Whether you are an accomplished baker or just starting in the world of baking, setting yourself up for success is necessary. Besides having the best baking scales, the best oven pans for baking are also essential components you need to have in your kitchen collection. The key when purchasing is to evaluate your needs and pick a product that suits them.
From the best round cake pan to the best loaf pan, we have identified the best oven pans you can feel are worth your money. While every baker has their preferences, this write-up has something everyone needs. Read on to find out more!
What Is the Purpose of an Oven Baking Pan?
Baking pans are ideal for recipes when you need a bit of browning. Most commonly, they are used for cakes, but you can also use them for treats such as muffins, brownies, and loaves of bread. In addition, the best oven-baking pans can also be used for savory items such as meatloaf, roast vegetables, or your favorite pizza.
With that in mind, let's look at the five best baking pans you can consider purchasing for superior cakes, loaves, muffins, and more.
1. USA Pan Bakeware Muffin Pan, 12-Well, Aluminized Steel
USA pan bakeware cupcake pan is the first product we recommend if you are you dont already have a muffin tin. Constructed from heavy-gauge aluminized steel, these best baking pans provide an undisputed strength of steel to prevent warping and excellent heat conductivity of aluminum for evenly-baked muffins.
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Our muffin pan was coated with a clear silicone coating, so we did not need paper liners to make muffins or cupcakes. Again thanks to the nonstick coating, we didn't worry much about batter spills or sticky bits since it was super easy to clean.
Furthermore, our muffins and cupcakes pan had a corrugated surface that helped promote air circulation and controlled warping when exposed to high heat. The 12-cup pan also had a lighter metal finish that kept our baked goods from baking too quickly.
2. Nordic Ware Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet Pan
Nordic Ware Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet pan is another perfect option that we recommend. These sheets are among our picks for durability. Crafted with cast aluminum, our half-sheet pan made cakes that were baked evenly with perfect browning all the way around.
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Even without a nonstick surface or a nonstick coating, cleaning our best sheet pan was easy, especially when we lined them with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat before baking. In our cookie test, each cookie was easy to remove from the baking sheet and did not stick.
We also found that these half-sheet pans are made with high-quality, pure, uncoated aluminum, which ensures even heat distribution more efficiently and uniformly than hard anodized aluminum cookware or stainless steel. This resulted in evenly baked goods and rose predictably.
3. Wilton Non-Stick Diamond-Infused Navy Blue Baking Set, 7-Piece
If you prefer getting a high-quality set that covers all your bakeware needs, we recommend getting the Wilton Non-Stick Diamond-Infused Baking Set. Our set had a unique diamond-infused nonstick coating that helped everything we cooked cleanly release from the surface of the pans and made the surfaces scratch-resistant, even when we used metal tools.
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The set had one medium loaf pan, a 12-cup muffin pan, two round baking pans, one baking sheet, and a large, medium, and small rectangular baking pan. The amazing bit is that each piece of our beautiful bakeware was made with durable material.
Besides their beautiful diamond-infused coating, the most exciting thing about our set is that they are all dishwasher-safe, unlike the other options we have listed. So once you are done baking, just place them in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
4. Chicago Metallic Commercial II Traditional Uncoated 1-Pound Loaf Pan
Chicago Metallic Commercial II Nonstick is one of our preferred options for baking quick loaves of bread and batters. Unlike most pans, this best loaf pan is made of uncoated stainless steel, which will provide you with years, worth of use. We found the baking pan to be heat-resistant and easy to distribute heat evenly.
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The heavy-gauge stainless steel construction, with sharp 90° folded corners and a rolled top edge, helped prevent our baked loaf pan from warping under high heat. The thick steel walls also helped move heat more evenly around our loaf while it baked and provided a stunning, even browning to our loaf.
However, since the rectangular pan was uncoated, we found that the pan needed a substantial coating of baking spray to ensure that our loaves didn't stick. Alternatively, we recommend lining the pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
5. Fat Daddio’s PSF-103 Anodized Aluminum Springform Pan
If you want the best springform pan, Fat Daddio's PSF-103 Anodized Aluminum Pan is the best option. Made of sturdy 18-gauge anodized aluminum, our pan is built to withstand daily use in a commercial setting. By reflecting heat, rather than absorbing it, our cake pans reach baking temperatures quickly.
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In addition, our best springform pan had a wider base extending past the round cake form, angling slightly like the rim of a plate. Finally, we enjoyed that the pans are available in five sizes and have 3-inch sides. Although the pans are dishwasher safe, we recommend that you hand-wash these pans to prevent the aluminum from oxidizing.
