When it comes to baking, the material of the ware you use is important for two reasons. First, the material will dictate how well heat is conducted through the material. Second, the material will also dictate how easy it is to wash the baking ware and how long it will last.
While there are many kinds of baking ware on the market, such as metal, glass, stone, and silicone, this article will focus on regular metal tins and silicone. Let’s break down each material, the pros and cons, and what kind of baking it is best used in.
Metal Baking Tins
Comparatively, metal baking tins are more common and easy to find than silicone ones. You can typically find them in most supermarkets, groceries, and specialty baking stores. What’s more, they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, so it is easy to find the perfect metal baking tin for whatever baking project you have in mind. Whether you’re making a loaf of bread, a sheet cake, or a Bundt cake, you can easily find the right metal baking tin.
Metal conducts heat quickly and evenly, giving you that perfect golden-brown surface on your baked items. The quick heat conduction also results in a light and airy final product. They are strong and durable, and if you invest in quality metal baking tins, they can easily last for years. While most are dishwasher safe, there are some brands that are not suitable for dishwashers and are not rust-proof.
The biggest downside to using metal baking tins is that they are prone to sticking. You will always need to grease or flour your baking tins before you put any type of batter in them.
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If you’re looking for silicone baking tins, it can be difficult to find them unless you order them online or you go to a stocked specialty baking store. You might also find it difficult to find a range of different shapes and sizes for silicone baking tins.
The great thing about silicone is that the surface is non-stick, so you’ll be using less oil or grease when baking. Baked goods release cleanly from the surface, and silicone is dishwasher safe, making for easy cleanup! Silicone tins are lightweight and flexible, making them easy to store and carry around.
However, there are also downsides to using silicone. The biggest downside is that silicone is not a good conductor of heat, resulting in the baked goods raising and browning more slowly. This will leave you with a dense and heavy crumb, which is not a good thing for most bread and cakes. Heavy and rich batters take longer to cook, so you run the risk of having the exterior of the baked goods burning before the interior is cooked through fully. Lastly, silicone is not rigid, so if you are using a heavy batter, the sides of the ware can bulge. This will result in lopsided baked goods!
So, who is the winner in the battle between metal baking tins vs. silicone? Well, it depends on what you need for baking! If you regularly make bread or cakes, metal baking tins are great. However, silicone baking wares are great if you’re making things like quiches or cheesecakes. Invest in both so that you’ll have them ready on hand whenever you need them.