There are unlimited options in the market when it comes to baking pans. It can truly be confusing to choose the right baking pan for your home.
There are many factors you should consider before you buy a baking pan. Some of the factors are what you want to bake in it, its size, and the material it’s made from.
Baking pans come in many different shapes and sizes. This mainly depends on what you are baking. To bake cakes, you need a deep round baking pan, while to bake a loaf of bread, a shallow bake pan is one to be used.
Now one of the obvious questions when it comes to baking pans is whether you should choose a deep baking pan or a shallow baking pan.
Baking pans are usually made from aluminum because it has excellent heat conducting properties. There are also some stainless steel ones which are quite easy to clean. For presentation purposes, some people use glass or ceramic baking pans.
So overall, there are different pros and cons of every baking pan.
In this article, we will try explaining everything you need to know about buying the right baking pan.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Baking Pan
There are many important aspects to choosing the right baking pan for your use.
Different people look for different conveniences and want to bake different dishes. This is why the baking pan you choose is, in the end, a matter of personal choice and depends on how you plan on using it.
Some people look for easy maintenance when choosing a baking pan for themselves. If this is your priority, then stainless steel baking pans will be a good fit for you.
Stainless steel pans are highly resistant to corrosion so they are easy to maintain. They are also highly non-reactive. This is why stainless steel pans are very popular.
The only drawback of having a stainless steel baking pan is the low heat conductivity it offers. This is why people usually opt for stainless steel pans which have copper or aluminum in its center. This makes them heavier as well.
If you are looking for a pan that conducts heat very well to speed up the cooking process then aluminum pans are the best choice.
These pans are quite affordable as well. The only downside is that aluminum will easily react with the acid in your food and may spoil the taste.
The non-stick coating in baking pans makes it very easy to bake sticky foods or reheat food. It also makes it possible for you to bake your food with much less oil as they have a Teflon-coated surface.
This makes non-stick baking pans highly suitable for those who are health conscious.
Furthermore, non-stick baking pans are also very easy to wash and clean. You just have to be careful about not scratching the non-stick surface.
Deeper baking pans hold a lot of the moisture inside the food. Foods in the center of a deep baking pan will experience a much more constant temperature and increased pressure and this will help them stay moist.
Shallow baking pans, on the other hand, will have a higher exposure to air and evaporation. This makes the food drier as most of the moisture is lost.
Different Kinds of Baking Pans
Baking pans are available in many different shapes.
This is to bake different things like cupcakes, cakes, loaves of bread or pies. The most common types of baking pans are explained below.
There are many rectangular deep baking pans which are used to make bread loaves. Using the right-sized pan is important because this will determine the shape of the loaf.
If your baking pan is too big then the shape of your loaf will be flat. If it’s the correct size then your loaf will have a nice domed shape at the top.
Pizza baking pans are usually made of dark metal like aluminum. This is because the metal is good at transferring heat quickly and this thoroughly bakes the dough. Pizza needs this kind of high heat to get baked properly.
If you’re making Chicago-style deep-dish pizza then you require a pizza pan which is at least 2 inches deep. Otherwise, your pizza baking pan doesn’t need to be very deep.
Cooke sheets are flat metal sheets that hold rows of cookies in them. These come in a variety of sizes. You can purchase a cookie sheet depending on the size of your oven.
The light-colored, shiny cookie sheets are the best for making sure that your cookies are not overcooked.
A standard muffin pan has 12 wells that are 2 1/2 inches wide at the top and 1 ½ inch deep. They come in many different sizes.
People use aluminum muffin pans the most and sometimes, they use stoneware pans as well. The stoneware pans do not brown muffins as well as metal pans. The muffins also cook much slower in a stoneware pan.
Deep Vs. Shallow Baking Pans
The depth of a pan makes more difference in your baking than you know.
It doesn’t only change the size of what you’re baking but also changes the moisture and consistency of your food.
The depth of the baking pan makes a big difference in the way the food bakes. If you are simply grilling or sautéing something, then you don’t need a deep pan.
If you are stewing or baking something that needs to retain its flavor, then you must use a deep baking pan to make your food more flavorful.
In a deep pan, the higher edges of the pan allow the heat to spread evenly across the dish. This also makes the process slower.
This is why you need a deep pan if you want to roast a larger piece of roast. Most standard roasting pans are 3 or 4 inches deep. This makes them suitable for large cuts of meat.
You can roast turkey for Thanksgiving or a large rib roast easily in deep pans. The advantage of deep pans is that they are big enough to hold more food.
Deep dishes are also good at containing the moisture or sauce of the food. This helps cook the meat with the steam and adds flavor.
However, keep in mind that baking in deeper pans takes up more time. This is because it takes more time for the heat to reach the center of the pan and bake something properly.
So, the next time you are baking a cake and don’t have a lot of time, choose a smaller flatter baking dish to speed up the process.
On the other hand, if you want to roast vegetables or smaller pieces of chicken, then you can use a shallow baking dish. This should be no more than 1 or 2 inches deep.
You don’t need a deep baking pan to bake chicken breasts, potatoes or other vegetables. Deeper pans will over-bake smaller pieces of meat. A large, shallow, aluminum baking pan which is around 1 inch deep is ideal in such cases.
Moreover, shallow dishes are also useful for convection cooking. Convection roasting uses the circulation motion of hot air to brown the food.
Deep dishes don’t let the fan in your oven push hot air over and around the entire surface of the food. As a result, the air doesn’t circulate and it becomes difficult to brown the same food. A shallow baking pan is imperative to making your convection roasting work.
Through convection cooking, you can roast chicken perfectly.
It helps to retain some moisture while creating a golden-brown crust. Convection roasting also takes less time than conventional roasting.
So overall, the depth of a baking pan has important impacts on the baking process. Baking pans with different depths are used to make different kinds of food.
You should know what type of food or meat you are trying to bake to choose the right baking pan.
If you are baking a dish that should have moisture and sauce in it, like stew, then you need a deeper dish. Similarly, if you want to bake Chicago-style deep-dish pizza then you need a deep pizza pan.
On the other hand, you can use shallow baking dishes to bake smaller pieces of chicken or vegetables.
Also, if you are a professional baker then you will need baking pans with specific dimensions to make cakes and loaves of different sizes.
Comprehensive recipes usually have the details of the baking pan dimensions. But if you are new to baking then it is better to take baby steps and start with easier dishes that can be baked in shallow baking pans.
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