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What are the Different Types of Bakeware?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are many different types of bakeware, all designed for a specific end result when cooking or baking. The differences are not just limited to the design, but also include the material from which the bakeware is constructed and the surface it is given. There are several different designs that may be specific to a recipe, but most pieces can be used for multiple purposes.

Bakeware consists of all pans and dishes that can be used in an oven. There are square and rectangular dishes of different sizes, flat pans, fluted pans, cupcake pans, loaf pans, and many other various sizes and shapes of bakeware. Some recipes call for specific pans or dishes to produce the desired result, while others can be made using your personal preference. Size and shape can affect baking times, so it is important to have a recipe that outlines the required baking time for the selected pieces. Cake recipes are a good example of when varying baking times to a certain pan size or shape is necessary.

Bakeware is made from various materials including glass, silicone, stone, cast iron, aluminum, and steel, and each type cooks differently. A piece constructed of ovenproof glass for instance, heats up faster and holds heat longer than metal bakeware, so it often requires a slight reduction in baking time. Similarly, silicone pieces may require adjustments to baking time as it does not absorb the heat, but rather transfers heat evenly through the food. Silicone also stops cooking the minute it is removed from the heat source, eliminating further browning after being removed from the oven. Sometimes, experimenting with the various materials and types, their performance in your oven, and the end result they produce is the only way to find your personal preference.

The different materials used to manufacture bakeware also affect the care required for maintaining them. For instance, stone and cast iron pieces have a porous surface that requires curing before use. Cast iron should be dried quickly after washing in a warm oven or over low heat to avoid rusting. Stone pieces should not be washed with soap unless its surface has been sealed. You should also avoid using metal utensils such as knives or spatulas on non-stick pieces to avoid scratching the coated surface. Follow all manufacturers' cleaning instructions, which will be specific to the product itself, to extend the life of your bakeware.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By behaviourism — On Jul 23, 2011

One thing I discovered last year was what I think is just called a baking sheet, or sometimes a baking strip. it is basically a rectangular sheet, made of something similar to the plastic in trash bags, that can be reused as a sort of parchment paper.

It is great for baking pretty much anything in bakeware pans, because you can lay it down in the bottom, bake, and use it not only to loosen what you baked, but as a way to lesson the amount of burned or leftover bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Then, this sheet just washes in the sink with dish soap and can air dry to be used again.

By Sara007 — On Jul 23, 2011

If you are just starting to bake and are looking for some affordable bakeware that will last for years, what do you think it the best choice to buy?

Right now I am using a hand-me-down set from a relative that is starting to look really dingy. The set I have is metal and it is starting to be impossible to clean. I am pretty sure there are burns on this bakeware from years ago.

My biggest problem with the metal right now is that it seems to be burning everything I bake. I am not sure if the dark spots on it are to blame or if it is just past its prime.

By manykitties2 — On Jul 22, 2011

One of the best kinds of bakeware for making cakes is definitely glass. I always used to have trouble cooking in metal baking tins when I was trying to make cake, as the edges would always singe a little.

I have found that if you use a well-greased glass-baking sheet that you can avoid singing.

Glass seems to create a more evenly heated surface, which is perfect for when you are trying to get a uniform golden color and want to make sure the entire item your making is finishing at the same time.

Just be careful and make sure you really make your glass slick with whatever you like to use for greasing. Things can stick really well to glass and you don't want to ruin your cake.

By myharley — On Jul 21, 2011

I enjoy watching cooking shows, and bought a set of Rachael Ray bakeware which I just love! I think it was the bright, bold colors that caught my attention more than anything.

There are so many more choices in bakeware than there ever used to be. Many pieces are perfect from taking from the oven to the table and help make the presentation of your food look even better.

By andee — On Jul 20, 2011

I really love my stone bakeware. My first experience with these was a pizza stone I purchased at a Pampered Chef party. What I really love about it is how crisp the crust is when you bake pizza on the stone. It is even great for left over pizza and much better than a soggy crust.

