The fact is that every type of baking cookware has pros and cons. More than size and shape, what matters most is the material of the cookware.The material should be such that you will reduce the baking time and at the same time increase the taste of your cakes, brownies, bread, and pies.
Here we have two popular baking pans, glass and metal baking pans that react differently when heated. Metal has high conductivity which means it can heat up quickly and distribute heat more evenly, plus it cools down more quickly. On the other hand, glass has less thermal distribution properties since it takes time to distribute heat. These differences are not enough to ascertain which is better glass baking pan or a metal baking pan.
But at the same time, these aspects help determine which one is correct versus the other.Also, ask yourself which pan fits into your preference for baking a chocolate cake, pie or brownie. For the final call, you should have a clear idea about both of them. This guide will help you know more about both Glass and Metal used in baking tasks and how they may work for you.
Difference Between Glass Vs Metal Baking Pans
Glass Baking Pans – What it is?
Glass conducts heat temperature very well, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.In this pan, desserts like cookie bars and pound cake which require lots of sugar may start to burn before they’re fully baked, but it is ideal for baking bread pudding, casseroles, and other recipes where crispiness and colour don’t matter. This type of pan also has the advantage of being non-reactive as it does not release metal particles.This will allow you to store dishes directly in the baking unit without worrying the food’s flavour will change. Hence, this material is perfect for savoury dishes, bread, pudding, pies, cobblers, etc.
Pros of Glass Baking Pans:
There are several advantages of using glass pans. Some of them are as follow:
- Preserve heat better than Metal
Glass cookware is heavier and expensive than a metal pan but one major plus point is that it preserves heat better. This feature can be considered both its pros and cons because the glass pane does not cool down quickly. Due to the heat preservation, it keeps your dessert or food warm at the table.
- Nonreactive with Acid
Another best thing about glass pan is that it is made up of nonreactive material. Therefore, it is perfect for baking with citrus or berries. Anytime, you can bake them fresh pie in this pan.
- Distribute Heat Evenly and Quickly
Glass pans give food a browner and darker crust, so they are usually suitable for pies and bread. Because of the way the glass distributes heat to the oven, it will bake both faster and deeper than most metal pans, but importantly it is much deeper and heavier.If you want to bake a cake or similar sugary dessert in a glass pan, you need to decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees to reduce the risk of over-browning.
- Better Monitoring
Since the glass is transparent, you can keep an eye on the dish while the dish is baking.Going for a glass pan is often ideal for beginners or less experienced bakers to observe how the food beneath their crusts.
Cons of Glass Pans
- Glass is not suitable for powerful temperature; for instance, from the broiler.
- Pans made from glass don’t handle heat fluctuation from one intense to another. For example, if you put a pan out of the freezer directly into a preheated oven, it may explode.
- Unlike metal, glass is slower to heat and much heavier in weight.
⇒ Read This Also: Baking Pan Vs. Baking Sheet
Metal Pans – What it is?
A metal pan is perfect for cookies, cakes, tarts, bread, muffins, bread, and brownies. This shiny and light-coloured metal material is suitable for even crust and browning. Some dark colour metal pans are also available, which can cause extreme browning.
Popular metal pans like aluminium, stainless steel are good sources for conducting heat, but aluminium is far better than steel in terms of even baking and heat conductivity. One major drawback of aluminium, it can react with acids in the food and alter actual flavour into the metallic flavour.Therefore, metal units are perfect for achieving nice, crisp, and even browning foods like cookies or biscuits.
Pros of Metal Pans:
- Quickly Heats up and Cool Down
A metal pan is the best conductor of heat, as well as, it can heat up quickly in a preheated oven. As we have mentioned, two types of metals are available dark-coloured metal and light-coloured metal. Dark-coloured pans inhale more heat and cause your food to cook even faster, as a result, over-browning on the exterior.
- Slowly Baking
Fascinatingly, metal utensils tend to bake things more slowly than glass. This is because, if a recipe requires a glass pan, but it is baked in a metal pan, as a result, the baking time will add significantly to your dish.
- Reactive Properties
Some metal pans can easily react with acidic foods like tomatoes, cherries, etc. Therefore, when making some fruit or citrus fruits, like a cobbler or ripe lemon pudding, you should go with a glass pan.
- Darkness of Metal
You may find two different types of metal pans, light and dark coloured pans. The interesting fact is that the colour makes a huge difference. However, a darcoloured metal dish absorbs more temperature as compared to a light coloured pan.
- Perfect Shape
Metal pans are designed in such a way so that you can give the finest shape to your dish with the sharpest of corners and edges. For the most desirable and restaurant-style cakes and brownies, every professional choose the metal dish. It is considered to be the most perfect option for making soft and smooth desserts.
Cons of Metal Pans:
- Before going to choose a metal pan, keep in mind that metal is reactive with acidic food. It releases metallic tiny particles and your food will absorb it, which will change the flavours and taste of food. To avoid this problem, you should quickly transfer your food from pan to plate.
- Light coloured pans with shiny finishes recollect less heat and are generally considered for specific baking tasks. Well, the choice is yours between choosing light-coloured or dark-coloured metal. If you’re a professional chef, you should have both because each person has a different eating taste.
Which One is Better: a Metal Pan or a Glass Pan?
After knowing the pros and cons of both, you’ll have a clear idea that metal is better when it comes to baking heft food items like cakes, brownies. This is because the metal pan cooks the outer layer as well as the food layer inside. Additionally, metal pans help you to make aesthetically and sharp edges on baked items; on the other hand, a glass pan creates boring round edges. To differentiate between these and others, you have to see the next few points:
Interestingly, the glass pans are durable, eco-friendly, non-toxic and make baking overwhelming without worrying about non-toxic properties. The major drawback of a glass pan is its intolerance to sudden fluctuation in temperatures and fragility. A sudden alteration in temperature can cause the glass to enlarge which may result in damaging or cracking. That’s why it is important to leave the frozen dish on the table until it is adjusted to room temperature to heat up again.
Metal material like stainless steel won’t be nonreactive while other metals have acidic properties. But stainless steel is one of them that won’t affect the taste of food and heats up quickly. It is high-durable and safe for oven use.
- Heat Conductivity
Glass is a poor source of heat conductor yet it spread heat more evenly. It is easy to clean, very convenient, bakes perfectly every time. It collects heat longer than metal cookware. On the other hand, metal pans have high thermal conductivity, allowing you to adjust the temperature from low to high as per your baking needs. It helps to achieve desirable, restaurant-style cookies, cakes, brownies, and any other dish even faster and delicious.
The price depends on the size, shape, colour, brands and product quality. Metal comes generally comes in a variety of price tags. Ceramic, Silicone with non-stick coating are slightly expensive while glass units are affordable. But oven-safe glass materials specialized for oven use are a bit expensive than regular ones because they can’t break faster.
- Care and Maintenance
Metal pans are completely safe for manual wash and dishwasher safe as well. While glass pans are restricted to the dishwasher, even sometimes they can break through high temperatures. So, it is highly recommended to read manual instructions before or after every use and cleaning of glass bakeware.
These are some key features that help to differentiate between glass and metal bakeware.
Other Pans Comparison:
Hi, my name is Ashley Robinson. I’m a food blogger and a part time chef in Food & Drink Junction, Denver. With my blog I’m sharing information & tutorials about different kinds of cooking pans.