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Silicone bakeware?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I got a set of KitchenAid silicone bakeware for Christmas. It has a bread pan, one round cake pan, a "baking mat", and a stack of crinkled muffin cups. I have never used any silicone stuff. I am already fully stocked with metal bakeware however, I do find some of it hard to use and some of it is flaking stuff off which has me nervous. I do bake bread weekly and have two bread pans that i am perfectly happy with already. I have a few questions for people who have silicone stuff to help me determine if I should keep it:

1. What the heck is a "baking mat"? It is 9 x 13 inches and far too floppy to carry something on. If I have to put it on a pan, why would I not just use the pan to begin with?
2. Is this stuff safe? I realize silicone is not plastic, but it sure looks and feels like it to me and therefore seems a little odd to put in an oven.
3. The cake pan is also really floppy. It is deeper than my usual cake pans. Since I cannot even see why one would want one pan (don't you usually need two to make a cake) there must be some other use for this. Would you put a casserole or something in it? Can I make a double thick cake in it? Same with the one bread pan......
4. What is the general advantage of using this over regular pans?
post #2 of 4
I love silicone--it's nonstick without the nasty flaking stuff. And I love all the different shapes the pans come in--you can get muffin pans in pretty much any shape. :

The mat is probably a sil-pat. It is basically something you can use to roll out dough and then put it on the cookie sheet and cook the cookies on it. It makes your cookie sheet nonstick and keeps the sheet clean--I love it when I'm making multiple things because the silpats clean up easier than the cookie sheets.

Always always always put the silicone pans on a cookie sheet--otherwise everything spills.
post #3 of 4
I've been wondering if they are safe as well ... I wonder about chemicles seeping into the baked goods ... I've been meaning to look into them.

I am curious to see the responses.
post #4 of 4
If you do an archival search, there have been some great discussions on the safety of silicone bakeware around here. Personally I've been satisfied by those discussions, so I use it.

For the mat, look at it like parchment paper - because it essentially is. Parchment paper is silicone impregnated paper. It lines the baking sheet so that nothing sticks. Do NOT use it to roast meat or veggies. Use it for cookies, crackers, biscuits, etc. And heed the temperature limits.

For the cake pan - personally I never make layer cakes. I don't know many people who do. So a single cake pan is plenty for me. The bread pan can be used for quick breads which usually only make a single loaf. All of them will have to be placed onto a sheet pan before being filled though. They are not self-supporting, and trust me when I say don't try moving it after you've filled it.

Never cook something you want to cut in the pan in silicone (like a pie) - silicone cannot stand up to knives.

The main limitation of silicone is the lack of browning. Where the pan touches the metal sheet pan, that portion of the item will brown, but the rest will not. So with something like muffins, the bottom and top will brown and form crusts, but the sides will still be pale and soft. For baking regular bread, I do not recommend silicone for that reason.
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