Silicone bakeware is the newest trend in baking these days. If you are considering purchasing new baking pans, here are a few tips and things to consider.
1. Silicone Pans Are Nonstick
Silicone pans promise to be nonstick and thus easier to use because greasing pans is unnecessary. I haven’t found this to be true. I still grease my loaf and muffin pans before using them. The baking mat (for use on a cookie sheet) works well for cookies, without any greasing, and reduces the waste of using parchment paper for baking. When using a silicone loaf, muffin or Bundt pan, a light coating of cooking spray helps.
2. Silicone Pans Won’t Burn
Silicone pans are supposed to heat more evenly than metal, reducing burning to your baking. Again, my experience with silicone pans doesn’t match my expectations. I’ve had both loaves and cookies come out of the oven with slightly burnt bottoms (see picture). Silicone pans also seem to require a slightly longer baking time than metal pans, especially for bigger pans such as the Bundt pan.
3. Silicone Pans Are Flexible
Because silicone pans are flexible, you must be careful with the pans while putting them in the oven. Most pans (especially larger pans such as a Bundt pan) need to sit on a cookie sheet to prevent them from slouching. The muffin and loaf pans have enough support to sit on the wire racks, but require two hands to place in the oven or remove (grab the corners). The loaf pan expands as the loaves bake (see picture), creating a roundish loaf.
This flexibility makes it easier to remove baking from the pans once they are out of the oven. Silicone does get hot during baking, so use oven mitts to remove the pans from the oven. Let the pans cool for ten or twenty minutes (or longer), then turn the pans upside down and gently peel the pan off the loaf, muffins, or cake (see pictures).
4. Silicone Bakeware is Easy to Wash
Silicone bakeware makes cleaning up after baking very simple. The pans can go in the dishwasher or be quickly washed by hand. The baking mat just needs to be wiped.
5. Silicone Bakeware is Easy to Store
The flexibility makes the silicone bakeware perfect fore the RV, cabin, or campground. Pans can be squished to fit into small spaces or dropped without worry about damage to the floor or the pan. Baking can be left in the pans for storage, even if you want to freeze loaves or muffins. Silicone bakeware is freezer, fridge, microwave, and oven safe (although check your bakeware for specific manufacturer recommendations about maximum temperature).
Do not use sharp utensils or knives with silicone bakeware.
Wash pans thoroughly before the first use.
You may notice a “rubber” smell in your kitchen while baking with silicone.
Silicone pans come in different sizes than metal pans, so you may need to adjust recipes or use multiple pans. For example, my silicone loaf pan is slightly smaller but my silicone muffin pan makes large muffins. The baking mat only fits on my large cookie sheet.
Every baker has a favourite pans for different recipes. While I found that my silicone pans still require greasing and careful observation in the oven, I do like the quick cleanup and the ease of getting loaves and muffins out of the pan. I’ll likely keep both my silicone and metal pans in use in my kitchen.