Bakeware is a necessity in the modern kitchen, even if you don’t fancy yourself a baker. Just because you might not be ready to make homemade loaves of bread each week, you’ll need a good collection of baking utensils to be able to do most oven related cooking tasks. There are a variety of styles and finishes to choose from when selecting Bakeware.
Stoneware is a popular choice, known for even cooking. This heavy Bakeware goes from the oven to the table easily, and can be found in almost any color and style you can imagine. Stoneware is nonporous, so it’s almost impossible to stain, and it won’t absorb moisture that can damage the pieces and cause them to crack. The biggest disadvantage with stoneware is that it can chip and break.
Pyrex is the original glass Bakeware. You can see through the dishes to see what you’re cooking. It’s no longer just available in clear glass, though, you can purchase different shades of Pyrex to coordinate with your kitchen. That way you can take the dishes out of the oven and put them right on the table, giving it even more appeal. Unfortunately, glass can chip, crack and break, so if you drop Pyrex or other glass dish, it’s probably a goner.
Teflon Bakeware is still a popular choice for its nonstick properties. The slick coating makes easy work of clean up, and leaves the food intact. Cookies and breads slide right off the coated surface making it ideal to use when a pretty presentation is essential. Extra care must be taken when using and cleaning Teflon so it doesn’t become scratched, which will ruin the nonstick properties of the surface. Metal utensils should be avoided; instead plastic tools must be used to avoid scratching the nonstick coating.
Some people still swear by cast iron Bakeware and cookware. This heavy duty material is known for its ability to retain heat and handle extremely hot temperatures, which makes it ideal for frying pans and woks. Cast iron Dutch ovens are another popular choice. Cast iron does require special care before it’s even used. It must be seasoned with a layer of grease, which cannot be later washed off with soap. Cast iron must be scrubbed with plain hot water, or hot water and corn starch or salt, to avoid removal of the seasoned nonstick surface.
And one of its chief advantages, how heavy duty and long lasting it is, is one of its biggest drawbacks. Cast iron cookware is extremely heavy, so pulling them in and out of the oven might be a challenge for some. And the typically large size of the pieces can make them a challenge to store when not in use.
Metal Bakeware is still available, but has lost much of its appeal in the age of the microwave. Though heavy duty metal pieces can still be found in most kitchens, their uses appear limited when compared to stoneware and Pyrex which look nice on a tabletop. Metal can also scratch and rust, unlike these other surfaces, limiting its usefulness.
A relatively new development in Bakeware is the use of silicone. It is extremely lightweight, unlike heavy stoneware and glass pieces. And you can bend silicone pieces, which makes storage extra easy. It can’t chip or rust, and it won’t break, which makes using this safer than stoneware or glass. These properties make silicone extremely long lasting, too.