Types of Baking Pans and Tins
1. Round Pans
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Often used for baking cakes, round cake pans are made from aluminum, resulting in evenly-baked cake layers. Although they are best known for baking cakes, a round cake pan can also be used to make various baked goods such as brownies and cheesecakes. These pans come in various sizes, and you can choose a size that suits your needs best.
2. Square and Rectangular Baking Pan
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Rectangular and square baking pans are almost the same and will get the job done in pretty much the same way. So, you only need one of these two to do the job. These baking pans can be used to bake brownies, other types of bars, and even cakes.
3. Baking Sheet Pans
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If you want an oven pan that works well in both the sweet and savory departments, then you can opt for baking sheets. For example, you can use the best sheet pan to make a sheet pan cake, for baking various desserts, or even Italian-style pizza.
4. Loaf Pans
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Commonly, the best loaf pans can be made of anything from aluminized steel to cast iron. These durable pans are essential for babkas, brioche, quick bread such as banana bread and zucchini bread, and sandwich loaves of bread. However, bread isn't the only thing you can bake in a loaf pan. These versatile rectangular pans can also be used for cakes such as pound cakes or for preparing savory foods such as lasagna or pizza.
5. Muffin Pans
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A muffin tin or pan is a staple for any kitchen and is mostly used for baking muffins, cupcakes, or any individually-portioned dessert, such as cinnamon buns. The best muffin pan typically will have 6 or 12 individual holders connected to the tin and created in the shape of a muffin.
6. Bundt Pans
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The best bundt pan is used for baking sweet and coffee cakes. With beautiful ridges and flutes, Bundt pans come in various shapes and styles, the standard denominator being a hole in the middle. When the cake mixture is baked, the cake is shaped into the decorative form of the specific pan.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Baking Pans
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The first very important factor you must consider while buying the best baking pans is the material. Although stainless steel is the most popular material used to make baking pans, other materials are usually used. Here are the different materials you can choose from:
When it comes to oven-baking pans, aluminum is the all-around winner. These baking pans have become a classic baking choice because of their lightweight nature and ability to distribute heat evenly. The only downside of these pans is that they are not nonstick, so you must ensure you grease them well.
Another common choice that most bakers prefer is the nonstick pans. These pans' nonstick properties make removing your baked goods from the tin easy. The downside is that these pans need extra care to maintain their nonstick coating. Remember, if you use parchment paper to line your baking pans, you don't need a nonstick finish.
Glass pans are non-toxic, non-reactive, easy to clean, and offer superior baking results. They are perfect for cakes, casseroles, roasted meats, and lasagna. The major limitation is that the glass pans do not conduct heat evenly.
Silicone baking pans are made from a type of rubber that is safe for cooking and contains no harmful chemicals. These pans are usually better than aluminum, stainless steel, and nonstick pans because they can withstand higher temperatures without damaging the material.
Ceramics has excellent heat retention and even heat distribution properties, making it a great choice for baking pans. Like glass, it can break, but most of the best ceramic pans are glazed to give them more durability than their glass pans. Ceramic pans also make beautiful serving pieces, and they are usually dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
2. Size And Style
In addition to checking the material used to make the baking pan, you must consider the size and style of the pan you pick. Ideally, you should choose the ones that suit the cakes you're going to make.
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The standard baking pan size is 9 by 13 inches, and any basic cupcake or cake recipe can be altered to be baked using this versatile pan. If a cake recipe calls for a baking pan you do not have, you can use a similarly sized pan; ensure it is as close to the same capacity as the original pan the recipe called for.
3. Pans Thickness
You will also need to check the thickness of the baking pans. Usually, you will have two options in this section, single and multi-layer. Picking the right thickness of an oven baking pan mainly comes down to preference.
Thin, single-layer baking pans have the benefit of being quite inexpensive and light. However, they are not durable and are more prone to uneven heat distribution. On the other hand, thicker, multi-layer pans are more pricey, but they are certainly more durable. Plus, you will get consistent results from using them.
4. Easy Cleaning
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Lastly, when purchasing any cookware, it's essential to pick one that is easy to clean. No one enjoys spending hours in the kitchen cleaning up the mess after baking. Consequently, selecting dishwasher-safe bakeware or at least has a nonstick coating will make it easier for you when it comes to cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Baking Pans
1. What is a square baking pan used for?
A square baking dish or pan is used for baked eggs, a small casserole, or a batch of mac and cheese. Square pans are also ideal for braising and brewing meat since the corners are short-heightened, making it much easier to spoon out the juices. This cookware offers about 25% more cooking area than round cake pans and skillets.
2. Do silicone and other nonstick baking pans need to be greased?
Silicone or other nonstick baking pans tend to release without issues. In most cases, nonstick pans do not really need any additional greasing, but for easier cleanup, you can always opt to line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
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