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Published Jun. 10, 2021

Whether you’re a regular Martha Stewart or you can’t tell your nonstick from your silicone bakeware, the best bakeware sets are essential for your baking success. The best bakeware sets offer you consistent results, so you can impress your friends and family with delicious homemade cookies, cakes, and pies and no longer have to rely on pricey items purchased from the bakery.

Be confident in your baking with the best bakeware sets

Setting up a kitchen with the proper bakeware involves more than collecting random pieces over the years from your parents and roommates. A bit of research helps you determine which pieces you need, which of these sets of baking essentials give you the most for your money, and which materials fit your style of baking the best.

If you’ve looked online or in a store only to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of choices available, then it’s easy to give up and just go with whatever’s in stock. But doing so may not yield the best results for you—you might end up spending money on bakeware you really don’t need, or that doesn’t quite give you the results you want.

When it comes to bakeware, there are two main categories to pay attention to: material and shape. The material is what the bakeware is made of, and this is often the place where many people get overwhelmed. Then you have the shape. The shape you buy depends on the function. For instance, loaf pans, cookie sheets, bundt pans, and cake pans all have different functions.  

Let’s take a look at the best bakeware sets so you don’t have to rely on leftover cake pans and baking tools, and can confidently bake your next masterpiece with the best bakeware.  

How to select the right bakeware set

One of the reasons why choosing bakeware seems somewhat confusing is because of the sheer number of choices. Whether it’s glassware, ceramic, Pyrex—you get the idea—there are a variety of different materials to choose from. Each material has advantages, and some have disadvantages, too. 

Why would you want an aluminum bakeware set?

Aluminum is preferred by a large number of bakers thanks to its superior heat transfer properties. This gives consistent baking results for the right browning. Look for thick, higher-quality aluminum for the best results. However, aluminum is a softer metal, so it’s more prone to scratching and is higher maintenance versus other metals. There are also safety concerns with too much aluminum, although more information is needed. 

When is it better to use a nonstick bakeware set? 

Made from heavy-gauge steel and covered with a coating to allow for easy release of foods, nonstick is the solution for perfect pop-outs. Bakeware coated with a nonstick material like Teflon still gives the consistent baking results of metal, but makes presentations easier since your foods slide out. The downside of nonstick is you need to hand wash in soapy water to avoid damaging the coating, which means more time for cleaning up. There are also concerns about using a chemical coating at high temperatures and the chemicals coming into contact with your food.

What advantages are there to using a glass bakeware set?

If you prefer to bake with BPA-free materials, then glass is another solid option for baking success. It can withstand high temperatures, and is freezer-, microwave-, dishwasher-, and oven-safe. Glass lets you easily see how your baked goods and casseroles are progressing too, all without absorbing odors. But there are downsides —glassware is temperamental if you take it from cold temperatures to a hot oven too quickly, and could even shatter. Glass easily chips if it’s not handled properly, and its weight makes it slightly cumbersome. 

Why would you want a stoneware bakeware set?

Stoneware, such as ceramic and enameled cast iron, offers plenty of advantages. Not only does the excellent heat retention allow for amazing baking and cooking results, stoneware is easy to clean. Ceramic and enameled cast iron products don’t have the chemicals added to them, so some people prefer this health aspect. Plus, with the proper care, stoneware can literally be passed down from one generation to the next because it is so durable.  

What are the benefits of silicone bakeware?

Silicone bakeware provides nonstick and dishwasher-safe products in one package. You can also transfer silicone from the oven to the freezer and to the refrigerator for multiple storage options. And you never have to worry about silicone rusting. The downside to baking with silicone is that the material is vulnerable to cuts and doesn’t always allow for easy pop out, despite the nonstick properties. Silicone doesn’t perform well in super high temperatures either. 

The best bakeware sets

There are a variety of materials available for baking, and each offers its own unique pros and cons. Before choosing a bakeware set, make sure you are realistic about how important properties such as nonstick, added chemicals, durability, and clean-up are to your regular baking routines.

Best metal bakeware set for beginners: Nordic Ware 5-piece baking set

Nordic Ware 5-piece baking set

Nordic ware uses high-quality aluminum to ensure consistent baking and browning results every time.
Nordic

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The Nordic ware 5-piece baking set supplies an array of high-quality bakeware in one set. The set includes everything you need to start baking the most popular baked goods: cakes, cookies, muffins, and a loaf pan. The aluminum is designed for even heat distribution to give you dependable results and beautiful browning color.

