The best glass bakeware sets
If you’re anything like me, baking is one of your favorite cooking methods. I love sharing my recipes and ideas with others. Or maybe you’re just starting learning about baking and look for a quality glass bakeware set. Before making your final choice, you should make a little research and learn the difference between a good and a bad set.
Bakeware sets are some of the most sought-after kitchen accessory for your baking projects as it can yield delicious recipes. It should be easy to use and clean, long lasting and produce delicious dishes.
Buying the Best Bakeware Sets Tips
Handles are one of the key features that is often gets overlooked by amateur chefs. The handles should be very easy to grip and convenient to hold. They should be oven safe and heat resistant. Choose handles that are wide enough to deliver smooth grip.
Baking isn’t the easiest cooking method. And cleaning can take even more time than cooking itself. You should look for bakeware that has nonstick surfaces and many layers. Glass is very easy to clean and is usually dishwasher safe. However, I recommend hand washing bakeware with nonstick surfaces or it would peel of the coating.
Quality glass bakeware can be defined by its thickness. Look for heavy material that doesn’t have any dents. Thin bakeware can deform when used in high heat. Warping can be easily avoided by choosing reinforced edges. Choose nonporous glass and make sure it doesn’t have any marks or damage.
If you’re not a professional chef, you only need 1 quality bakeware set that is versatile for many recipes. Make sure it has a bread pan, cake pan, muffin pan and cookie sheet. If you need to bake for a big crowd, make sure to choose a set with the highest number of items. The more pieces you need, the higher the price will get. It’s a good idea to consider pieces that you need before buying anything. Most bakeware sets consist of 5 pieces but their shapes and sizes are different. Only muffin and cupcake pans are usually the same as they serve only 1 purpose.
Sometimes warranty can ensure product durability. If warranty is short, the manufacturer doesn’t have faith in quality. It’s not always the case but with this assumption, you will see that durable products usually have long-lasting warranty. You’ll thank yourself for making the right choice when it comes to get refund within a certain period or replace a defective piece. Basically, warranty can last anything from 1 year to 10 years, depending on a brand.
Glass or metal bakeware?
if you need a pan for roasting or baking, the one you choose shouldn’t just be the first one you see in the store, even if it features all features and materials you want, because some pan type are useful only in certain situations. Some of them aren’t for baking, others can’t roast well, etc.
I can recommend getting metal pans for baking delicious treats and glass pans for casseroles, lasagnas and everything serious. However, sometimes you should choose glass over metal, and sometimes, metal is much better than glass.
Glass distributes heat evenly, yet it’s a bad heat conductor. It means that you should be ready to wait longer for foods to heat up. However, once the pan is hot, it will keep the heat sealed much longer than metal pans. This is a great feature of metal when you cook casseroles in big quantities and then serve them to a crowd. Ceramic dishes work in the same way as well.
Basically, there are two situations you can face in your kitchen:
- You want to cook braised dishes and casseroles that you will serve immediately: choose glass cookware.
- You need to broil something and then place it to stovetop: metal cookware is the best option.
Some metals such as aluminum are better an conducting heat. They heat up quickly and loose it fast. Metal pans are for you when you don’t want to wait for your foods to cook or need a brown, crispy top. For example, potato wedges are always delicious when you cook them in a metal pan.
The weak side of metal pan is how quickly they lose heat when you take them out of the oven. If you choose metal pans, make sure to check their thickness. Thicker great is better because you can bake cookies and other treats without burning them in 2 minutes.
Don’t use aluminum and iron pans with foods that are acidic because they react with metal and can cause discoloration. If foods leave a tinge on the surface of a pan, you should stop cooking it with a metal pan. Moreover, you can get an unpleasant metal flavor in your food. For example, never bake savory cobblers and fruit crumbles in metal pans.
