeware to be useful and informative.
If you think carefully about how and what you will be baking, pay attention to the materials and invest in the best you can afford, buying the best bakeware set is really not rocket science.
Feel free to get in touch if you’ve got any questions or feedback. We are always delighted to hear from our readers and we’re ready to help in any way we can.