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Please tell me about your baking pans


kbjesq
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5 hours ago, kayb said:

I picked up a pair of Calphalon loaf pans at TJ Maxx several years ago that are my workhorse pans

I currently have these loaf pans but the finish is showing signs of wear,  and everything sticks to them.  It's because other ppl in my house used metal utensils with these pans.  The scratch marks are visible. They also have spots of rust  

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If you're looking for something that will last and work well, ATK/CI always seemed to like the Wilton Ultra Gold pans (click). They are pricey but are supposed to be worth it. They do scratch if metal utensils are used in them. 

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I'd urge anyone to stay away from nonstick bakeware. The coatings are impermanent and unnecessary, and the dark ones cause overbrowning. 

 

The best material, in terms of browning evenly on the air side and on the pan-side, is light-colored, unpolished bare aluminum. Like all the commercial pans. I like the Magic Line pans most. They're welded, so the corners are all perfect right angles. This makes cleaning a little harder, but you don't get odd shaped pieces on the sides and corners. If easy cleaning is more important than perfect edges, there are other brands that are press-moulded, but made with the same heavy aluminum. These have rounded corners.

 

For sheet pans any commercial aluminum half and quarter-sheets work well. I also like the Chicago Metallic aluminized steel ones. They brown things a bit more slowly.

 

For everything, get parchment. You can find sellers on ebay who have it pre-cut to half-sheet size.

Notes from the underbelly

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I like non-stick finish on metal baking pans. I start with good quality, heavy gauge pans, and eventually build up a polymerized oil finish over that. It's hard at first, because oil tends to bead on non-stick, but it is possible over time with very thin, wiped coats of oil. The pans needn't be expensive. My WearEver cookie sheets are heavy, but cheaply purchased, and now have a very durable polymerized oil finish built up over the original non-stick. They scratch on the bottom where they contact the oven racks, but it doesn't affect performance, and the rustproofing can be easily restored with a little wipe of oil and heat.

 

I like the WearEver brand for their affordability, durability, and the cookie sheets don't warp due to themal expansion/contraction like some while heating or cooling.

 

I bought a large cookie sheet by Marcus Samuelsson (did not know who he was at the time) about 11" x 16-1/2" cooking surface. I never use it, although it's the largest I own by a little, and heavy guage. The problem? It violently warps under heat, and then again on cooling. You can hear it go sproing! in the oven and again on the glass trivet, throwing your lovingly prepared food every which way. If I weren't such a pack rat, I'd throw it out. Still a tray that size could be useful, just not for baking. It's the only piece with his name I have, so smaller ones may be fine.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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7 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 I start with good quality, heavy gauge pans, and eventually build up a polymerized oil finish over that

 

That's an interesting approach, but why would you get a teflon coating if you're going to layer polymerized oil on top? You can "season" bare aluminum just fine. The oil won't adhere as well as it does to iron, but it should make a more even and durable layer than it would over over a commercial nonstick coating.

 

 

Notes from the underbelly

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I have some old bakeware made by Volrath that seems virtually indestructible.  I also have a bunch of bakeware from Fat Daddio's which I have used and abused a lot  - I have several of the "heavy duty" cookie sheets that I use instead of regular sheet pans.

 

I got all of my Pullman loaf pans from Fantes - have the 16 inch, 13 inch and 9 inch.  I use the 9 inch exclusively for pumpernickel bread.

WARNING!!!  Do NOT click on the "Tools" section at Fantes.  I get in trouble every time I go there so I speak from experience.

Did I need another of thee Jonas Baker's Mate 4 tier cooling racks (already have two) - No, but I ordered one anyway because they are so handy for so many tasks when one needs to utilize counter space efficiently.  And I did not need a sticky bowl gripper or a Kolacky cutter...

It is a dangerous place to linger.O.o

 

I don't like non-stick bakeware, but for any non-intricate mold pieces, I use parchment.  In loaf pans, cake pans, etc. - I buy the various pre-cut rounds and the big stacks of flat 1/2 sheet pan sheets.  

I have a few silicone baking sheets but for me it is usually easier to use the parchment.

I buy from an ebay vendor that sells 200 sheets for 26.50 and free shipping.

 

Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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13 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

That's an interesting approach, but why would you get a teflon coating if you're going to layer polymerized oil on top? You can "season" bare aluminum just fine. The oil won't adhere as well as it does to iron, but it should make a more even and durable layer than it would over over a commercial nonstick coating.

 

 

 

I like to be able to use it immediately (after washing, of course) and the polymerized oil really extends the life of the piece over time. I like steel for baking for the browning. I have some aluminum pans, but they just don't brown like the steel ones, and steel rusts, so it needs a coating to help it last in harsh conditions of the oven. I bought one of those insulated pans one time and threw it out after it prevented my cookies from browning on the bottom. I realize people bake some things where this would be a desirable quality, but it's not for me or for the stuff I personally bake. :smile:

 

I like my homely aluminum 10" x 14" roaster pan, and use it over my two steel and two glass pan of the same size for roasting meat on a V-rack. It's spattered with polymerized oil, but that's just the random stuff that comes off the meat and burns to it. It is really a no-fuss pan. The glass pan are pretty, but I only use them for baking brownies or cakes. They are too hard to clean after roasting something without scratching them. That old aluminum pan is easy to clean up after roasting. I can scrub it after soaking without worrying about any coating or scratching. It's light too. The steel pans are fine, but higher maintenance for roasting. They can't be put in the dishwasher, and I have to worry about marring a rustproof finish when cleaning. Just my personal preferences.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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One thing I liked about Pyrex (back when I had a self-cleaning oven) is that you can restore it to brand new condition by leaving it in the oven on the self-clean cycle. Completely effortless. And very much not recommended for most metal pans.

 

The other issue with Pyrex is that it browns the surfaces that face pan very rapidly. This is probably why it's popular for things like cornbread, where people go for extra crisp edges. For other things this can be a problem.

 

 

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Notes from the underbelly

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http://tuftyceramics.com/

 

I have the three pans shown on the linked page, and have been using one since about 1979, when I got my first one.  They are wonderful for what I do ... transfer heat well, provide great browning, are just about non-stick (but I always use just a scosh of butter), and practically indestructible.  Highly recommended, although I think most people would be more comfortable with traditional, contemporary pans.

 

When my wife and I split, she took one of my pans, and I looked for many years to find replacements.  Click here for more details.  These pans are definitely worth considering.

 ... Shel


 

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