Choosing the right pan is the first step towards becoming a master baker.
If you’re a regular baker you’ve probably noticed that every different pan makes a difference to the end result. This is because your tools of choice can change everything from temperature to moisture and as such picking the perfect tin is the first step towards a perfect result every time. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most commonly found materials on the market and when to use them for optimal results.
The most commonly used pans here in India are aluminium. Being durable, affordable and pretty straightforward to use they’re always the ones we gravitate towards. In theory, aluminium is non-stick but greasing the trays is normally a must-do to prevent any accidental sticking. The metal is a great conductor and helps to evenly distribute heat for even cooking. It’s the best material for baking cakes but if you’re using a sheet pan for cookies, be aware that you might get extra brown, crispy bases and less cooked tops thanks to the aluminium.
Non-Stick Metal Pans
The saviour for all who hate washing. Most non-stick pans are recognisable for their matte grey or black coating along the inside and although the name seems to suggest otherwise, we wholly recommend greasing these before use too even though it might seem like an easier release than in an aluminium tin. More costly and hard to care for, they aren’t the best choice for beginners or the occasional baker because the non-stick coating tends to come off easily.
One of the true modern marvels, silicone came in and completely revolutionised how we bake. Completely non-stick, silicone rarely requires extra greasing and removing anything from cookies to cupcakes is really easy with silicone trays. However, since they don’t conduct heat well and tend to trap excess moisture it can sometimes result in soggy-bottomed bakes which is disappointing given all the extra convenience it adds.
Glass Baking Pans
The most elegant of the lot, glass pans are perfect when you’re hoping to bake and serve something immediately, say a pie or a crumble. But naturally, the glass comes with one obvious drawback – its fragility. Plus it doesn’t conduct heat quite as well as metal so when baking in a convection microwave or an OTG you have to be really aware of the fact that heat is only coming from the top and adjust accordingly for your dish to be cooked all the way through.