Which bakeware set is best?

Bakeware is arguably one of the foundational tools of a well-equipped kitchen. These pieces let cooks explore a variety of world cuisines in baked goods, casseroles and even slow braises and stews. In many ways, the quality of your bakeware dictates the quality of your finished product.

The All-Clad Pro-Release Nonstick Bakeware Set is a great choice for professionals and highly skilled home cooks. These durable, versatile pans are easy to use and clean and last for years of delicious meals.

What to know before you buy a bakeware set

Type of pans

Bakeware sets include different pans, depending on the number of pieces. If you focus on baked goods, you might want a set that includes, at a minimum:

  • Cake pan
  • Loaf pan
  • Baking sheet
  • Muffin/cupcake tin
  • Baking tray

More elaborate bakeware sets might also include pie pans, baking dishes and ramekins. It is important to consider what you will cook when selecting your set. There’s no sense in getting a large set full of pans that will never see the light of day. 

Materials

Bakeware comes in five basic materials.

  • Aluminum: Aluminum bakeware is lightweight and affordable. But it is also thin and promotes uneven baking. These pieces are also not as durable as some of the other materials. 
  • Carbon steel: If you are looking for a heavy-duty, durable set of bakeware, carbon steel is a good choice. It’s naturally nonstick. These sacs can be pricey, and carbon steel does not always bake evenly either. 
  • Cast iron: Cast iron heats evenly and retains heat, but it is heavy and requires special care. 
  • Ceramic: If you are looking to bake cakes, ceramic will not be your best choice, as most of this bakeware is best for casseroles and braises. On the other hand, most of these can double as serving pieces and also store food well in the freezer.
  • Ovenproof glass: Oven-proof glass pie plates and rectangular baking dishes allow you to see when food is cooked from all angles. It does not conduct heat as well as some of the other options.

Nonstick vs. regular 

Nonstick pans are perfect for bakers and cooks who don’t want to mess with greasing their pans before baking. It is crucial to pay attention to what is used to create the nonstick coating. PTFE-coated bakeware offers an ultra-slick surface and is deemed safe by the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission.

If you would rather avoid chemical coating of any kind, look for properly seasoned cast iron and carbon steel pans. With practice and regular use, these pans are just as slippery as treated bakeware. 

What to look for in a quality bakeware set

Easy care

If you’re not a fan of manual scrubbing, look for bakeware that can go in the dishwasher. Aluminum, glass and ceramic bakeware are the best bets.

Freezer-, oven-, microwave and dishwasher-safe

Another feature to look for is a bakeware set’s versatility. Some ceramic and glass bakeware can do everything from meal prepping in the freezer to baking in the oven and serving at the table. 

Lids

Lids that are either oven-safe or good for food storage are a bonus. Most metal bakeware for cookies, cakes and muffins don’t include these, but ceramic and glass pans might. 

Handles

Wide handles on baking sheets and trays make removing hot baked goods from the oven easier. These may be designed with special grips, or they may be an extension of the rim of the bakeware. 

How much you can expect to spend on a bakeware set

The price of a bakeware set can vary depending on the material and the number of pieces in the set. Expect to spend $50-$300 for a set of eight to 10 pieces.

Bakeware set FAQ

Can you get replacements if a piece of bakeware breaks? 

A. Although it is generally more affordable to buy a set of bakeware, most companies offer individual replacements if a piece breaks. 

Does bakeware require special care? 

A. This depends on the material of your set. Check with the manufacturer to see if there are any specific care instructions.

Do not use metal utensils on nonstick bakeware, and do not stack bakeware. This can result in scratching or breakage. Otherwise, regular cleaning and seasoning as required will increase the life of your set. 

What’s the best bakeware set to buy?

Top bakeware set

All-Clad Pro-Release Nonstick Bakeware Set

All-Clad Pro-Release Nonstick Bakeware Set 

What you need to know: If you want to stock your kitchen with what the pros use, this is the set for you.

What you’ll love: This 10-piece set includes a half sheet, cookie sheet, muffin tin, cooling rack, round cake pan and loaf pan. Every piece is made from heavy gauge aluminized steel that is nonstick for easy release. 

What you should consider: It is expensive. If you don’t bake frequently, you may not need something quite so professional.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top bakeware set for the money

CorningWare French White 10-Piece Ceramic Bakeware Set

CorningWare French White 10-Piece Ceramic Bakeware Set

What you need to know: This classic French ceramic bakeware turns out perfect casseroles, crisps and crumbles.

What you’ll love: It comes with two glass lids for serving and three plastic snap-on lids for food storage. These pieces are microwave, oven, dishwasher and freezer safe. They are easy to clean. 

What you should consider: They are not naturally nonstick and are heavier than other choices. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Circulon Total Nonstick Bakeware Set

Circulon Total Nonstick Bakeware Set

What you need to know: These are sturdy, durable nonstick pans that give bakers a lot of options in the kitchen. 

What you’ll love: Raised circular bottom on each piece promotes even heating and baking. The 10-piece set is nonstick and features a bread pan, cookie sheet, baking tray, baking sheet, cake pan and muffin/cupcake pan. The handles are wide for safety in and out of the oven, and the construction is strong. 

What you should consider: Steel is prone to rusting, and users report slight warping at high temperatures. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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