"Bake me a pie or go away," I've literally had my son say that to me a few times. So, what was I to do except fulfilling his demand? Baking (not only pies), is a cooking method where tools DO actually make the man, which means that it is very hard or nearly impossible to do it successfully without proper bakeware.
With years of experience under my belt, I’ve learned about and discovered what truly matters when looking for bakeware to buy, and I am going to teach you later in the article.
Also, I have reviewed what I believe to be the best five non-stick bakeware sets out there, so make sure to check them out if you are in search of one.
Benefits of non-stick bakeware and why you need to get it
The first and most obvious reason is – because food doesn’t stick to it! I do not want to sound overly simplistic, but any chef (or mom, as a matter of fact) knows that pans that stick will absolutely mess up the outcome.
People normally solve this problem by oiling up, but I don’t like it since it makes the food greasy. Using non-stick bakeware is a healthier, more convenient, and more practical way of baking.
The next thing that you might not have known is that non-stick bakeware is so much easier to clean than more conventional types. It is a no-brainer really – if nothing sticks to the surface then there won’t be anything to scrub, scrape or wash off.
This trait right here will save you tons of time as well as frustration, and it might motivate you to bake more often because of the hassle-free cleaning process. Just make sure to maintain the bakeware.
Lastly, even heat distribution is another thing that you should look for, and this type of bakeware enables it.
Here's the deal: heat distribution most likely won't affect the quality of the result, but it will make the bakeware heat up more quickly which will ultimately decrease the cooking time.
Investing a little bit of time into research can save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run, and that is why you need to read this section carefully.
Bakeware sets differ regarding materials, abilities, cost, and maintenance, so learning about some general features of these products will help you decide which type will fulfill your demands.
1. Bakeware material
Bakeware can be made from different kinds of materials including iron, glass, copper, steel, etc.
Today I will mention only the types that are related to products I reviewed in this article.
It is important to know that each material yields different cooking properties so study these paragraphs to find out which one is right for you.
Carbon steel – this material is light, durable, and reacts to temperature changes very quickly, meaning that it can heat up fast. Even though is lightweight, it is a bit heavier than copper and doesn't retain heat as well as iron. It's a good choice for baking meats, veggies, bread, and cakes.
Copper– it is an excellent heat conductor and doesn’t need pre-heating since it gets hot very quickly. Very light, but also quite expensive compared to other bakeware materials. Also, it isn’t the best choice for recipes that require baking under very high heat.
Silicon– good for foods where sticking is an issue, such as breads, cookies, and cakes. It is light, affordable and dishes will slide out of it easily. The one downside is that it can be frustrating to wash because it is so elastic, but luckily, most of the silicon bakeware is dishwasher safe.
2. Essential items
Since you’ll be buying an entire set of products, it would be a good idea to find one that is suitable for all kinds of baking jobs. Make sure that all the basic items such as pie pan, muffin pan, loaf pan, cookie sheet, cake pan, or whatever you need, is included in the package.
This is a feature that most folks overlook, and it makes a world of difference when it comes to handling the pan. It's easy to move the dish around when it's cold but taking it out of a scorching hot oven is a different story (trust me, I know). You’ll try to be cautious not to burn your fingers so it is easy not to pay attention to the contents of the pan which can lead to spillage and a messy kitchen.
Look for bakeware that has nice, ergonomic handles or handling areas. Some models have silicon added to these parts for extra protection and ease of use.
Not all types of bakeware can withstand the same temperatures; as a matter of fact, this trait greatly differs from product to product. Certain pans are oven safe to up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while others cannot take more than 350.
This is a significant difference so pay close attention to this detail when buying a set.
Rachel Ray is a world-renowned chef and TV personality, and her famous Cucina line of products never fails to deliver. Here, we are dealing with an excellent, 10-piece set that I personally think very highly of.
The material that this bakeware is made of is carbon steel, and the non-stick, latte-colored coating looks very pretty and does the job well.
A thing that I didn’t like about the construction of this set is that everything is so bulky. It is not a huge issue, but folks who lack storage space will not be thrilled with these products.
As far as items are concerned, the set includes two loaf pans, two cake pans, two cookie sheets, two pie plates, a muffin tin, and a plastic cake pan topper.
In my opinion, this is more than enough, but I’m sure some folks are going to be disappointed because there’s no pizza pan included.
The handles have silicon grips attached to them, and this is a big bonus when it comes to practicality and handling. Also, the rolled edges allow you to grab the pan more easily and move it around securely.
