Bakeware face-off: Glass vs. metal

Bakeware comes in a few different materials, but it can be pretty unclear why. Is there a benefit to opting for a glass casserole dish over a metal loaf pan? Should you adjust your recipes for different materials? The answer to both is yes – here’s why:

Glass: The pros

  • It distributes heat incredibly evenly.
  • It keeps your food warmer long after you’ve removed it from the oven.

Glass: The cons

  • It’s really bad for broiling (the entire pan may shatter).
  • You can’t put it on the stove (for the same reason).
  • It often burns cookies and brownies due to its high heat absorption.
  • It’s relatively intolerant to quick temperature changes.

Metal: The ups

  • It’s better at conducting heat than glass is.
  • It’s good for dishes you’d like to brown.
  • Metal bakeware can withstand very high temperatures as well as drastic temperature changes.

Metal: The downs

  • Metal bakeware doesn’t go well with acidic foods (like fruit pies and tomato-based dishes), and it can make your food taste a little metallic.
  • It cools off very quickly.

A trick to keep up your sleeve: If you’re going to be baking cookies (or other baked goods that burn easily) with glass bakeware, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Other than that, the decision is pretty simple – casseroles and pies are usually best made in glass dishes, while anything you’d like to roast (plus baked goods with a lot of sugar) should go in metal ones.