I learned to never break this rule when I tried to cook a fruit crumble in my grandmother’s baking tin, which was probably made of aluminum. The food basically cleaned the surface of a tin, the taste was metallic and the look was gray. What I expected to be delicious turned out inedible and quite unappetizing. You won’t go wrong with your metal cookware if you follow a simple rule:
- If you want to roast something and then get a crispy top, use metal bakeware.
- If you cook fruits or anything that you need to keep warm before serving, don’t use metal bakeware.
Some pans feature 2 thin layers with air bubbles in between. Air is a bad heat conductor thus it helps to lock in the heat and keep your food warm. It also helps to distribute heat more evenly while cooking. If you don’t want to get a glass pan, choose an insulated metal baking sheet.
The main benefits of glass bakeware
Glass has a significantly lower heat conductivity than metal, so cooking time are always a bit longer. However, your food will stay warmer longer as well. This is a huge advantage in the oven where temperatures fluctuate. When the temperature drops a little bit, forcing the heat element to fire up, the glass pan will keep cooking at the same temperature. No more random uncooked spots in your casserole.
Another great advantage of glass bakeware is the ease of cleaning it up. When you fill the pan, you can see what’s going on inside. During cooking you can see the progress on the sides, no more guesswork. And then you can put a dirty glass pan in a dishwasher and that’s it! You can also serve your casserole in a glass pan, it always looks great at the table.
When you shop for glass bakeware, you should make sure it’s tempered. It just means the material is heat and impact resistant. Tempered glass doesn’t break. If you place glass into the stovetop (you shouldn’t’!), it won’t splinter into shards. Instead, it will crumble into small chunks, reducing the risks of an injury. If you need a high-heat resistant glass, search for borosilicate glass. It can handle up to 500F and is often used in laboratories.
If you’re searching for a new nonstick bakeware set, I recommend getting a glass set. As you may know, some nonstick surfaces have been proved to release chemicals at high temperature (which is the case with baking and many cooking methods). Nowadays we have safer nonstick coatings, but I still think it’s better to avoid the risk of getting chemicals inside your body. Glass is a pure material that is completely non-reactive. It means that it doesn’t interact with your food. When you use glass bakeware, you can rest assured no harmful elements get absorbed into your food.
My personal favorite: Emile Henry HR Modern Classics Large Rectangular Baker
Emile Henry is a high-end bran with pricy products. Their classic rectangular baker is produced in France using their signature clay technology. Unlike most bakeware on the market, this bakes can survive up to 520F in the oven. You can also use it under the broiler. Even though it’s expensive, it justifies the investment.
The baker features a special interior glaze that is scratching and staining resistance. The dish is dishwasher safe, making cleanup as easy as possible. The glaze is sturdy which is perfect for cutting lasagnas and casseroles with metal utensils. The handles are ergonomic and help you conveniently remove the dish from the oven. However, you should wear oven mitts because the handles will transfer heat to your hands.
The baker comes in five colors and can go from oven to table without extra cooling times. Note that this one doesn’t have a lid and you need to layer a foil or get a lid somewhere else. The company gives the bakes a 10-year warranty.
You can’t use this baker on the stovetop, the glass will shutter. It can handle temperature changes but I wouldn’t pour cold liquid right after taking the dish out of the oven.
Overall, the dish looks stylish and does something that many other ceramic and glass dishes can’t do – you can place it on a direct flame and it won’t break. The heat resistant is just amazing and you can use high heat in your oven. I heard some people place it into their pizza ovens. You can also use it on a barbecue grill or microwave. With this baker, searing, braising, sautéing and frying are a breeze.
The glaze is said to have zero cracks; it is resistant to scratches. Cleaning is easy in a dishwasher, even though I usually hand wash everything. When you done cooking, you can place the baker into a freezer. The baker comes in different sizes, so you might want to get more than one of these. I recommend trying this model first and then slowly adding more to your collection.
Cooking in big quantities: Pyrex Portables Double Decker Glass Bakeware Set
How often do you cook for a party or for a big crowd? If as often as I do, this set has everything you need with a huge baking dish and 2 smaller dishes. Every dish comes with a tight lid and a carrier. The set is securely sealed during storage and transportation.
