10 Best Bakeware Sets | March 2017
- includes a bread loaf mold
- stand up to heavy use well
- must be hand-washed
- covered by 10-year warranty
- will scratch with metal utensils
- nonstick silicone-based coating
- dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning
- material warps over time
- heavy-gauge carbon steel
- extra-wide handles
- smaller pieces eventually bend
- goods pop out easily
- free of ptfes and pfoas
- made of recycled steel
- carbon steel construction
- attractive blue and white color
- makes a great wedding gift
- latte-colored nonstick coating
- wide silicone handles
- lid for the 9x13-inch included
Choosing A Great Bakeware Set
Once you have owned a great set of bakeware, you will never want to be without this versatile kitchen hardware again. Bakeware is about much more than making cupcakes, muffins, or cakes, though that is all that comes to mind when many people think of these items. In fact, you can use bakeware to roast meats, broil vegetables, bake fries, wedges, or whole potatoes, and to make everything from soufflé to quiche to breads and more.
Far from specialty items to be rarely used for extravagant dishes, bakeware can and indeed should be treated like the everyday kitchen workhorse it is. A good bakeware set can see daily use for years on end without any loss of performance. You should feel free to use your bakeware for everything from quickly reheating pizza in the oven to give it that extra touch of crispiness to slowly roasting a large turkey before a holiday feast.
When choosing your bakeware set, consider which types of foods you make the most often. If you do indeed love making cupcakes, muffins, pastries, cakes, and other sweet eats, then a set with a large cupcake tray (or with multiple such items) is a must -- many bakeware sets have trays capable of making twelve muffins or cupcakes at once, while others come with trays suitable only for six, for example.
If you love traditional Italian foods like lasagna or eggplant parmesan, make sure to get a set with a few deep dishes that can handle all those layers of pasta, veggies, sauces, and cheese. And remember that those big, flat sheets commonly misconstrued as being for cookies alone are great for just about anything you want to roast, bake, or broil. A set with more than one "cookie" sheet will always serve you well. (Especially if you decide to designate one as a "dirty" option -- see below for more on that.)
Proper Bakeware Care
Even the best bakeware in the world won't last forever -- and won't perform well for long -- if you don't take proper care of it. It's important that you clean and dry your bakeware as soon as possible after each use, but proper bakeware cleaning isn't as easy as wiping down a plate or tossing a bowl in the dishwasher.
In fact, if you send that bakeware through the dishwasher too often, it may well lose much of the nonstick coating that you love about your nonstick set. (Nonstick bakeware has less to lose in the dishwasher, so to speak, but is also prone to rusting or tarnishing more easily, and thus must be dried promptly and thoroughly after any washing, whether by hand or by machine.)
Aluminum cookie sheets and muffin/cupcake pans in particular are notorious for that build up of greasy grime that seems to become baked right into their surfaces, especially after you use such bakeware for slow cooking foods like roasted potatoes or meats. While you can likely remove that stubborn grit simply by spending the time scrubbing away with the scouring pad side of the sponge and with traditional dish soap, ideally after letting the bakeware soak in soapy water for a time, there are other options at your disposal as well.
One trick many people use to remove this buildup is a mixture of diluted hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. (Note that store bought hydrogen peroxide is already diluted to safe levels.) Blended into a paste, spread on and left to sit for several minutes, and then scrubbed away, this unique concoction can do wonders to lift the built up grime caused by all those long baking sessions.
Of course another solution is to embrace the grime, and reserve one baking sheet as your "dirty" sheet. Still clean the sheet with soap and water after every use to prevent any potentially harmful bacteria buildup, but just use that sheet for any easy, oily foods and accept that it will never look great, though the foods it cooks will taste that way. You can also always plan ahead, lining bakeware with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and using wrappers for cupcakes and muffins.
The Healthiest Tastiest Muffins Around
At first blush, one could be forgiven for thinking that a beet and carrot muffin would not taste great, and might in fact taste less than good. But almost every person who takes a bite will be an immediate convert. While rather labor intensive, muffins made with beets and carrots pack plenty of flavor and nutrition into every serving, making them an ideal anytime snack for people of all ages. The parent hoping to "sneak" more vegetables into their child's diet would be wise to master this recipe and prepare it often, perhaps without mentioning its exact ingredients to their picky young eater.
To make great carrot and beet muffins, you will need 3/4 cups of oil, a cup of sugar, three eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla, a tablespoon of water, three teaspoons of baking powder, two cups of flour, one cup of raw beets grated coarsely, one cup of raw carrot grated coarsely, and a pinch of salt and two pinches of cinnamon (and perhaps a bit of nutmeg, if you wish).
Don't worry, the hard part was gathering the ingredients and grating the veggies. Preheat the oven to 350, then mix the oil, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and water, and whisk them together. Then mix everything else in and combine it well.
Portion the batter out into the muffin cups of your bakeware set, then bake your tasty, health muffins for about 25 minutes. Cool, serve, and enjoy. They should keep for three days if sealed away in an airtight container, and for a day or two longer in the fridge.