Cooking can be an excellent way to relax and separate your mind from the hustle of daily life. But for some it can be quite the opposite: a nightmare!
Not everyone can jump into the kitchen and start whipping up culinary perfections. Actually, pretty much no one can. It takes a few years of baking and cooking to gather enough knowledge to be able to whip up tasty creations on the fly.
This doesn’t mean you are absolutely incapable of making awesome cooking creations, it just means that you will have a much harder time creating them than those who already know a thing or two when it comes to cooking.
One of the things that many new cooks find to be a rather difficult is deciding which baking pans and sheets to use for their creations. Yes, we know that a “cookie baking sheet” should be used for baking cookies, that’s a no brainer…but have you seen how many different types of “cookie baking sheets” are out there?
Even if you happened to find what seems to be the perfect baking sheet for whatever you need it for, how do you determine what material it should be made out of?
Deciding on the right material is a vital part of choosing the right bakeware. Certain materials are best for use during certain specific tasks. You can even use the same exact recipe, with the same exact temperature settings, but the outcome will vary depending on the material that your cooking sheet or baking pan is made out of.
Types of Bakeware Materials
Before you can start shopping for the right stuff, you need to be “enlightened” about the different types of materials that are used for making cookware and bakeware. This is exactly what we are here to help you with.
First, we will go over a few different types of materials used in common kitchenware products. After you know the difference between the basic materials, we will talk about some of our favorite pans and cooking sheets that we have come across during out baking and cooking experiences.
Let’s begin with our list of durable bakeware!
Commonly used for: This material can be found all over in your kitchen. Skillets, saucepans, cake pans, loaf pans, pie pans, and baking sheets can all be made out of aluminum.
There are a few different types of aluminum products that are used in cookware and bakeware. The three most common types are bare aluminum products, non-stick aluminum products, and anodized aluminum products. Bare aluminum products are simple pots, pans, and sheets that are made without any additional materials used, just pure aluminum.
The non-stick aluminum products are coated with a special type of material that makes it easier to clean and cook with, and these are usually the most commonly used aluminum products. Lastly, the anodized products are made in a special way so that the aluminum oxidizes in a very precise way to form a more durable and harder aluminum pan or sheet.
-Pros: The biggest positive about aluminum cookware is that it’s usually the cheapest and can be found easily. Aluminum cookware is also very easy to use and clean. There are no special instructions required.
-Cons: While they are much more affordable than other types of cookware, aluminum products aren’t very durable. Even the anodized aluminum pots, pans, and sheet are less durable than some of the other products out there.
Aluminum bakeware products are a perfect choice for those of you who are just starting out with the whole cooking and baking thing. You won’t have to empty your wallet to get these basic products and when the time comes to upgrade you won’t have a hard time letting go of these less costly products.
2. Cast Iron
Commonly used for: Very heavy-duty skillets, casserole dishes, and stock pots are often the main types of products that you can expect to be made out of cast iron.
Just like with aluminum products, you have some options when deciding on the type of cast iron to buy. Usually, there are two different types: bare cast iron products and enameled cast iron products. Obviously, the bare cast iron pots and pans are made from just plain cast iron without any additives.
Bare cast iron cookware is pretty much indestructible, but it has to be maintained properly and treated with special seasoning ingredients when attempting to derive a specific flavor from the cookware. The alternative choice is the enamel coated cast iron products. Enamel coating eliminates the need to treat your cast iron product in a specific way and they are much easier to clean after use.
Pros: The greatest benefit to using cast iron products is the durability that they bring to the table. Cast iron products conduct heat very well and stay hot for a long time. They can also be used to add a specific flavor to your dishes, depending on how you treat your cast iron cookware.
Cons: Spending extra time to properly maintain and season your cast iron products in order to keep them non-stick can be a bit of a hassle. Furthermore, you need to use a water-free cleaning method when working with cast iron bakeware. Lastly, there is also the price aspect. Good quality cast iron products can get pretty pricey, so expect to spend extra dollars when shopping for these products.
Cast iron products are unique and you need a little bit of knowledge on how to use them before you start cooking with them. If you feel confident enough and if your pockets are deep enough, then go ahead and focus on these types of cookware products. The chances are good that you will never have to replace them.
Commonly used for: If you are interested in making a casserole dish or a pie, then chances are you will be working with ceramic bakeware.