You can use the set dishes in a preheated oven and microwave. Every dish is freezer, refrigerator and dishwasher safe. The lids are only top-rack dishwasher safe, so be aware. Side handles are conveniently located on the dish making them easy to remove from the oven.
The carrier bag keeps the food inside hot for hours (or cold, if you have desserts), and it comes with two racks. Thanks to two handles, you can carry everything safely, whether you’re going. The bag is perfect for a picnic with friends.
The fanciest bakeware: Le Creuset Stoneware Covered Rectangular Casserole
Le Creuset is one of the fanciest bakeware brands out there. They are famous for their enameled ovens and for leading the baking dishes market. The construction of this rectangular casserole allows to cook everything evenly and prevent any temperature changes from spoiling your food. You can use it in high oven temperature and then place it in the freezer or refrigerator. This casserole is dishwasher and microwave safe.
The glazed surface is nonstick and very durable. You can hand clean everything with a wet cloth. The ridged handles are easy to hold and grip when removing the full casserole from the oven. The manufacturer says you don’t need to wear oven mitts, your hands are safe.
The casserole comes in 8 colors to fit any kitchen design. Everyone will be able to find something they like. The lid is perfect to transport the dish to family dinners or potlucks. The only weak point is the price. Le Creuset is a high-end brand so the prices are higher than average. If you’re on budget, you can find good-quality bakeware for a lower price. The only huge advantage of this set is high heat resistance, other glass sets can handle no more than 350F.
Good quality for a good price: Arcuisine Glass Rectangular 13.75 x 8.65 Inch Roaster Pan
Speaking of cheaper, good-quality sets, this Arcuisine pan is surprisingly strong. It’s made from Borosilicate glass that can survive the thermal shock (sudden change of temperatures). It can go directly to the oven from the freezer and back, no crack will appear. No need to spend time on defrosting. When you use this dish, you can rest assured it handles all temperature changes. I wouldn’t recommend doing it anyway, but if have to, you’re safe to go.
The factories are located in France and this pan comes with a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer. Even if you somehow reach the temperature limits of the pan, the company has you covered.
If the rectangular shape isn’t the right one for your recipes, there is also an oval-shaped pan, a huge rectangular pan and a small pan.
Best for every cooking technique you know: Pyrex Sculpted Casserole with Glass Lid
Are you searching for a casserole that will stay with you for many years? Pyrex Sculpted Casserole is clear, so it works great with any decor and fit any occasion, while the design adds more interest. The lid seals in the moisture while cooking, and keeps the heat in when you take the pan out of the oven. You can also use it for storage – the lid fits tightly, smells won’t escape the pan.
It may look delicate and fragile, but you can safely put it in a preheated oven, microwave, refrigerator or freezer. It’s also dishwasher safe, but I recommend washing it by hand to avoid scratching.
The handles are conveniently located on the sides to make it easy to get out of the oven, and the lid know makes pan opening easy. The casserole is very useful when you’re not cooking anything, because you can use it as a salad bowl or for cold side dishes.
If you need something unusual, choose Rachael Ray Covered Casseroval Casserole
This simple casserole dish is very versatile. it can handle high heat up to 550F for you next mac&cheese, and the interior is glazed to make sure flavors won’t evaporate into nowhere.
The cleaning is easy with dishwasher-safe dishes and you can use it on a microwave for reheating. It’s also freezer and refrigerator free and can be used as storage. The casserole is big enough for a family of 4 people and the lid is perfect for storage and cooking. You can easily take the casserole to a potluck.
The shape is unique and looks good for serving, even if you don’t cook in the dish, and the oval shape is perfect for a roast or chicken that wouldn’t fit in a square dish. Thanks to the big holes in the handles, the casserole is easy to hold and move with oven mitts.
The dish comes in several colors to add a splash of color to your kitchen and match your decor. Even though the style is unique, it’s not too quirky to be on a normal table.
