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Glass vs. Steel Baking Pans

Although most people are discerning in the case of choosing a recipe, typically it’s onerous to know what the perfect software for the job is. That is particularly frequent in the case of baking, and whereas the age of the yeast or the standard of cocoa powder issues, so too does the baking dish. And one frequent space of confusion is whether or not to make use of metallic or glass. 

The science of baking entails complicated chemical reactions that happen if you place batter or dough within the scorching surroundings of an oven. That is why the fabric of the bakeware is essential and may change the end result significantly. Right here, we break down the professionals and cons of utilizing metallic and glass. 

First, Let’s Discuss About Conductivity

The left glass pan reveals how the inside middle of the brownie is underbaked, making it tough to chop. The precise metallic pan reveals how the brownie is baked evenly all through the pan, with clear cuts from the butter knife.

Critical Eats / Irvin Lin

Steel and glass have totally different warmth conductivity, which suggests they carry and switch warmth otherwise. In keeping with A.J. Bates, professor of chemistry at Skyline School in California, metallic heats up shortly, conducting warmth to no matter you’re baking shortly (metallic additionally cools down quicker). He defined that cup, however, has a better particular warmth capability, which suggests it takes extra vitality and time to warmth up and retains the warmth after it’s been faraway from the oven. 

Baking in metallic means you’ll be able to bake a dessert till the middle is finished, take away it from the oven, and never have to fret in regards to the pan persevering with to bake the sides. Glass, nevertheless, will retain the warmth, and proceed to bake what’s inside, leading to both an underbaked middle or an overbaked edge—or typically each.

Glass and Steel React to Components In another way

Steel and glass additionally react to elements otherwise. Acidic elements like tomatoes and citrus can react with aluminum (the most typical metallic utilized in bakeware), making a metallic style in your meals. That is why lasagna and different casseroles with acidic elements are sometimes baked in glass. The sleek slick floor of the glass can also be naturally considerably nonstick, making it simpler to wash baked-on cheese and different crusty elements.

Contemplate Sensible Use and Storage

Steel is kind of sturdy and may take a beating in a busy kitchen, whereas glass is fragile and heavy, requiring a bit of extra care in cleansing and storage. Some glass can even undergo thermal shock, which suggests it will probably’t deal with excessive temperature modifications. For instance, for those who transfer a glass dish from the freezer to the oven, or from a scorching oven to a chilly range, the glass can shatter. The exception to that is borosilicate glass, which is extra thermal-shock resistant than different sorts of glass (which is why it’s typically used to make microwave cookware, like this set from Anyday). Nevertheless, understand that commonest glass bakeware just isn’t borosilicate. Steel doesn’t have this difficulty, permitting you to relax a pie crust within the freezer earlier than shifting it on to the oven to bake.


Glass can be tough to retailer since pans are sometimes inconsistently sized, in addition to heavy and thick. You probably have pets or inquisitive younger youngsters, or simply don’t have a number of space for storing, go for metallic bakeware.

Attractiveness Issues

Although it could seem to be a small factor, a metallic pan makes very neat edges.

Critical Eats / Irvin Lin

Baked items served instantly from the dish can profit from a good-looking glass or ceramic dish. Alanna Taylor-Tobin, creator of Alternative Baker and blogger at The Bojon Gourmet recommends baking cobblers, crisps, and crumbles in glass or ceramic. “I like utilizing engaging ceramic and glass baking dishes for fruit desserts. The dish retains warmth, holding the dessert heat, and it seems good too! So desserts like my almond flour apple crisp can go from the oven on to the desk for a straightforward but dinner-party-worthy dessert,” she says. 

Nevertheless, in case your dessert is faraway from the dish earlier than serving, like with brownies, cookies, or bars, a metallic possibility goes to present you a extra engaging ultimate product as a result of the sides and corners of a metallic dish are sometimes a really perfect 90-degree angle, creating an ideal sq. or rectangle. 

USA Pan Bakeware Rectangular Cake Pan


Pyrex Deep Baking Dish
Mattress Tub & Past

So, Which Bakes Greatest? Glass or Steel? The Reply: It Is dependent upon What You’re Baking

Critical Eats / Vicky Wasik

Most desserts like brownies, cookies, bars, and muffins bake finest in a metallic dish. The metallic conducts warmth evenly and effectively, permitting the baked items to warmth and rise equally from edge to middle, cooking on the identical price. 