There many different types of ceramic bakeware out there, but usually you will be choosing between two main types: porcelain and stoneware. While both offer a nonstick and nonporous surface which is easy to clean and stain resistant, they do differ in a few ways. Porcelain is usually a lot more delicate and fragile while more even in color tone and smooth. Stoneware products are generally a bit more rugged with darker, earthier tones when it comes to color. Both are a perfect choice for your favorite casserole dish.
Pros: Ceramic products are praised for their ability to distribute heat evenly and stay warm long after the oven has been turned off. Many people also love the way that ceramic products look.
Cons: You will have to keep a close eye and be a lot more delicate with ceramic cookware since they will most likely shatter the moment you drop one. Besides breaking, you also have to watch out for cracks and chips, since this is a rather common occurrence of you are rough with your ceramic cookware.
These types of products vary in price, but we strongly suggest that you get at least one ceramic casserole dish when you first start baking and cooking. They are useful in more ways than one when it comes to baking and cooking. They are also fragile and can break easily, but generally the price isn’t that bad if you need to replace it. We think it would be a huge mistake to start your baking adventure without at least one proper casserole dish.
Commonly used for: Looking to make some decorative cookies? Copper is the perfect choice for your baking molds. It’s also common to see copper used for stock pots and saucepans.
Some of the most beautiful looking cookware and bakeware is made out of copper. Many chefs around the world choose to work with copper products because of their unique look and excellent quality. Copper is an excellent material when it comes to cooking and baking.
Pros: It’s all about the ability to transfer heat quickly and precisely. Copper offers exactly that! The material is the best at transferring heat, which makes it the perfect choice when it comes to precision cooking. If you need to evenly and quickly distribute a few degrees of heat across whatever it is you are cooking or baking, copper is your best choice. It also cools very quickly, making it perfect for handling and quick cooking.
Cons: Because of how copper reacts with certain foods, you will have to look for copper products that have a stainless steel or a tin ring on the inside of the pan or pot. This will prevent copper from reacting with the food you cook. Copper is also the pricy option when it comes to cookware, so be ready to empty your wallet.
Generally, copper pots and pans are used in professional kitchens. They are usually much pricier, but for a very good reason. The heat conductivity of copper products is unmatched, which is precisely why these products are commonly found in high end kitchens and restaurants. If you are planning to take your cooking experiences to the next level, then copper may be the right choice for you.
Commonly used for: Usually only used for baking dishes and casserole dishes.
Don’t worry; the glass baking products you see in the stores won’t melt in your oven. These baking products are made from heat tempered glass, which is capable of withstanding the temperatures your oven can produce without any issues. Glass baking dishes give you an interesting perspective on what your baked goods look like in the pan.
Pros: Glass cookware is generally very easy to clean and offers a perfectly smooth surface for those delicate creations. It’s also very stain resistant.
Cons: Well, its glass. It’s tempered and made super strong to resist heat, but it still has a pretty good chance of breaking if dropped.
Glass is kind of a mid-range material when it comes to cookware. There aren’t any crystal clear benefits to using glass when baking that make it an absolute must have, but at the same time it’s not the worst material that you can make cookware out of.
Our verdict is that if you want to see what stuff looks like through the walls of your baking pan when you cook it, then get yourself a glass casserole dish. Be ready for some heavy lifting, as some of these glass dishes can be rather heavy.
Commonly used for: So far, we have only seen this material used in baking molds and pans.
It may seem a bit odd, but it’s true. We can now use silicone in the kitchen. While this material is relatively new in the baking world, t is also the only baking material that is flexible and heat-resistant at the same time. If you are looking for unique baking molds and pans, you’ve found them.
Pros: One of the biggest challenges of baking is removing your final creation out of that pesky baking mold. Well, silicone molds can offer the perfect solution: flexibility which makes it super easy to remove any type of molded item without damaging it.
Cons: While the flexibility of silicone baking molds and pans is what makes them so unique and special, it also happens to be one a slight downfall. Working with pans that are filled with batter or other baking ingredients can be somewhat frustrating when your container is all wobbly.
The other somewhat annoying part of silicone bakeware is that it doesn’t conduct heat nearly as well as some of the other products out there, so you might miss out on that perfect crust or coloring of your creation.
If you are looking for that new item on the market or are totally fed up with all of your muffins breaking when you are trying to get them out of your muffin tin, then silicone baking molds are what you are looking for. The price is also rather acceptable, so you won’t end up breaking the piggy bank to get your first piece of silicone bakeware.