After having such good luck with pizza I used it to bake some cookies and loved the way they tasted. It seemed like they baked very even and the bottoms were just a little bit crispy, but the centers were soft and chewy - just the way I like them!

By aLFredo — On Jul 20, 2011

When my now husband and I had just started dating his friends had the biggest laugh one morning. It was after breakfast and I was doing the nice girlfriend-y thing to do and wash the dishes (since my boyfriend had cooked).

Then out of nowhere one of his friend's yells "No!!" and I realize he is talking to me as I am about to take a soapy sponge to my husband's cast iron skillet.

For those of you, who may not know this; let me save you some trouble: cast iron skillets are only to be cleaned with a little bit of water and a little bit of scrubbing.

This is because people, like my husband, "season" their skillets. This means, to me anyway, they cook lots of meat in the skillet and the flavors left after you rinse the skillet meld into the next meal you make in the cast iron skillet.

Therefore, I was about to wash away years of seasoning; which is why his friend was so distraught when he saw my choice of dish cleaning material.

By Sinbad — On Jul 19, 2011

I love my enamel bakeware. I received some as a wedding gift and they have been so easy to clean, but I have to remember to use a soft sponge versus a scratchy sponge to keep the enamel in tip-top shape!

A little tip for those with kids, I just found cookie bakeware piece that had words and faces etched into the bottom of the pan. This way when you made cookies you had the words or faces on the cookie. It should make baking cookies with kids even more fun!

By Monika — On Jul 18, 2011

@KaBoom - That sounds like a really nice gift!

Lately I've been really into silicone baking pans. They come in all kinds of shapes for different occasions. I have a heart shaped one for Valentines Day, a Christmas tree shaped one for Christmas, and a leaf shaped one for the fall. I have so much fun decorating the cakes and large cookies I make from these pans!

I'm definitely not done building my collection yet though. I'm hoping to find some that are shaped like a pumpkin and possibly a turkey for Thanksgiving.

By KaBoom — On Jul 18, 2011

My mom got me a set of Corningware for my 21st birthday and I must admit it's one of my most prized kitchen possessions.

For those of you who don't know, Corningware is white and kind of a wavy texture. It comes with a glass top for putting it in the oven and a plastic lid for storage. There are several different sizes and shapes that come in the collection too.

Corningware is so versatile! I've used it to cook chicken, casseroles, store food in the freezer, and even to bake cookies. Thanks mom!

By oscar23 — On Jul 17, 2011

I am a big baker, and I also happen to love to yard sale. It is very true that one’s man’s junk is this yard sale chick’s treasure!

And, I can almost always find some unique, often expensive bake ware for practically nothing at all.

For example, I bought my cheesecake pan for two bucks brand new at a yard sale…these pans are not cheap when you buy them new.

I also bought these cool little baby, bunt pans. I use them to make cute little individual desserts whenever we are going to have company. One of my favorites is a mini-chocolate bunt cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberries on top. I gave a quarter a piece for those little pans!

You see, a lot of people want to bake but never get around to it. They end up getting rid of their bake ware for practically nothing when they call it quits!

By dimpley — On Jul 16, 2011

I am a southern lady, born and bred in North Carolina. We southern girls pride ourselves on being able to turn out all kinds of excellent meals and dishes in the blink of an eye. So, it’s no huge thing that I love to bake!

And, one of the best and most southern things that I love to cook is a nicely baked, golden cornbread.

I like to buy home grown, and home ground corn meal. Add to it a little flour, an egg, a little sugar, salt and honey. Whip it up into a lumpy batter and pour it into a possibly unlikely suspect, but the dish really is key to the success of the bread; use an iron skillet that has been seasoned well.

Make sure to put a little pam or butter inside before you poor in the batter, or it will indeed stick. Cook until it is golden brown on the top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

All kinds of things can be used as bakeware, and iron skillets are completely safe. Never use anything, though, that is not branded oven-safe.

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