The pan can withstand heat of up to 450 F, and I think that this should be sufficient for most baking jobs. Make sure not to go over this temperature because you could burn the pans.
As I've mentioned before, copper is a fantastic heat conductor, and the heat distribution in this material is as even as it gets.
Personally, I find the latter feature very important because I like to have consistency in my cooking.
This is a 12-piece set that consists of a 12-cup muffin pan, a cookie sheet, a loaf pan, a square pan, and eight pieces of silicon ramekin cups with lids.
Ok, so I think it is a bit unfair for a company to advertise a set of twelve copper products while only four of them are actually made of this material. While the ramekin cups are lovely, they seem to be a cheap filler in this set.
As far as handling is concerned, most of the products in this pack do not have handles, so you have to rely on the rolled edges for gripping. This is a big disadvantage in my opinion, and greatly handicaps the ease of use.
These black, sturdy-looking baking dishes remind me of old-school bakeware sets that people used to bake with a few decades ago. However, this is a modern and versatile set that should fulfill most of your demands.
The ChefLand set is made of carbon steel; it looks pretty plain but has a non-stick coating that's quite effective. One thing that this material is good at is even heat distribution, so you won’t need to worry about hotspots.
The products are dishwasher safe, however, after several months of kind of cleaning, some items started to form rust on the outer edges, which is a big minus. I would recommend washing them by hand.
When it comes to the items, ChefLand’s set includes a roasting pan, a round pizza pan, a large and medium cookie sheet, two round cake pans, a square cake pan, a loaf pan, an oven crisper pan, and a 12-cup muffin pan. As far as I’m concerned this set has everything covered!
Most of the dishes have handles on them, and even those which don't, have a nice grip area that allows for good handling.
Unfortunately, there is no silicon padding or protective surface so you will need to use gloves or cloth.
What I Liked
Non-stick coating performs well
What I Didn’t Like
After months of dishwasher, cleaning rust started to form
This bakeware set comes to us from Sunbeam; it is a bit smaller set in terms of the number of items in it, but a worthy addition to today's list. Oh, I forgot to mention it’s cheap as chips!
The material these pans are made of is carbon steel, and its non-stick features are achieved with a xylan coating interior and exterior. The black color gives it a pretty plain, non-exciting look, but I personally do not mind this.
The Sunbeam set has only 5-pieces, which is significantly less than other sets we reviewed today. The dishes included are a loaf pan, a cookie sheet, a 6-cup muffin pan, and two round cake pans.
One disadvantage of this set is that it cannot handle temperatures higher than 400 F, which is quite limiting because some recipes require more heat.
All of the pans have handles or enough room to grab them properly and handle safely.
Now as I was reading some online commentary, many people complained that pans arrived dented or bent when they ordered them, so this might be an issue.
I haven’t experienced this myself, so I just want to put it out as a warning.
What I Liked
Non-stick coating performs well
Essential items included
What I Didn’t Like
Only five pieces in the set
Can’t handle temperatures higher than 400 F
Might get rusty after a few months of dishwasher cleaning
Some buyers complained the products arrived faulty
This set differs from others I reviewed today because it is the only one that’s not made of metal.
Boxiki Kitchen brings us this 3-piece silicone set that bread and cake lovers might find interesting.
As I’ve said, these products are made of silicone which has its pros and cons.
The good thing is that food will just slide out of it, but it might be irritating when trying to wash it by hand because it’s so bendy. A lot of people raise concerns about chemicals in this material, so you’ll be glad to know that this set is FDA approved and non-toxic.
The set comes with three items – a round cake pan, a square brownie pan, and a banana bread/meatloaf pan.
All of the dishes are equipped with metal handles which allows for a nice and solid grip, so you won’t have to worry about the pans slipping out of your hands.
Silicone is generally oven safe up to 500 degrees F, which is fantastic and much better than some metal products, so you won’t need to worry about burning your bakeware.
However, the metal handles don't seem to take high temperatures very well, and I've heard some reports of them flaking and bubbling at 400 F.
What I Liked
Non-stick surface performs well
Doesn’t take up much storage space
Silicone can handle high temperatures (500F)
What I Didn’t Like
A pretty high price for only 3 pieces of bakeware
Metal handles cannot take very high heats
The final verdict
I hope that the article was helpful and that it got you acquainted with the basics of bakeware.
Its beautiful design is what attracted me to this bakeware set, but the excellent performance made an even stronger impression.
Non-stick surface does its job flawlessly, and the carbon steel construction is sturdy and strong.
Another important detail is the silicone padding on the handles, and this is the only set in today’s reviews that has this feature. 🙂
For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.