The best bakeware sets that are worth your attention
If you’re just starting exploring the baking world, you should get several bakeware sets to suit all your needs. There are specialty pans that amateur bakers don’t need (such as a mini donut pan), but if you want to make delicious casseroles and stunning desserts, there is a set you will want to have.
There are so many sets out there that it can be overwhelming. Do you need nonstick pans, silver pans or something more traditional like cast iron and silicone? For the most recipes, you will make the most out of nonstick sets. They will help you get your food out of the pan without any effort. No more crumbly cupcakes and bundt cakes. All you need to do is to decide what pans you will use the most in your recipes. To help you decide, we go though the most common materials and sets available on the market.
Manufacturers use all different kinds of materials to make bakeware, including glass, iron, steel and copper. I will go through the most popular types that most of us are likely to find in a store no matter where you live. It’s important to learn about properties of different materials because they will produce different results. Casserole in a glass dish will taste nothing like a casserole in a metal dish, so:
- Carbon steel. This is a light and durable material that heats up and cools down really quickly, so cooking times are faster. It’s lightweight but still heavier than copper and some other materials. It can’t retain heat for long. Carbon steel is a perfect choice for recipes such as bread, vegetables, cakes and meats.
- Copper. This is the fastest heat conductor of all and you don’t need to preheat the oven before placing the dish inside. Copper is lightweight but expensive compared to other popular choices. It isn’t the best material that require baking at high heat because it will crack.
- Silicon. This material is perfect for sticky foods such as cookies, breads and cakes. Silicone is very affordable, light, and foods just slide out without a problem. Its weak point is the wash because the material is elastic. Luckily, modern silicone dishes can be washed in a dishwasher.
There are many sets out there but if you shopping for it for the first time, choose a set that is complete. You should be able to use one set for a variety of recipes. The set should feature muffin pans, measuring tools, mixing bowls, pie dishes, cake pans, cookie sheets and bread pans. Sometimes, a company gives you an option to buy some items separately, but I like to buy everything at once and have a complete set. It’s much easier to get everything you need in one big set than search for separate pieces. One set features the same style, so matching your kitchen design is easier.
It’s possible to get a completely-equipped set, since some chefs need loaf pans on hand, especially when you’re planning to bake often. The most common bakeware sets feature 5 or 6 pieces, although you can find 10 piece and 12 piece sets. Most of bigger ones will feature separate donut and cookie pan, which are unnecessary for beginners. Sets come in different color, even though most of them have at least gray, black or white option. For some people aesthetics is more important than for others, but the shapes are standard. Cupcake and muffin pans are always round, since even little variation will make them lose their function. You can find rectangular and square pans and pots, there is little difference between them.
Nowadays, we want convenience in everything. Many bakers want their bakeware sets to have nonstick coatings. Even though nonstick spray is still required in the majority of recipes, buying a set that has a nonstick coating can make the whole process much easier. Some cakes and cookies are very delicate, so you will ruin everything if they stick to the surface. Sticky surfaces will tear them during your attempts to remove them from the dish. Nonstick coating is a must feature today.
Nonstick coatings let you quickly clean every piece of your set with a cloth or in a dishwasher. Foods tend to harden in a dish and stuck to the surface, so cleaning can be challenging after an hour or so. With the nonstick coating, everything slides down without any effort. You will get a faster cleanup and won’t destroy the surface by scratching too hard.
Many fancy bakeware sets feature quality stainless steel, even though the composite materials vary significantly. Many of them are made of aluminum, which is cheaper than steel, glass and ceramic are popular as well. Glass bakeware looks pretty and it’s very easy to remove dirt but it experiences more wear and tear because it’s fragile. Glass bakeware can tolerate only medium heat up to 350F (with rare exception), so people who buy glass sets should be ready to invest in several other sets. Aluminum and stainless steel are some of the best options that are suitable for almost all recipes. However, they lose heat very quickly.
Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Bakeware
Of course, the color and aesthetics isn’t the most important thing in a bakeware set, but you should know that this one comes in 3 bright and juicy colors: blue, orange and brown. Each bowl has cute orange handles. And the colors can make the dish even more appetizing, so that’s always a bonus. The colors are suitable for many kitchen designs, too. The set costs around $60 and is reasonable price given the quality material, convenient shape and safety features.