Desserts like fruit cobblers, crisps, and crumbles, in addition to savory casseroles, are finest made in a glass dish. The glass retains the warmth higher, holding the dish heat, and the dish can go instantly from the oven to the desk.

One factor to notice about pies and tarts: a number of recipes and articles will let you know to bake pies in glass, and it’s true that cup has the added benefit of being clear—you’ll be able to simply see if the pie crust is finished. However, for those who’re an skilled baker or need your pie to have an additional flaky crust, metal is a superior option. Pie crust is flaky as a result of there are shards of butter in between the layers of dough. When heated, the butter melts, and the water within the butter creates steam, which provides the crust its layers and flakiness. Glass does warmth up quicker than fancy stoneware pie pans, however metallic heats up even faster, creating an evenly browned crust with a great deal of flakiness. And, with metallic, you’ll be able to place the pie crust within the freezer to relax the dough completely earlier than shifting it to the new oven, which is riskier with a glass pie dish, since it will probably shatter.

Norpro Stainless Steel Pie Pan


Made In Pie Dish


Do understand that pie bakers are divided about what kind of pie dish they like, with a number of recipes developed with glass pie pans. Should you decide metallic as your pie pan, your bake time could be much less and have to be adjusted.

Suggestions for Baking in Glass As an alternative of Steel

Critical Eats / Irvin Lin

If all you’ve in your family is glassware and also you don’t want to purchase any metallic pans, you wish to regulate the time and temperature of the baking. Kristina Razon, a former Critical Eats editor and avid baker suggests dropping the temperature of the recipe by 25°F and rising the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes. Take into account that glassware continues to retain the warmth longer than metallic pans, so that you may wish to additionally take the pan out of the oven barely underdone and let the carryover warmth proceed to bake the dessert whereas it sits.

Within the Finish, Use What Works for You

Professionals and Cons of Glass and Steel
PROS Retains warmth and retains meals heat
Good for serving meals
Simpler to wash
Nice at conducting warmth evenly
Straightforward to retailer
Creates good, sharp edges and corners
CONS Extra vulnerable to thermal shock and breaking
Not as fairly for serving 
Reacts to acidic elements
More durable to wash

Lastly, one final thing to contemplate: You probably have favourite recipes that work with the pans that you just personal, you don’t want to vary what you’re doing! You understand your kitchen and your gear finest. Each kitchen is totally different, and each oven is totally different. You probably have a favourite recipe for brownies that works completely together with your favourite glass dish, then by all means, hold baking with it. It’s potential you’ve already adjusted your baking time, temperature, and technique to accommodate for the glass materials, your oven bakes at barely decrease temperatures than most ovens, or you’ve relations who love the fudgy, barely undercooked inside items and others that battle over the crispy nook items.

However if you’re attempting a brand new recipe or attempting to determine why your cookie bars are at all times popping out onerous and overdone on the edges and underdone and uncooked within the center, strive baking a batch utilizing a metallic pan as a substitute of the glass one. You may discover switching pans is all you might want to make the recipe work.


Which is healthier for baking: glass or metallic?

For baked desserts like muffins, cookies, and brownies, metallic is healthier. Most recipes are designed and developed for metallic pans, and also you’ll be capable to replicate the recipe in your house for those who use the same pan. For fruit desserts like cobblers, crisps, and crumbles; desserts which have a number of acidity like citrus; or savory dishes like casseroles, glass might be higher, as it’s non-reactive and simpler to wash; it additionally retains meals hotter longer, which is nice for serving.

What’s one of the best ways to wash glass and metallic baking pans?

The easiest way to wash a glass pan is at hand wash it with heat soapy water. Soak the pan first if there may be baked-on residue; this can soften and loosen the gunk, permitting you to wash it off extra simply with a sponge. Keep away from harsh scouring pads, as they’ll scratch the floor of the glass. 

To scrub metallic baking pans, soak the pan first in soapy scorching water if there are crumbs caught, however often, a sponge and scorching water will take away a lot of the residue. Your glass or metallic baking pan may also be dishwasher protected, however seek the advice of the producer’s cleansing and care directions first earlier than placing it within the dishwasher. And notice that some pans could also be listed as dishwasher protected, however harsh dishwashing detergents can corrode or shorten the lifespan of the dish.

Critical Eats makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to assist the details inside our articles. Learn our editorial process to be taught extra about how we fact-check and hold our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.
  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/meals/2021/03/22/baking-pans-metal-glass/

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