Best Bakeware Sets: Top 5 Pans And Dishes Most Recommended By Experts

Nothing is better than the aroma of something delicious baking away in the oven. From savory casseroles to sweet delights like cake or cookies, baking is a tasty expression of love. To garner amazing results for your baking efforts it can help to start with one of the best bakeware sets.

Everyone has their strong suit in the kitchen and many feel they are experts in the realm of cookies. In fact, a recent study indicates that four in 10 Americans are confident enough in their cookie-baking skills that they would quit their jobs to become a baker. A survey of 2,000 Americans confirms our love for cookies, revealing that 82 percent of respondents enjoy baking their own cookies. Half enjoy the sweet snack so much that they bake their own at least once a month. Of those who bake homemade cookies, 64 percent are confident they could bake the “perfect” cookie. However, they didn’t master it on the first try — results found it takes the average respondent five tries before they can bake a top-notch cookie.

Whether you prefer cookies or other sweet treats, your preference may correlate with your personality. Another study indicates more self-reported introverts than extroverts preferred chocolate desserts (46% vs. 31%) and were also more likely to eat sweets in the morning (33% vs. 15%).  And if you’re an introvert, chances are your parents “always” or “often” let you eat desserts as a child (71%). That may be why introverts are more likely than extroverts to order from the dessert menu when eating out (61% vs. 50%).

Whether you are craving decadent cookies or healthy banana muffins, you’ll need a vessel to bake your goodies. StudyFinds turned to the experts to compile this list of the best bakeware sets to have stocked in your kitchen. Let us know what your favorites are in the comments below!

baking cookies
A tray of cookies (Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash)

The List: Best Bakeware Sets, According to Experts

1. Rachel Ray Cucina Nonstick Bakeware 10-Piece Baking Pan Set

The number one spot on our list goes to celebrity chef Rachel Ray’s Cucina Nonstick set. “If you’re still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling bakeware set: The Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Set is the hottest bestseller in this category right now,” says Alternative.

Rachel Ray Cucina Nonstick Bakeware 10-Piece Baking Pan Set
Rachel Ray Cucina Nonstick Bakeware 10-Piece Baking Pan Set

This set is great for sweets, but it is also perfect for roasting. Some of the pros of this set Fruttamix mentions are easy food release, durability, and ability for a confident grip. Also, this purchase goes to a good cause: “A portion of the proceeds goes to Yum-o (r), Rachael’s nonprofit that helps kids and parents develop healthy relationships with food.”

Versatility is the most often cited best quality for this bakeware set. “This nonstick bakeware is constructed from heavy-gauge steel with rolled rims for everyday durability. Bake pans feature long-lasting nonstick inside and out for outstanding food release with quick cleanup, and the baking pan set includes all the essential bakeware items for delish baking results. Oven safe to 450°F, the silicone grips provide a solid, comfortable grasp (even with your favorite potholders on) and add a pop of modern-rustic kitchen color. Best of all this comprehensive bakeware set partners with the complete Cucina collection for even more easy-going kitchen style and functionality,” writes Wayfair.

2. Circulon 10-Piece Non-Stick Bakeware Set

The Circulon non-stick set is highly rated and has a great set of items included. “This Circulon baking pan set scored perfect scores in our performance and ease-of-use tests. Cake and cookies came out evenly browned and had a fine texture with few air pockets, meanwhile broccoli came out nice and consistently crisp, too. The pans are a breeze to clean, and the wide rims mean you’ll be able to keep a steady grip on them. In add ition to the basic pans, we like that the set also comes with two round cakes pans for making a tiered cake, a cover for the rectangular baking pan so goodies can be stored or transported and a rack that can be used for cooling, roasting or as a trivet. Our only wish is that lids were included for all the pans,” points out Good Housekeeping.

Circulon 10-Piece Non-Stick Bakeware Set
Circulon 10-Piece Non-Stick Bakeware Set

Quality of materials are also cited for this set’s overall appeal. “‘Total nonstick’ is built into the name of this set for a reason. The 10-piece bundle features a PFOA-free coating and raised circles for top-notch, nonstick baking. This raised circle design also boosts airflow to prevent unwanted sticking. Heavy gauge steel construction guarantees even heat distribution and makes for a sturdy set. It includes everything you need to make savory meals, cakes, muffins, and more, plus a handy cooling rack. One rectangular pan even comes with a lid for easy transport and saving leftovers. When vouching for its nonstick goodness, a reviewer said, ‘If you’ve ever baked anything and had problems with material sticking to a pan, I can’t recommend this enough,'” says Southern Living.  

As a more high-quality alternative to many other sets on the market, “One excellent feature about this nonstick bakeware set is that it comes in 4 piece, 6 pieces, or 10 pieces. With that being said if you only need to replace a few of your old pans, the 4 pieces might work. This Circulon bakeware set is more of premium quality than the amazon bakeware set listed above. This 10 piece bakeware set is heavy gauge steel and does not warp like other brands. In addition, the raised concentric circles help with keeping the heat distribution even throughout,” adds I Love Cookware.

3. Lodge Baker’s Delight Set

Cast iron can be intimidating for some novice bakers, but once you try cast-iron you might not want to use non-stick anymore. “While heavy, cast iron provides even heating and optimal temperature retention, which comes in handy for making casseroles or quiche that benefit from gentle cooking to nail a perfectly golden crust with a fluffy (not overcooked) interior. Best of all, if you build up the coating and maintain it properly, cast iron can become a nonstick surface. Our tester appreciated the large handles which are particularly useful for such hefty pans. The set also comes with a pair of removable silicone grips that you can use interchangeably on any of the pans. The pie pan produced an evenly golden pie in testing and our tester noted that it was easy to clean post-baking. The casserole cooked bread pudding nicely and cooked down apples and onions, but was heavy and hard to clean,” explains Good Housekeeping.

