Baking Pan – Understanding Different Types and Materials

Baking Pan – Understanding Different Types and Materials


If you bake cakes or other treats that require an oven, it’s important to have the right baking pan. Baking pans are made of various materials with different surface textures and colors.

Some are light-colored and reflect heat, while others are dark to prevent overcooking. They also come in a range of sizes and shapes.


Baking pans are made of various materials and have varying heat retention qualities. They can also have surface textures that can affect how a recipe bakes. Some pans discolor food, others have reflective surfaces that reflect heat instead of absorbing it, and some can impart a metallic taste to foods.

Stainless steel pans are the choice of many professional chefs as they conduct heat evenly and quickly and are easy to clean. These are the kinds of pans that you see used on cooking shows.

Glass bakeware, such as Pyrex and oven-safe glass or pottery dishes are slow to get hot but retain the heat well so that a baked dish browns nicely on top. These are the kind of baking pans that can be taken directly from the oven to the table for serving.


Baking pans are made from many materials, such as tinned aluminum, stainless steel, glass and silicone. The materials affect how the pan heats and retains heat and how easy it is to clean. The type of pan material can also impact cooking temperatures and times, requiring the cook to adjust their recipes accordingly.

For example, glass and ceramic baking dishes hold runny batters like cake batter, while metal pans are used for baking thick, solid masses of food, such as savory hot dish recipes. Similarly, some oven-safe glass or stoneware pans are designed to be taken to the table, allowing foods like casseroles and cobblers to be served straight from the dish. These types of pans are slower to heat than metal bakeware.


The size of a baking pan can make all the difference in how easy it is to bake foods. Pans with shallow sides can be used for runny batters, while larger pans are more suited to thick solid masses, like savory hot dish recipes.

A springform pan, a round pan with tall removable locking sidewalls, is perfect for removing delicate tortes and cheesecakes without upending them and inverting the base. This type of pan is also great for making savory dishes, such as spaghetti pie and deep-dish quiche.

Flat pans with 3/4 inch sides are often called sheet pans or cookie sheets and can be found in various sizes. If a recipe calls for a particular type of pan, but you don’t have it on hand, most recipes can be successfully substituted with a similar-sized pan from another category.


Baking pans come in many shapes, and each has a specific use. They are usually used to bake food that requires high temperatures, such as cakes or savory hot dishes.

The shape of a baking pan can change how it performs in the oven. For example, some pans are slow to become hot, but once they do, they retain heat well and provide a nicely browned crust.

Other pans, such as the jelly roll pan, have shallow sides and a rolled rim to bake thin sponge cakes for jelly rolls. These can also be used to bake other desserts and pastries. Another type is the springform pan, which has a base that releases the pan walls to make removing the cake or other dessert easy.

Specialty pans

Every kitchen has a place for pans you may only use occasionally, like an egg poacher or a fondue set. But determining whether to buy one or more depends on how often you plan on using them and how much room you have in your cupboards.

A springform pan lets you remove cheesecakes, mousse cakes and other delicate baked goods without the need to invert the whole cake. Also, consider a tart pan for baked desserts, miniature pies and quiche, or a deep-dish pie pan to create casseroles and lasagna.

A braising pan is ideal for high-heat cooking methods like sauteing, browning and searing. Its sloped sides help liquid and foods stay contained, making it a must-have for savory meals like chili, stews and roasted vegetables.




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