Silicone versus steel? Silver anodised or hard anodised? Today, there are more choices than ever when it comes to quality bakeware. The following guide outlines some of the key terms to make shopping easier.
Tin is a traditional material used in bakeware. It is actually made of steel coated with tin (the tin coating helps protect against rust). Tin bakeware is valued because it heats up quickly and evenly. With time, the tin layer will wear but with proper care it should be long lasting. Hand wash only and dry thoroughly to prevent rust forming.
Aluminium conducts heat well and is an economical bakeware choice. Aluminium can react with certain foods (such as acidic foods like tomatoes) and give food a metallic flavour. It’s also relatively soft so it can dent or buckle. Hand wash only.
Anodised Aluminium has the benefits of aluminium (excellent heat conductivity) without the cons (a soft surface and corrosion by acidic foods). To achieve this, the finished aluminium piece is placed into a chemical solution and subjected to an electric current. Hand wash only.
This process changes the structure of the metal so the surface becomes hard and impervious to acids. Look for bakeware that is labelled Silver anodised or Hard anodised (Hard anodised is the sturdiest but is also more expensive). Both types won’t rust, release food easily, and resist scratches. The heavier the gauge, the less likely the bakeware is to twist or buckle.
Non-stick is a favourite for baking because food is released easily and clean up is a breeze. A lot of non-stick bakeware is available today but much of it has a thin non-stick coating which can be damaged easily. Look for sturdy pans and moulds that will wear well. Check packaging for care instructions.
Silicone is a relatively new material which is completely flexible to make releasing baked goods easier. The brands we stock can go from freezer to oven to microwave, are safe from -40º to 260º and are dishwasher safe. Because they're so flexible, you should place silicone bakeware on a baking tray. Silicone can puncture or tear so never use knives or sharp implements and avoid abrasive cleaners. Check packaging for care instructions.