Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Joys of Silicone Bakeware

A recent post over at Cheap, Healthy, Good got me thinking. The author was talking about the things she couldn't live without. I agreed with the article except for the part about silicone baking sheet liners. The author seemed to think they were a luxury that anyone could live without. I disagree, I can't live without them.

I too once scoffed at the idea of lining my pans with rubber! HA! What in the world would I need to do that for? Wasn't a squirt of cooking spray just as good - and many times cheaper? Then I got invited to a Demarle party - sort of like a Tupperware party but better. Demarle is the company who originally made and marketed the silicone bakeware. They have many things besides liners: there are cake pans, muffin pans, loaf pans and "casserole"type dishes (sadly when last I looked, they didn't have a 9x13 pan). It was amazing at that party when the saleslady tipped the pan and the muffins all fell out. Or when she tipped the silpat (the pan liner) and all the cookies slid the to rack. Oh I was mesmerized!

So I bought a bunch. I have never been sorry. I LOVE these things. I have the muffin pan (mini and regular), a round casserole-type pan, and of course, two silpats! They really do work as promised and they have saved me so much clean-up time it is amazing!

There are now lots of "knock-off" brands of silicone bakeware. Not all work as well as the Demarle brand, but most work really well. One of my favorite things to give as a wedding shower gift is a silicone muffin pan and several boxes of muffin mix.

There are disadvantages to the silicone bakeware. Obviously they are flexible and so you must bake the muffin pans on a baking sheet to keep it stable. You should always put it on the baking sheet before you fill it - for obvious reasons! But the cleanup is so easy (my husband turns the muffin cups inside out to clean them - can't do that with an ordinary pan!), any inconvenience is minimal in comparison!

Really, I'm not selling them. I just really, really like them. Try them, you'll see.


(photo from Demarle website - check it out)


Lynn said...

I agree. I love my silicone stuff. Love my silpat mat.It is great for making delicate cookies and candies. I also have silicone muffin liners and I love them.

Betsy said...

I don't use my silpat because I have two stone cookie sheets that I LOVE--nothing sticks to them and stuff bakes up so much better! But, when I have to fall back on a metal cookie sheet, I pull out the silpat. However, I do have a great use for those silicone muffin tins--even the cheap ones: they are fantastic for freezing stuff in. Chicken broth, frozen summer salads, baby food, whatever. Once the stuff is frozen, just peel off the silicone and you have nice little portions.

Jill said...

Betsy, that is a great idea! I never thought to freeze stuff in them, but you are right it would peel right off and you have instant portion control!

I had a stoneware bake pan, too. My problem with them is the weight! They were so heavy they were awkward for me (I'll admit I'm a whimp).

Thanks for the idea of using them to freeze stuff - I'd never have come up with that on my own!