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“You get what you pay for,” when it comes to Bakeware. Heat, when roasting or baking, has an effect on the “vessel” you have placed in the oven. Depending on how it was made, your recipe timing may be way off.
Bakeware: this is an area where inferior materials will result in poor heat conduction, uneven baked goods, and failing badly at what ever you may be roasting. Over the years the evolution of materials for both bakeware and cookware was concentrated on nonstick surfaces. I own the current traditional nonstick and the Goldtouch nonstick bakeware along with older pieces of Pyrex casserole dishes, Corningware, and antique aluminum cookie sheets. I have not tried any of the silicone bakeware items.
Pyrex glass bakeware is excellent. There is also aluminum bakeware, which I’ve seen in places, but mine are from my grandmother. The other bakeware is called Corningware French white. This was VERY popular when I was first married. I love my French white bakeware.
The essential bakeware you need is this, and it can be made out of any of the listed previous materials.
- 1- 9″ sq pan
- 2 – 9″x 13″ rectangle pan
- 1 – 18″ x 13″ half-sheet pan
- 2 – 16″ x 14″ cookie sheets
- Large cooling rack
- 2 – Pyrex 9″ pie plates – used for more than pies
Pans: There are SO many types of baking pans – round pans, square pans, and rectangle pans – all can be used to bake desserts or dinner. The pans I have on the right the 8″ circle is a Goldtouch cake pan. I have two round and one rectangle 9×13. The square 9×9 is made from the traditional nonstick materials. ALL Goldtouch pans are made of two layers of high-performance ceramic-reinforced nonstick coating that are bonded to commercial-guage aluminum-coated steel. Needless to say, these pans are heavier and their speed of baking or roasting is much faster than conventional equipment. When I first picked this up and used it, I went by the baking instructions. What I have found is that the time is cut at least by 10 to 15 minutes. So with Goldtouch you have to watch the time. That goes for the newer nonstick pans too.
I love my pyrex baking dishes (on the left) I roast chicken in them, make funeral potatoes in them, cool off fudge in them, bake Jenny Bolzs’ Raspberry Chocolate bars in them (switched from the Goldtouch), bake fish in them,….they are very versatile and reliable.
My Corningware French White baking dishes do double duty, one for baking, the other for serving. LOVE THAT!!! I have two of the shallow sides one in a 1.5 qt small and another 3qt large, along with two different size casserole dishes.
The reason I chose a half-sheet rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan is for the use of roasting vegetables. I always cover the pan in aluminium foil then place them on the pan. The one that is darker, I sometimes use it on the grill. Now there’s a very small aluminium pan there that was my Grandmothers.. I have two of these and you can see it’s been really worn. With just two people in the house, I rarely need really huge pans to cook for two. You can also see a rack in the photo. I use that for when I roast turkeys or hams and that goes on the bottom of a roasting pan with the meat on top.
Speaking of roasting, at some point you’ll need to carve that ham, turkey, beef, or chicken. You should have a LARGE carving board that has a groove to capture meat or poultry juices. I would also recommend a handle at one end for easy access out of your cupboard. I am certain I picked this up at Homegoods a while back.
Cutlery: While we’re on the subject of roasting, you need to have basic knives to do your bidding on the carving board. I recommend either the hollow edge 5″ chefs knife or a large chefs knife. One essential tool to keep your knives performing well is a knife sharpener. Sharpeners, similar to knives, come in all varieties. I just love the Wusthof Handheld Knife sharpener. I have given this as gifts to many people. I do recommend a paring knife and a bread knife.
Pyrex Pie Plate: I have two of these. I use them in the mirowave to cook vegetables, warm things up, I use them for pies, I roast with them, cooking bacon in the microwave, shrimp scampi, and the list could go on. These are so handy for so many things – even prepping as a holder of your veggies.
Cookie sheets: I prefer flat cookie sheets. I really like the old aluminum ones BUT Goldtouch has come out with their version of a cookie sheet – and I think various other brands too – with some type of air circulation thingy. I’m happy with my Grandmother’s old ones. I make a LOT of cookies and I have 4 of them. When you’re just starting out to bake, no need.
The key to good pans is to clean them well. Don’t let baked on foods stay on there forever. Clean them the recommend way that the company suggests. If you do that you’ll keep your investment going for years.