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Disposable Baking Pans

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2008

Are disposable aluminum pans okay to use to transport baked goods such as casseroles, cakes, and pastries?

To see how disposable aluminum baking pans would perform, we made a batch of our New York-Style Crumb Cake (May/June 2007) in a disposable aluminum 8-inch square pan and our Sticky Buns with Pecans (September/October 2004) in a disposable aluminum 13- by 9-inch pan. When compared to batches made in traditional metal pans, there was a clear difference. The cake and buns made in the disposable pans had not browned and were unevenly cooked, and the caramel on the sticky buns was a lighter shade.

Another drawback of the disposable pans was that they were hard to transfer out of the oven, since they tended to be wobbly. Borrowing an idea for browning and crisping the bottoms of pies, we next put the filled disposable pans directly on a preheated baking sheet. This solved both problems. The baked goods now browned evenly, and the baking sheet made it easy to transfer the pans out of the oven.