What I like about this set is that it features 10 different items. It has everything a new baker might need. All recipes I can think of can’t be prepared with this set. Moreover, the company has added rolled-rim edges in their design. It’s done for more comfort and our convenience, because all dishes are easy to work with. The material is nonstick both inside and outside. It’s long-lasting and releases food quickly. Cleaning couldn’t be easier.
Copper Chef 12-Piece Bakeware Set
This set is made of copper that is known among professional chefs for its amazing cooking properties. It’s perfect for new bakers, too. Copper Chef is a company famous for a wide range of cookware set, and this is one of their best selling bakeware sets.
As I’ve said, copper is one of the beast heat conductor, and it distributes heat evenly. Your food will be cooked quickly, no uncooked spots will be left. I like the consistency in cooking, so this feature is always a plus to me. This set features 12 different pieces, including a big muffin pan, a loaf pan, a cookie sheet, several square pans and silicone ramekin cups. All items have lids.
Of course, it’s not fair to advertise a set as copper when some of their products are made of silicone. In fact, only 4 items are made of copper. Ramekin cups look nice, but they seem a bit cheap compared to the quality of other items in this set.
Most products don’t have any handles, so you have to grip the rolled edges of the pans. This is a huge weak point in my opinion, and compromises the convenience of use. You should use oven mitts to take the dishes out of the oven.
Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Set, 6 Pieces
This piece of 6 items offers some of the best value for your money if you’re a beginner and want to stock your kitchen. The set features 2 cake pans, a loaf pan, a smaller cake pan, a cookie sheet and a muffin pan. This brand is one of the oldest on the market, so you know the quality and durability is on point. Even if something happens to your set, you’re covered by warranty.
The items features a steel core that heats quickly and evenly. Steel doesn’t warp under high heat. There will be no hot spots during cooking, which usually make your cookies and muffins to have burnt bottoms. The coating is nonstick, everything releases from the pan with no effort. However, you shouldn’t be using metal or sharp utensils on pans as it will scratch the gentle surface. When you need to clean the set, you can place everything in the dishwasher. I still recommend hand washing everything to make them serve longer. The manufacturer gives 10-year warranty anyway, so it’s up to you.
Anchor Hocking Oven Basics Glass Bakeware Set
This glass bakeware looks stunning, and they can pull any designed together. They are sophisticated and sleek, I think that every kitchen design will benefit from this set. Of course, you should be careful with the glass, although it’s thick and sturdy, it can chip or scratch. It features 15 different pieces, including a measuring cup, pie plate, casserole dish, and custard cups. Every item has a lid.
The set is very affordable for the quality it offers, at around $40. If you want to get a glass set that doesn’t cost a fortune, this is a great option. You can also choose smaller sets of 5, 4 and 3 pieces. The glass is tempered, which means it’s very durable and you can use it regularly for years. Moreover, the manufacturer offers 5-years warranty. The best thing about it is that glass is the cleanest material, there is no risk of staining, chemicals or warping. The odors can’t stick to the glass surface. It is fridge, microwave and dishwasher safe. The lids are BPA-free.
Circulon Nonstick Bakeware Set
The color of this set is rich and inviting, and it’s surprising that the set comes for around $30. It’s one of the cheapest, quality bakeware sets on the market. For this price, you can 5 quality pieces, which is a great deal. You can also get their 10-piece set which is around $80, if you need more variety. The surfaces are nonstick, so no need to jiggle the food out of the pan. The core of the set is heavy-gauge steel which prevents warping and can handle high heat.
The bottom of the pans feature raised circles, which are necessary to improve the performance while cooking. It also means clean-up is even quicker and easier. The dishes are dishwasher-safe, however, I recommend hand washing everything. Handles are wide and have rolled-rims, which ensures convenient and safe handling. The company gives you a lifetime guarantee. This set is build to last, and if you care for it properly, you won’t have any problems with it.
Sunbeam 76893.05 5-Piece Set
This set is smaller than other options in the list in terms of variety, but it’s worth mentioning. It really affordable and features all basic pans.
The core material is quality carbon steel, and every item feature nonstick surfaces achieved with an innovative coating exterior and interior. The color is black, which is just enough to achieve a plain, standard look. It doesn’t attract attention and just looks nice. The set features 5 pieces that include a cookie sheet, a loaf pan, a muffin cap and two little cake pans.