The best set to bake with kids: Real Cooking Ultimate Baking Starter Set
Baking isn’t only a hobby but also an important skill that requires practice and time. This is why it’s important to bake with kids and help them learn while they are young. Of course, many parents feel scared for children and their safety because baking is risky for everyone.
However, baking can be good for children. There are many toys for little ones that you can use in real baking and real recipes. The set for children should be very safe and promote baking skills and experience that is risk-free and fun.
Real Cooking is one of the best selling products made by SkyRocket which sells toys. This set provides real baking experience. They have many different sets that let you make cake pops, mini donuts, cookies, chocolate pans and pancakes. This set is perfect for beginners who’re just starting baking.
With this set, you and your children will learn how to make cookies and tuxedo cupcakes. The kit consists of 37 items: basic pans and pots and accessories such as frosting mix and cake sprinkles. It also comes with ingredients for cupcakes and the recipe book. The size of the tools is perfect for children and their small hands but adults can also use it.
The tools in the set are perfect to teach kids the basics of baking. With the tools you can help your children to properly measure the ingredients (wet and dry ones separately) and explain the fundamentals of this cooking method. The set is suitable for children age 6 and older.
One of the interesting tools in this set is the push-button egg cracker that children use to crack eggs carefully. The cracker holds the shells in place and doesn’t let you create the mess. The set also features a silicone tray that’s heat resistant and safe for hands. The manufacturer claims that it will keep your children from being injured. A suction lock bowls come with the set and have a technology to prevent foods from slipping while children mix stuff.
Baking utensils come with the set that can be used to mix and measure the batter. Finally, there are decoration pieces and accessories that children can use for their cupcakes. Let you and your family be creative and bake something together!
Safety tips and precautions
You should always read instructions on bakeware because glass can suffer thermal shock – a quick change of temperature which leads to breaking and cracking. You can even get injured in case of bursting. If you’re not sure about the glass features, I wouldn’t recommend placing the dish from the freezer to oven.
Uneven heating can lead to glass shattering, so manufacturers say you should make sure the dish is evenly filled with liquid or food. When you preheat the oven, the temperatures shift quickly, so it’s better to place a dish with food into a preheated oven. I can recommend placing hot glass dishes on a folded tower rather than on a cold tile or marble surface. Most glass sets aren’t broiler safe and can’t handle temperatures higher than 450F.
Remember these precautions when using glass bakeware. It may look like a trouble more than they’re helpful, but I have never had any problems with my glass dishes because I use them according to manufacturer’s recommendations. I think that glass bakeware is reliable and affordable option.
The main tips for shopping for the best baking dish
When you’re shopping for bakeware, you want something reliable that heats up evenly and can hold the heat for hours. The handles should be convenient enough to lift and move the dish. Baked pasta and casseroles require deep pots and pans and cleanup shouldn’t take long either. Dishwasher-safe dish is always a good choice.
The handles should be easy to grip when the dish is hot and filled with food or liquid. You don’t want to grab thin handles with oven mitts and then crash everything on your kitchen floor or on your feet. Baking dishes with large, sturdy handles that are covered with a heat-resistant coating is always the best option. You should be able to hold eat with a folded towel or a mitt.
If you’re new to baking, make sure to measure the volume and size of the dishes to see if it fits your requirements. The standard dishes vary in size from 3 to 4 quarts, so they’d suit the majority of recipes, and dishes with additional depth are always better. A bit extra gives you flexibility to cook for a big group of people or add more layers to your delicious lasagna. You can get dishes that are smaller or larger than the standard size, but it can present problems. If you’re starting with baking, don’t use dishes that change the outcome of the recipe.
The dish should be easy to clean in a dishwasher or by hand with a wet cloth. Quality glass will allow for quick removal of food, without risks of scratching or leaving marks on the surface.
Not all glass bakeware is created equal – the glass quality varies significantly and the dishes come in different shapes, sizes and features. Not every dish is suitable for all tasks. That means you should go through several sets to make your own selections based on what you want to make in the kitchen.