The 10 Best Bakeware Sets
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in July of 2015. Few pleasures rival the smell of freshly made cookies, brownies, or bread. The bakeware sets featured here will allow you to create a variety of mouthwatering foods, and those with nonstick properties will ensure you won’t have to spend too much time getting them clean afterwards. They come in various selections as well as materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, and stoneware. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 25, 2021:
We're extremely pleased with our current selection and haven't made any recent changes. Unsurprisingly given the brand's reputation, the Calphalon 1320ST remains in the #1 spot. The Rachael Ray Cucina is another very nice choice that's ideal if you want nonslip handles, although it's more expensive than much of the competition. The USA Pan Aluminized is similarly priced but offers a slightly heavier construction as well as ridges that help with nonstick properties. The Circulon 46846 has similar properties to the USA Pan set, but it's less expensive. Finally, if all you need are matching high-quality baking sheets, the Nordic Ware 3 Piece is the way to go.
January 19, 2020:
This update brings in some fresh bakeware choices geared toward those who prefer to use fast-heating aluminum, durable borosilicate glass, or attractive, oven-to-table stoneware. The Oxo Good Grips 16-Piece are made from much-preferred borosilicate glass (which used to be used in Pyrex dishes and measuring cups), which is known to be stronger and more resistant to thermal shock than its soda-lime glass counterpart. As a result, this material is less likely to shatter in the oven, especially when you’ve taken it straight out of the refrigerator or freezer. This set comes with three glass pans (two with snap-on lids and one that’s a meatloaf pan), four lidded glass bowls, a nylon spatula, and two heat-resistant silicone potholders. This set replaces the Anchor Hocking, a soda-lime set that has been known to suffer some cracks due to heat.
The CorningWare French White comes with attractive, smooth stoneware components that consist of three oval and round baking dishes, two four-ounce ramekins, and a 24-ounce bowl with a plastic cover. In addition to the oven, these versatile containers and safe for the microwave, freezer, fridge, and dishwasher. Their nonporous construction is stain resistant and won’t absorb odors or flavors.
For those who prefer fast-heating aluminum surfaces, the bestselling Nordic Ware 3 Piece are worthy of a look. These quarter-, half-size, and jelly roll sheets can give you evenly browned desserts, whether you’re using them for thin cake layers, cookies, or granola bars. The rims are made from galvanized steel to prevent warping from high heat. The only real downside to this set is a large raised logo on each component that can be hard to clean food from. (Also note that as a rule, aluminum is not for use with acidic foods like tomatoes, as both the food and the metal can become damaged.)
The Chicago Metallic 5229030 brings you an all-inclusive set of pans for making cakes, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, meatloaves, and casseroles, and you also get a handy cooling rack. It’s from a company whose bakeware has been recommended by America’s Test Kitchen for its high performance. The edges and corners of the two rectangular pans are neatly squared off, for professional looking results. (Note that rounded corners are less expensive for manufacturers to produce; however, they can contribute to unevenly cooked brownies or cakes – and face it, brownies with rounded corners just don’t look as nice.)
The Circulon 46846 is one of various brands to bring you nonstick coated surfaces with raised circles that make for quick food release and cleanup. These rings also help foster good air circulation for evenly cooked foods. Their sizable handles are like a breath of fresh hair if you’ve ever pulled bakeware from a hot oven that’s difficult to grab onto. And you can purchase these with confidence, thanks to the manufacturer’s hassle-free lifetime guarantee. All of this makes this 6-piece set a good value for the price.
Other sets that make their departure in this update are the Iris USA Maker, which can warp from the heat, according to some reports, as well as the Gotham Steel and Chefland 10-Piece Nonstick, which aren’t available at this time.
Cooking and baking together can be an extremely fun activity for the entire family, but for safety’s sake, always supervise little helpers in the kitchen.
Williams Sonoma Copper Goldtouch 6-Piece Boxed Set You’ll add a pop of color to your baking session with these pans’ copper finish. Included are a cookie sheet, a muffin pan, a half-sheet pan, two 9-inch round cake pans, and a durable cooling rack. They feature commercial-grade aluminized-steel construction for quick and even heat distribution, as well as a convenient nonstick coating for easy release and cleanup. This ceramic coating provides reinforcement and makes them more resistant to abrasion than traditional nonstick surfaces. The baking pans are dishwasher safe and made in the USA. williams-sonoma.com
Choosing A Great Bakeware Set
A good bakeware set can see daily use for years on end without any loss of performance.
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.)
You can also always plan ahead, lining bakeware with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and using wrappers for cupcakes and muffins.
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.
But almost every person who takes a bite will be an immediate convert.
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.