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Baking is always fun and you usually are rewarded for your efforts with a delicious treat or a baked good. Nowadays, though, it seems as if companies are trying to advertise everything as a specialist product. While baking was once simple, all recipes call for an incredible niche metal pan, or only a certain set of metal pans are capable for this recipe. Thankfully, it is all lies and you can use your trusty old glass pans instead.
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Using A Glass Tray For Baking
Whether it is cake batter, brownie batter, or some good old-fashioned chocolate cake, you will be happy to know that baking in a glass pan is completely fine. As long as you are using glass pans that are marked as ‘oven-safe’ then you have nothing to worry about.
When shopping for glass trays or glass pans, you will want to get whatever ones are suitable for your general use. While you may want to bake in them, glass pans are so versatile and useful for cooking in general so it is best to get one that is big enough to be multipurpose. For this reason, I would recommend avoiding any glass trays that are circular as they are considerably less versatile as a lot of dishes or recipes would want you to use something either square or rectangular.
When it comes to the depth of the pan, anything between 2-5 inches is arguably the most useful as it allows for both semi-thin brownies and also allows you to make a pasta bake in it. Anything too deep would be annoying to bake with as you have to scoop the brownies out instead of simply removing a slice, and anything too thin would make it so that you cannot really do anything besides baking with it.
Can You Use A Glass Pan For Baking?
Yes, using a glass pan is arguably better for baking than a metal pan is. Check your glassware as some companies such as Pyrex intentionally temper their glass so that it can withstand very high temperatures as well as low temperatures. These glass dishes are also able to go in the dishwasher as they have been tempered.
If your glassware says it is oven-safe, then it has been tempered and can be used for baking. If there is not an ‘oven-safe’ marking on it, then it is prone to cracking or shattering when the temperatures change too much and too quickly.
How To Use A Glass Pan For Baking?
The reason a metal pan or a cake pan is great for baking is that the metal is reflective and helps cook the cake evenly. While glass is also useful for this, it heats up and refracts the heat differently. Cakes bake faster in a glass dish than they do in any other dish. This can cause unwanted browning on the crust and sides of your cake which can take away from how physically appealing it is.
Other than the browning, there is no issue with using a glass baking dish. To counteract the mentioned problem, turning your oven temperature down by 25 degrees Fahrenheit will stop the overcooking and will make your cake look as perfect as intended. If you are looking for a light brown crust and want to avoid uneven baking, this step is a must.
Baking cakes with a metal pan can sometimes lead to a huge mess when it comes to cleaning up if you do not grease the pan properly. While cake batter may run smoothly over the surface, the baked cake is likely to stick to it and be an annoyance for a while.
Glass pans are a lot easier to cook with as while the cake bakes, it does not stick as much to the sides. Alongside being naturally better for this, you can also place some parchment paper in your glass bakeware and pour your cake batter onto that. If you bake cakes often, I’m sure you know exactly how messy a baking pan can get if you do not grease it properly.
While you could argue that a non-stick pan is better for baking with as it is easier to clean than glass, you would still want to use glass. Acidic ingredients used in baking such as chocolate and lemon can cause the non-stick coating of these pans to warp and become discolored.
Even if you reduce the oven temperature, you should keep a close eye on your cake as it bakes as it might still cook quicker than intended. On the other hand, it may cook slower than you planned so it is good to keep an eye on it so you can accurately time when to take it out.
After you have finished baking, it is good to place your cake on a cooling rack instead of letting it sit in the glassware. This is because glass retains heat and may continue to cook your cake after you take it out. Even if you have parchment paper in your glass dish, your cake may still cook more than you wanted it to.
Should You Use A Glass Or Metal Pan?
No matter what cake recipe you follow, you will need an appropriate dish to bake it in. Whether you use a glass dish, a cake pan, or any of the metal pans you may have is up to you. All of them will work and will result in a beautiful cake. However, if you are wanting to make the cleanup after baking cakes a little easier, then a glass dish may be for you. As long as you keep in mind that it retains heat and will bake your cake faster.
FAQs On Baking With Glass
Does it take longer to cook in a glass pan?
The glass retains heat really well and will heat your cake quickly. This means that cakes bake faster in a glass dish than they would in a metal dish. To counteract this, turn your oven temperature down by 25 degrees F.
Is a glass pan better than a metal pan?
While both are incredibly useful for baking, a glass pan is a lot easier to clean and will also be easier to get food out of as it tends to not require greasing as much as the metal alternative.
Is it safe to use a glass pan for baking?
If you check your glassware and see a marking that says ‘oven-safe’, then it is safe for baking with. This means the glass has been tempered and can withstand varying extremities of heat.