The set has a weak point, though. It can only tolerate temperatures lower than 400F, which is a limitation because many recipes call for heat over 500F. Every item has a convenient handle and enough space to grab safely and properly. I was reading customer reviews and found that some people complained their pans arrived bent or dented when they got them, so be aware.
Boxiki Kitchen 3-Piece Silicone Bakeware Set
This set is a bit different from other because it’s not made of metal or glass. This is a rare silicone baking set that has all benefits of this material but is also durable and long lasting. This set is perfect for cake and bread bakers who hate challenging cleanups. However, it has weak sides as well.
The strong side of this set is that just everything just slides out of it, but it can be annoying when you try to hand wash it. For this set, dishwasher is recommended. Some people are concerned about chemicals in silicone, but this one is FDA-approved and safe for our health.
The set features 3 basic items – a brownie pan, a cake pan and a meatloaf pan that you can use for bread baking as well. Every dish features metal handles that allows for a solid grip, so you don’t need to worry about safety. However, you should wear oven mitts.
This material can tolerate high heat and you can cook at up to 500F. This is much better than glass and some metal sets, so you don’t need to worry about cracking your pans. However, the handles can’t tolerate high temperatures, because I saw complains of people who had their handles bubbling and flaking at high heat.
Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan, 9-inch
If you have never used pans from this brand, they can truly change the way you bake. This pan is perfect for baking fruit tortes, cheesecakes and other desserts, because you can remove the sides of it. That means you can easily remove anything you’re cooking without inverting the pan. The company says you can take any cake recipe you can’t get out of the pan and cook it in their pan. The troubles of removing the cake will disappear.
Of course, there are drawbacks as well. Some people complain that their pans leak. The sides and the bottom are separate pieces and they can’t hold liquid. The bigger pan doesn’t leak at all. The seal fits tightly around the bottom and extra coating on the sides ensures that no liquid will drip through. The coating is nonstick, so you will get delicious, crisp edges around your cake when you remove the sides. I recommend hand washing the pans and use a mild detergent to make sure everything is in good condition. Dishwashing can leave scratches and marks.
ChefLand, Non-Stick Bakeware Set, 10-Piece
Cleaning everything after baking is frendlier and faster when you use a nonstick baking set by ChefLand. The set features 10 separate pieces and includes cake pans, muffin pan, two different cookie sheets, roasting, loaf and square pan. You can find everything you need to make cookies, cakes, muffins and breads. Whether you bake, it will have a golden-brown top and an alluring smell.
The set features high-quality material that is suitable for frying and other cooking methods without oil. The core material is carbon steel, and dishes can handle up to 260F. Each dish has extra wide handles that you can use without oven mitts. The only disadvantage is that you can’t cook at high temperatures.
Farberware, Nonstick Bakeware Baking Pan Set, 5-Piece
Farberware set makes baking and cleaning much faster and easier. The set features 5 items that have stainless steel at their core. The baking pan can tolerate heat up to 450F without bubbling. Other dishes can’t handle high heat, they will lose their shape and functionality.
This set features nonstick coating that prevents foods from sticking and damaging the surface and the shape of the cake. Moreover, heat distributes evenly which is important for cookies, muffins and homemade treats. You can easily achieve golden brown color with this set.
AmazonBasics, Bakeware Set, 6 Pieces
This set features 6 items that include 2 round cake pans, one cake pan, one loaf pan and a muffin pan. The core of every dish is durable and strong carbon steel that can handle regular use and stay intact. Nonstick coating on the exterior and interior prevents foods from sticking and ruining the dish. Nonstick surface makes cleaning easy and enhances the appearance of the items. The manufacturer says the coating is dishwasher safe and can tolerate high heat of 500F. It’s suitable for the vast majority of baking recipes.
Gotham Steel Copper Bakeware Set
The set attracted my attention by the words “steel” and “carbon” in the name. Aside from that, it’s just an interesting example. For beginners, this is a beautiful set that enhances every shelf. You can place the dish on the table and it will look great. It features nonstick Ti-Cerama coating and 0.8mm gauge for extra strength and durability. The set features muffin, loaf, baking pans and a cookie sheet. It’s not big but pretty versatile and suitable for many baking recipes.
