What is the best pan to cook brownies in? I use a small nonstick square 8x8 baking pan by Bakers ($6.99). I buy the small brownie or muffin mix in the pack by Pillsbury. The nonstick surface seem to chip after using them a few times and I have to keep replacing the pan. I don't know if its the pan or the kids not using it properly. Please advise.
I prefer a glass baking dish. I can spray with a cooking oil (such as Pam) if I want to make it easier to remove. Doesn't scratch and lasts forever. Plus the glass ones are microwaveable so you can use it more often, for more recipes. If it isn't in your budget right now, line your pan with foil so that some of it hangs off the sides and spray with Pam, bake as usual. When it is cool, you can just lift the brownie out of the pan using the foil "handles" and cut on a cutting board. Easy!
I line an 8X8 pan with Reynolds Release foil. All you have to do is pick up the brownies by the foil and cut them out of the pan. Another hint: turn the pan upside down to pre-fit the foil and it will go inside the pan easier. Remember to have the release side up. It also saves having to wash the pan.
Just saw on TV last night on "Good Eats" that the BEST pan to bake in is a heavy aluminum pan. The dark coated ones bake uneven, and stainless steel does the same thing. Also, do not coat pan with butter, as it will form moisture and bottom will not brown correct. (Butter is 20% water, that is what causes the moisture. Better with shortening, or PAM like spray)
Possibly your kids are using a knife to cut the brownies when they are still in the pan and that's what is causing the scratching.
I use a square 9x9 glass baking dish. Might be by Anchor Hocking.
I have always used a square glass baking dish for brownies be it the mix kind or from scratch. I like that you can cut them right in the dish. I do use the cooking spray before I pour the batter in.
I also vote for the glass pan. I have one that has a plastic lid, so if I store the bars in the pan, they are airtight, and it is also good for taking dessert places.
I also have used aluminum, but if you like to cut in the pan, as kids (and I) do with brownies and other squares, the aluminum can get scratched as well.
If your pan surface is chipped you can line it with foil and continue to use it. The best way to do this is to turn the pan upside down, fit foil around the outside, leaving enough length to overhang about 2 inches on the ends. carefully remove the foil, turn the pan over and put the formed foil into the pan. Grease, or spray the foil and put your brownies in and bake. When they come out of the oven lift the foil by the overhang 'handles' and cool on a rack.
I have been baking brownies for years and through all of my personal experiences, I prefer an aluminum pan (no non-stick coatings or the likes), make sure to lightly coated it with canola oil (or something similar). Glass pans bake the brownies differently than a metal pan...and I don't like the end product. (Me, my family and my customers love a fudgy brownie.)
I use the Doughmakers brand of pans...they are aluminum, have a pebble finish (that cleans easily) and have lasted very well for me! Plus they are made in the USA!
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