Best stoneware baking set worthy of a splurge: Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage 4-piece Bakeware Set

Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage 4-piece Bakeware Set

Le Creuset provides the perfect marriage of quality, scratch-resistant stoneware, easy clean-up, and amazing baking results in one. Le Creuset

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The Le Creuset bakeware set is an enameled version of stoneware. This means you achieve the durability of stoneware without the scratching and chips stoneware often gets. Stoneware can withstand exceptional heat, which makes this set perfect for casseroles or dishes which bake at the higher temps.

Best nonstick bakeware set: Rachael Ray 52410 Cucina Nonstick Bakeware Set

Rachael Ray 52410 Cucina Nonstick Bakeware Set

The Rachael Ray bakeware set includes everything you need for delicious treats without the hassle of food sticking to your baking dishes.
Rachael Ray

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If your baked goods wind up stuck to your pans instead of on your serving platters, then nonstick bakeware is a great option. This Rachael Ray bakeware set includes everything you need for delightful baked goods, from muffins to cookies and loaves. Plus, the silicon handles ensure you have a firm grip when you’re fumbling with bulky oven mitts. 

Best glass baking dishes: Pyrex Deep Baking Dish, 6-piece set

Pyrex Deep Baking Dish, 6-piece set

Pyrex baking dishes are easy to use for baking everything from lasagnas to casseroles, cakes, and dessert bars.
Pyrex

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These Pyrex baking dishes come in three sizes to cover several baking needs, and can handle your deep dish meals too. The extra capacity comes in handy and this glassware conveniently also goes from oven-to-freezer in a heartbeat. This glass bakeware is perfect for storing your food—not only is it odor-resistant, but it cleans up in a flash too.

Best for budgets bakeware set: Farberware Nonstick Steel Bakeware 10-Piece Set

Farberware Nonstick Steel Bakeware 10-Piece Set

With the convenience and simplicity of nonstick bakeware, this Farberware bakeware contains everything you need. Farberware

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If you want nonstick without the heavy price tag, you’ll love the Farberware Nonstick 10-piece set. Food pops out easily with the nonstick coating, allowing you to confidently bake and serve your masterpieces in one budget-friendly set. The lighter color promotes even baking, while the nonstick coating keeps you from scraping. 

FAQs

Q: Are glass or metal pans better for baking?

This question of whether glass or metal pans are better for baking boils down to heat transfer. Which material is better for even heat? The answer is light-colored metal is better than glass for even heating and heat transfer. If you want consistent browning, then metal is better, specifically aluminum. 

Although glass can certainly be used for baking and is helpful for viewing the progress of your bake, glass actually retains heat longer than metal. Glass holds onto so much heat that you tend to see over-baked edges and under-cooked centers with glass. For this reason, metal pans are better for baking. 

Q: Can glass go in the oven at 350?

If you are loyal to the classic Pyrex baking dish or other glass bakeware, you might be wondering if it’s safe to put glass in the oven at 350 degrees or higher. The answer is yes, but with exceptions. 

First, the bakeware needs to be oven-safe glass. This means it’s glass-approved for baking and not glasses from your cupboard. Second, don’t put your glass baking dish in the oven straight from the fridge—the temperature change from cold to suddenly hot can shock it and cause it to break. Lastly, don’t put glass at too high of a temperature. It’s important to check the temperature range from the manufacturer, some are as low as 350 but go up to as high as 500.

Q: How do I choose a baking pan?

To choose a baking pan, first decide what shape or size you most need. Whether it’s a 12-count muffin pan, an 11×17 cookie sheet, or a loaf pan for example, focusing on only the shape you need helps cut down on the choices. Next, choose the material you’re most comfortable with. If you’re baking items for which color and even baking are most important, then aluminum is a better choice. Or if you’re purchasing to bake casseroles, then stoneware would be the best choice. Last, decide on the budget since bakeware comes in a wide price range. You want to get the highest quality possible for your personal budget. 

Related: Protect your clothes from all that flour with these functional aprons.

The final word on how to choose the best bakeware set

Choosing the best bakeware set is not only possible, but it’s a fun way to stock up your kitchen with high-quality products. If you want to ensure continued baking success—or want to learn how to start baking with the right products—then look for materials and sizes that best suit your baking goals. No matter what you choose, if you’re confident in what you serve because you have the right bakeware set, then it makes entertaining and everyday meals so much more enjoyable. 

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