Using a Glass Pan Instead of Metal

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2010 • all rights reserved

If recipe calls for a metal baking pan and you use a glass one, you need to make this important change in the baking temperature.

When I was a girl, recipes and box mixes would always give instructions for using a glass or metal pan.  The distinction is still important if you want your baked goods — cakes, pies, bread and so on — to turn out perfectly.

Basically, glass transfers more heat than metal, and thus you need to lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees when baking in a glass baking dish.  Note that glass pans also take longer to cool down once out of the oven, so be very careful not to overbake items.  (NOTE:  If the recipe calls for a glass pan and you’re using a metal one, you need to reverse this and raise the oven temperature by 25 degrees.)

Dark metal pans will also cook somewhat hotter than shiny metal pans, although not as much faster as glass pans.  At sea level you generally don’t have to compensate (although you may have to at altitude).

Silicone baking pans generally bake the same as metal pans, with no need to adjust the temperature.

NOTE:  If you have an boat oven, like mine, that doesn’t want to come up to heat very well, you can use the fact that glass pans conduct heat better in your favor if you have any glass baking dishes aboard.  And yes, it is possible to keep glass baking dishes aboard without breaking — put a piece of fleece fabric around or between each pan and keep them tightly wedged in their storage lockers.

A bit of terminology, for what it’s worth:

  • A “baking dish” refers to one that is glass, while “baking pan” or just “pan” technically means one that is metal.
  • A “pie plate” is glass and a “pie pan” is — you guessed it — metal.

So, while you don’t need to bunch of different baking pans and dishes in your boat galley, you may need to make some slight adjustments in your oven temperature.

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  1. I like to use silicone especially on the boat because it doesn’t rattle, doesn’t break and sometimes acts as padding for other dishes!

  2. River cruiser says:

    I use a stoneware loaf pan and think it works great. Would this be similar to cooking with a glass pan?

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