Pros and cons of silicone, ceramic and glass bakeware

Bakeware is available in three basic materials: ceramic, silicone and glass. In addition to the size and shape of the actual pans, you'll want to take the material into close consideration as you evaluate your options, as each has specific pros and cons that make them better-suited to certain applications.

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Let's take a closer look at each of the three major types of bakeware to help you decide which material will serve your baking needs the best.

Ceramic Bakeware

One of the major advantages of ceramic bakeware is its versatility. It can be used in conventional ovens as well as microwaves, and is easy to clean and won't scratch. It is also a good choice for health-conscious people, as it is 100 percent non-toxic.

However, ceramic isn't always the best choice for extremely high temperatures, unless it has been specially treated to perform in unusually hot ovens. You can ruin ceramic bakeware if you accidentally exceed recommended temperature settings.

Silicone Bakeware

The major advantages of silicone bakeware is that it is water-repellent, non-toxic and does not react to exposure to the chemicals in the ingredients you may be using in your baking. It is also non-stick and capable of performing at both high and low temperatures. If you need flexible bakeware, silicone is your best bet. The material has pliability that both ceramic and glass products lack.

However, silicone bakeware can lead to somewhat unpredictable results if you're used to using ceramics or glass. Experiment a little so you know how it will perform in various baking tasks.

Glass Bakeware

Glass is the most common material used in bakeware, and it is a classic choice for good reason: food heats evenly when baked in glass, and its transparency allows you to monitor the progress of your dish as it cooks. It's easy to clean if you use the right products and is dishwasher safe. However, glass is heavy, it can also break it you drop it or heat it to too high a temperature.

These three materials are becoming increasingly popular alternatives to metal bakeware, which has higher levels of toxicity and is notorious for getting bits of food stuck on it permanently.