The selling price is around $80 which isn’t cheap at all, but you get a good deal for your money. You don’t need to grease anything with oil, the surface is nonstick. It’s perfect for health-conscious people or for those who can’t eat oil for health reasons. There is no need to worry about risking your health because copper doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Just enjoy delicious homemade treats. Moreover, you can wash it in a dishwasher and relax about having a challenging clean-up. Once again, I hand wash it anyway because I believe my dishwasher can scratch the surface.
Springcake Premium Nonstick Bakeware
Even though round and square pans and pots of this set doesn’t have anything special at a first glance, when you add them in a heart-shaped pan, you have a beautiful centerpiece for your party. This set allows you to make layered cakes of unusual shapes for special occasions, and 3 items are versatile enough to fit most parties and events. Whipping up a birthday cake and tarts is much easier when you have the right tools in your kitchen. This can even be a nice gift for everyone who loves baking and experimenting with recipes.
The main material of the dishes is carbon-coated heavy-gauge steel, with a textured bottom that makes cleaning even faster. Foods just slides away. Aside from being convenient to use, you can remove the bottoms of the pans and have a round ring. The manufacturer says it’s dishwasher-safe. You can also get free downloadable recipes from the official website along with some handy instructions and tricks.
Le Creuset 6-Piece Stoneware Heritage Bakeware Set
Le Creuset is a famous company that produce baking set with unbeatable heat resistance. This one can tolerate heat up to 500F. Every item is incredibly resistant against deforming and bubbling, and heats up evenly. The set features 6 pieces including a square dish, a rectangle dish, a gratin dish and a pie bird. The set is broiler, freezer, microwave and oven safe. It’s very durable and suitable for a dishwasher.
What I really like about this set is its glazed nonstick surface that releases the food easily and the interior protect the dishes against damage. The manufacturer offers a 5-year warranty which is a great deal for the quality and versatility of the set.
OvenStuff Non-Stick Toaster Oven Baking Pan Set
This is the cheapest baking set that comes for around $20. The set is very standard and features very basic items. Don’t expect anything fancy from the set, but you can make your food look more appetizing with this set. It’s perfect for beginners and occasional bakers. The set features 6 pieces and includes pizza, cookie, broil pans, a cooling rack and a company’s unique Fat-A-Way Bake. It’s supposed to be for cooking for big parties and gatherings. Of course, it’s sufficient for smaller servings as well.
The set features a special DuraGlide nonstick finish which is cheaper than many others but still allow to remove food from the pan easily. No need to fiddle around with different equipment. Nothing sticks to the bottom, so cleaning is easy. Even though the price is low, the quality is high. The main material is quality steel which ensures sturdy construction and helps distribute heat more evenly. I haven’t found any serious complaints about the set, only that marks appear on the surface with regular use.
Vremi 6 Piece Nonstick Bakeware Set
This set comes in two other options of 12 and 3 pieces. This one costs around $40, while the smallest one is around $30 and the largest one is $60. This set features everything a regular baker can desire: a muffin pan, loaf pan, baking sheet, baking pan and roasting pan. The handles are covered with red silicone to protect your hands. The main material of the pans is carbon steel that is BPA-free and completely nonstick. With this set, you can make round and square cakes, so you have versatile pans that fir the majority of recipes.
I think that the set is sturdy and tough, as well as crack and scratch resistant, which is great for families for little children who like baking with parents. They may know or not know how to bake properly, but the set is safe and heat-resistant. The heating distributes evenly though the pans, so there is no need to worry about hotter spots and burnt cake bottoms. You can use the set on convection or standard ovens. The manufacturer states that dishwashing will ruin the pans, so only soapy water is acceptable.
I hope that now you know a little more about bakeware and have ideas about a set to get. I personally like Rachel Ray’s sets for their versatility and affordability. All sets in this list are high-quality, you should choose the one suitable for your baking needs.
I like beautiful designs in bakeware sets because I believe they make my food more attractive and appetizing. However, design shouldn’t compromise the quality and performance of the sets. Nonstick surface is a must for easy cleaning. Handles should be treated with silicone or you have to use oven mitts to protect your hands.