Disposable Baking Pans

Published November 1, 2004. From Cook's Illustrated.

We tested two plastic brands and one aluminum brand and found one to be a decent bargain.

Overview:

Recently, we noticed disposable plastic baking pans in supermarket aisles. Curiosity overcame our initial skepticism, so we decided to give these new items a test.

We chose two plastic options and tested them alongside a disposable aluminum pan. The pans measured at least 12 by 9 inches. As a benchmark, we also included our favorite standard baking pan. We baked raspberry squares, cornbread, and lasagna in each pan.

All three disposable pans were surprisingly solid performers, although the standard is clearly the best option. The plastic pans are basically nonstick, so they were just the thing for sticky raspberry squares and gooey lasagna. The plastic pans were also sturdy enough to allow us to cut the food right in the pan with a knife. By comparison, the foil pan was incredibly flimsy when filled, and it was much easier to slice right through it. In the cornbread test, however, the disposable aluminum pan came out on top for its better browning.

The plastic pans cannot withstand temperatures above 400 degrees, so make sure… read more

Recently, we noticed disposable plastic baking pans in supermarket aisles. Curiosity overcame our initial skepticism, so we decided to give these new items a test.

We chose two plastic options and tested them alongside a disposable aluminum pan. The pans measured at least 12 by 9 inches. As a benchmark, we also included our favorite standard baking pan. We baked raspberry squares, cornbread, and lasagna in each pan.

All three disposable pans were surprisingly solid performers, although the standard is clearly the best option. The plastic pans are basically nonstick, so they were just the thing for sticky raspberry squares and gooey lasagna. The plastic pans were also sturdy enough to allow us to cut the food right in the pan with a knife. By comparison, the foil pan was incredibly flimsy when filled, and it was much easier to slice right through it. In the cornbread test, however, the disposable aluminum pan came out on top for its better browning.

The plastic pans cannot withstand temperatures above 400 degrees, so make sure your oven is properly set and calibrated. We found that placing the plastic pans on a metal baking sheet not only ensured safe passage into and out of the oven but also promoted better, more even browning.

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