Commonly used for: Pretty much anything you can possibly imagine cooking on or baking in can be found made out of steel.
If you are planning on using steel as the material for your cookware or bakeware, then you have a choice between two different steel product types: stainless steel and carbon steel. Stainless steel products generally have an addition of chromium in them, about 10% worth, and usually these products are bare metal without any type of coating or enamel. Carbon steel is a standard carbon-steel alloy that usually requires an enamel or non-stick coating in order to be useful in the kitchen.
Pros: Stainless steel products are really well made and look really good. You won’t have to worry about rust, stains, or any type of corrosion, and cleaning should be a breeze. Carbon steel products are slightly more difficult to maintain, but if done properly will last longer than stainless steel. Carbon steel cookware is also a bit more affordable than stainless steel.
Cons: You will end up spending extra time maintaining carbon steel products properly to prevent corrosion and rust. Carbon steel products have to be kept very dry at all times, and the longer they are exposed to water the higher the chance is that they will rust and corrode.
If you are looking for bakeware and cookware that is somewhat affordable yet easy to maintain, then stainless steel is the right choice for you. Generally, stainless steel pots, pans, and molds will last a pretty good amount of time, especially if they are cared for.
On the flip side, if you don’t have enough money for the more carefree variety of steel product, you can always choose to go with carbon steel bakeware. Just be ready to do some extra work when maintaining those wares.
Deciding on which material to go with will be easier if you first determine what type of cooking you will be doing in the kitchen. Every material has its own benefits and drawbacks, and you have to consider them all carefully. Your experience in the kitchen will also play a big role when choosing the right material for your cookware.
Consider all options, cost, durability, and amount of maintenance needed to help you make the perfect choice for your situation.
Top Durable Bakeware Products
Now that you can determine which material to use for you cooking needs, we can share some of the products that we have tried before and found to be impressive. Keep in mind that these are just some of the products available. We wouldn’t dare try to cover all of them as there are simply too many. These might not be the best choice for you, they are simply the best in our opinion.
1. Rachael Ray 10-Piece Cucina
Our first set is branded by the famous Rachel Ray. This 10-piece baking set is made out of the durable double carbon steel we mentioned earlier with rolled rims. The handles on nearly all pans have silicone grips designed in a way that makes it easy for you to get the pans out of your oven without burning yourself.
The price on this set is at the high end, so expect to pay about $75+ dollars for the 10-piece set. But the quality of this set is really good and we have seen nothing but positive feedback about this bakeware product.
2. Vitesse 5-Piece Bakeware Set
If you don’t need a crazy number of different pans and sheets, and are simply looking for the basic set that will give you the ability to bake every once in a while, then the Vitesse 5-piece Bakeware Set is for you. This bakeware set is also made from high quality carbon steel and also includes silicone grips to make the pans easy to use.
Vitesse uses a unique even-baking technology, which results in evenly baked goods without burned edges. The price is also within most peoples’ budget at roughly around $40 for the whole set. The feedback from customers who have used this set has been really good; everyone has provided nothing but positive feedback.
3. USA Pan Bakeware Aluminized Steel 6-Piece Set
If you are looking for a product that is made in the USA and is pretty high-tech with nearly no negative marks, then the USA Pan Bakeware set is the choice for you. The corrugated design incorporated in these pans is unique and will prevent your bakeware from warping while also evenly distributing heat throughout your baked goods and giving you the ability to quickly release the finished product from the pan.
While the price for this 6-piece set is on the high side, estimated to be about $90 for the set, it is definitely worth it since this will be a once in a lifetime purchase…that’s how durable this bakeware set is.
Keep in mind that there is a silicone coating that is added to these pans which makes them absolutely stick free, but this also means you can’t use these in a dishwasher. The reviews about this product are out of this world, and everyone gives positive feedback without any negativity.
4. Sorbus Silicone Value Baking Set
It might seem a bit counterintuitive to use this set for your baking need since its made completely out of silicone, but we promise you that these pans wont melt in your oven. There are nine different molds that you can use to make cakes, muffins, and even waffles. This set is heat resistant up to 450oF, freeze resistant, can be rolled up, can be used in a dishwasher, and can be used in a microwave.
Seriously, we think you might just be able to do nearly anything to this baking set. The price is set steeply at about $90, but you are getting some futuristic stuff here. Since this is a relatively new product, there haven’t been too many people who have spoken out about how fantastic this set is, but we are certain this is an excellent choice for any baker.
5. Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Set
So far, most of the sets we have listed here have all sorts of features and additions to them, including silicon handles, silicon coating, corrugated design, and more. Sometimes, you don’t need all these extra features and simply want to get a good set of bakeware that will last a long time.
The Calphalon bakeware set is made with a heavy-gauge steel core, which will provide even browning throughout all your baked goods by distributing heat evenly and steadily. That same steel core will ensure that your bakeware set lasts for a long period of time, provided you maintain it with proper care.
Unlike some of the other sets we have listed, this one is dishwasher safe, so you can clean it without slaving over a sink. The price for this 6-piece set is also very alluring, costing only $30. This set is definitely a good choice for those who don’t care much about extra bells and whistles.
6. Premier Bakestore Select Range
Some people love the built-in silicone handles that come with many bakeware sets and others don’t. If you’re not sure which category you fall under, we have a solution for you. The Premier Bakestore has created a baking set which has the best of two world by including removable silicone grips on every single piece of their set.
This bakeware is made out of thick carbon steel which won’t warp or peel over time. Each set piece is coated with FDA food grade, PFOA-free coating, which will ensure evenly distributed heat across the full surface of each pan. Because of the type of coating which is used on this set, we do not suggest using this bakeware in the dishwasher.
As a side note, the handles are actually sort of purple, so those of you who wouldn’t want to cook with purple handled bakeware might want to look for a different set. The price is also pretty good, around $35, which is a good value for what you get.
7. Juvale 5-Piece Set
If the price of all of these products seems way too high, then the Juvale 5-piece bakeware set may be a better choice for you. This set is made out of carbon steel and is a perfect starter baking set for anyone who is just starting out with baking. Two pie pans and a muffin sheet means that you will be using this set for sweet baked goods.
Although the price is low and most people would expect this bakeware set to break down quickly, as it turns out this set stands up to heavy use very well. All reviewers who have used this set point out that it is a perfect starting set which is heavy duty and will last a long time. Now for the price! This perfect gift baking set can be bought for only about $20, a pretty good deal if you ask us.
8. AmazonBasics Bakeware Set
Still not impressed? Looking for an even better deal? Well, let’s see if we can help you out and get you the best bang for your buck. How about a 6-Piece Bakeware Set provided by everyone’s favorite, AmazonBasics? This set is made from heavy weight carbon steel which will last you a pretty long time.
It has a non-stick coating which makes cleanup a breeze and is also dishwasher safe if you don’t feel like bothering with the mess. Hundreds of people have used this baking set and left nothing but positive comments regarding its functionality, durability, and overall use. The price is the best part at only $18 for the whole set. If you ask us, this is a steal at that price.
9. Baker's Secret Easy Store Bakeware Set
You don’t have to dish out a ton of money to get that special silicone coating on your bakeware set. Baker’s Secret gives you just that, a 5-piece baking set with a grey non-stick silicone based coating. This coating will ensure that all your baking goods can be easily released from the pan without any damage.
The best part is that even though this set is silicone coated, it is still dishwasher safe. Nearly all users are giving five-star reviews after using this product. This set is durable, easy to clean, and the price is also right. You can expect to pay roughly about $28 for this set. This is a really good price considering that the full set is silicone coated.
10. EZ Baker Twelve Piece Bakeware Set
The last baking set we have for you is an amazing value considering the full set contains twelve baking pieces and is also the lowest priced bakeware set we have mentioned today. We do suggest this set for those who are baking infrequently and aren’t going to put much wear and tear on their baking set since each piece is made from electrolytic tin-plated steel.
While this steel looks pretty for a little bit, after a few uses it loses its shine and is less durable, so prolonged stress isn’t suitable for this bakeware set. However, if you use your kitchen rarely and only need to impress your neighbors or coworkers around Christmas time, then this set is perfect for you.
The price is right around $18 and, to be honest, is very low considering the amount of bakeware you are getting.
Durable Bakeware Summary
There you have it: all the information we can possibly give you in regards to choosing the most durable bakingware set possible to fit your exact needs. Keep in mind, the sets we have suggested are what we find to be the best choice.
While we think they are the best choice for most of you, there is a chance that none of them fit your needs and that is completely fine. All you have to do is use the information we provided here and make your own decision.
Bakeware and cookware aren’t a one-fit-all type of product, and it might take some time before you find the perfect baking set for yourself. All we can do is try to make the decision-making process a bit easier.