Baker's Favorites Set (BW9PIE,BW13C,BW8LP,BW6MFN, ASBG41)
Lodge Baker’s Delight Set (lodgecastiron.com)

The rustic appeal of cast iron is also a part of the allure of this set: “While baking individual portions is a bit more of a to-do, there is an undeniable ‘wow factor when they come to the table,’ says recipe developer and cookbook author Melina Hammer. Since these baking dishes are made of cast iron, an especially efficient heat conductor, they’re good for foods that benefit from a bit of color and a crispy edge, like a gratin, she says. Additionally, they fit in a toaster oven, convenient for anyone who’s making dinner for one and doesn’t want to bother with their conventional oven,” adds Strategist.

Cast iron is made to last, and if you take good care of your set it will last a lifetime. “Cast iron isn’t just for cooking your favorite meals to perfection—the heat retention and distribution that this material allows for makes for fluffy and flaky baked goods, too. Standouts from the collection include the 9 Inch Seasoned Cast Iron Pie Pan, the Seasoned Cast Iron Loaf Pan, and the Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan,” points out Delish.

 4. Calphalon Non-Stick 10-Piece Bakeware Set

Calphalon is a well-respected brand that is both sleek and sturdy in construction. “No hotspots to worry about here. Just six pieces that are made from a heavy-gauge steel core that heats evenly, no matter what you’re cooking. The interior of each pan has interlocking, nonstick layers for easy release, and it’s dishwasher-safe for those few times you need some extra help with cleanup. The pans even come with a 10-year warranty, so you know you’re making a safe investment. ‘Love the Calphalon quality. It really is good for the price and the pans tend to last for years,’ one reviewer said,” writes Southern Living.

Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Set, 10-Piece Set Includes Baking Sheet, Cookie Sheet, Cake Pans, Muffin Pan, and More, Dishwasher Safe, Silver Size:10-pc Style:Bakeware Set
Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Set, 10-Piece Set

This set is potentially a great item for gift registries. Calphalon is a trusted brand that enjoys a reputation of quality. “For the money, it’s hard to beat the Calphalon Non-Stick 10-Pc Bakeware Set, which comes with just about everything you need for creations both sweet and savory. This heavy-duty non-stick set comes with a muffin pan, brownie pan, two cake rounds, covered cake pan, loaf pan, baking sheet, cookie sheet and cooling rack. And, the best part: Everything can go right in the dishwasher when you’re done. Why This Product Is Cozymeal-Approved: Our pick for best value set comes with everything you need to bake up culinary creations from sweet to savory,” adds Cozymeal.

Although it includes the standard 10 pieces, this set boasts heavy materials that are durable. “From one of the leading brands in cookware, this 10-piece Calphalon non-stick bakeware set is a home baker’s dream. The set comes complete with a large baking sheet, 12″ x 17″ baking sheet, 9″ round cake pan, two 9″ x 13″ brownie pans, a 9″ x 13″ cake pan, a cooling rack, 9″ x 13″ loaf pan, and 12 cup muffin pan. Each of the baking pans has quality nonstick coating. Each piece features a high-quality steel core that heats quickly and evenly. The Calphon is non-stick and dishwasher safe. However, we’d recommend that you hand wash only. The set is ideal for new bakers and experts alike,” recommends Food & Drink Destinations.

5. Chicago Metallic 6-Piece Commercial II Non-Stick Bakeware Set

The only commercial set to make our list, the Chicago Metallic 6-piece is perfect for the professional or home-baker that wants to bake with industrial quality. “This Chicago Metallic set is an all-around solid choice at a super-affordable price. It rated high in our performance tests and was just shy of a perfect score for ease of use due to a lack of handles. Another downside is that it includes just one round cake pan. But we love that the sharp corners and straight sides produce professional-looking cakes, brownies and bars. We also tested the Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick 8-Piece Bakeware Set, which ranked just a smidge below the featured Commercial set. In terms of performance, the one difference was that the cookies took a little longer to bake than the manufacturer’s instructions. The Professional set includes eight pieces instead of six, and comes with two half-sheet trays, two round cake pans and a rack, instead of a square baking pan,” says Good Housekeeping.

Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick 6-Piece Bakeware Set, Silver Size:6-Piece Set
Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick 6-Piece Bakeware Set, Silver

Though this set is six pieces rather than 10, it is perhaps the sturdiest and most durable entry on our list. According to Brides.com, “Chicago Metallics’ 6-piece bakeware set is inexpensive, but it certainly isn’t cheap. The sheets and pans are made of heavy-weight aluminized steel for superior heat conduction, and the rims are reinforced with wire rods to keep them from warping. The dual-layer, diamond-quality, nonstick finish resists abrasion, allows for easy food release, and makes cleanup quick and simple, just how we like it.”

When combined with a silicone pad or parchment paper, these baking trays are easy to clean and maintain with little to no scrubbing. “Ideal for your messiest, stickiest cooking projects, a silicone-based coating allows everything from jam-filled bar cookies to cheesy pizza slide seamlessly from the pan. And while that means you won’t need to pick at congealed drips with sharp implements, it’s also the only nonstick pan we tested that’s safe with metal tools. Additional points in its favor: The Chicago Metallic Professional Half Sheet conducts heat evenly, a wire rod-reinforced lip prevents warping, and it’s even dishwasher safe, although hand-washing is generally preferable, to extend the life of the product. That said, at this price, you won’t have to break the bank replacing it,” adds Food Network.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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