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Cookware & Bakeware

A few choice pieces of bakeware will go a long way in the kitchen.

The Basics

Baking pans & casserole dishes: There are baking pans and there are casseroles. To put it simply, casseroles are generally deeper than baking pans and are usually round or oval. Some have handles but most have tight-fitting lids. They are measured by volume. Baking pans are shallow, usually from 1½ to 2 inches deep, and are measured from inside edge to inside edge. The following are some suggested pieces.

The Basics

Casserole DishesBaking Pans
8 x 8-inch square1 ½ quarts
9 x 9-inch square2 ½ quarts
9 x 13-inch rectangle

Tip: If a casserole dish’s volume is not marked, you can determine its size by pouring premeasured cups of water into the pan until the water reaches the rim.

Roasting pan: A 13 x 16-inch triple-ply (or “clad”) stainless roasting pan with riveted handles and nonstick interior. Make sure it comes with a rack.

Baking sheets: Whether or not the sheet has a rimmed side or is insulated is less of a factor than color—lighter colored pans will give you the best results.

Muffin pan: A heavy-gauge nonstick 12-muffin pan is best. And it’s not just for muffins—it can double up for hors d’oeuvres and side dishes.

If you like to bake, add these to the list:

  • Pie pans: 9-inch; glass helps you keep an eye on crust browning.
  • Cake pans: 8- or 9-inch rounds; a light-colored interior will help keep crusts from getting too dark.
  • Bread pan: 9 x 5 x 3-inch, glass or metal. Glass will help you gauge how brown bread gets.
  • Six 7-ounce ramekins.
Extra Splurges
  • Silicone muffin pans: The silicone prevents sticking so these pans are great for sugary muffins, individual quiches and cheesecakes.
  • Springform pan: Straight-sided (2 to 3 inches high) pan that has a separate detachable bottom so cakes, tortes and cheesecakes can be removed easily.