If love home-baked goods from your kitchen, you know the value of having the right pan or dish on hand. Whether you’re baking pastries and pies, casseroles, or something else, your bakeware plays a role in how it turns out. Here I look at ceramic and glass bakeware and compare the two to help you choose the right one for your style of baking.
What is ceramic bakeware?
You’ll find the term “ceramic bakeware” covers two types of dishes and pans for the oven. One type is ceramic-coated and the other is the traditional type of ceramic ware. The former is metal, coated with a nonstick ceramic layer…
—–> Ceramic nonstick type bakeware — available at Amazon
The latter is made from fired clay. The clay might be combined with other ingredients, but it is solid ceramic, meaning no inner or outer layers of metal. This is the classic type of ceramic bakeware, which I talk about here and is likened the 100% ceramic cookware I wrote about elsewhere.
Ceramic bakeware come in various forms. For example, rectangular pans, square bakers, oval au gratin pans, and dutch ovens are some of the more common types of ceramic bakeware. You can also get muffin pans and loaf pans in 100% ceramic, like those of Xtrema I mention below.
Bakeware made of ceramic has many uses, and is so versatile — it’s safe to use in the microwave and useful for table servings and storage.
Benefits of solid ceramic bakeware
Ceramic bakeware won’t retain lingering flavors after use. This is because the clay is typically glazed, which makes the end product non-porous and easy to clean.
It also holds heat exceptionally well. Additionally, ceramic bakeware comes in a wide selection of colors and patterns, making it ideal for serving as well as cooking.
Because the ceramic product is fired at extremely high heat, it will handle very hot oven temperatures.
What is glass bakeware?
Glass bakeware is exactly what it sounds like — see my article about glass types that can go in the oven. This kind of bakeware is see-through and retains heat well.
Tempered glass for the oven is safe to 450 ºF (230 ºC).
Some brands use borosilicate glass, which is safe to use in the oven, microwave, and freezer. The older Pyrex dishes had this type of glass. Today’s pyrex made in the US uses a soda lime composite. I talk about how these two glass types differ in performance in my article on using glass dishes in the oven.
Some common kinds of glass bakeware include glass baking dishes, pie plates, glass measuring cups, and bread pans.
Benefits of glass bakeware
Glass takes longer to heat up fully, but once it does, it holds heat consistently.
It’s easier to tell if your food is done when using glass bakeware. Since it’s transparent, you can monitor the baking of your goodies.
Glass won’t hold onto cooking flavors, nor will any release into food as it cooks. Glass is perfect for casseroles, pies, and lasagna.
How are they similar?
Ceramic and glass mean no exposure to BPA. They are both easy to maintain and are hygienic.
Both tend to keep food warm on the table since they hold onto heat. I’ve found ceramic slightly better however.
These two types of cookware prevent lingering food flavors and require comparable care. They are both considered inert materials and so they won’t corrode from acidic type ingredients, such as lemon.
For cakes etc., batter that’s baked in glass or ceramic will take longer than what it would in metal pans. So you need to allow for this.
Glass bakeware tends to have a fairly nonstick quality, just like glazed ceramic bakeware does because of the smoothness of the surface. Both are non-porous, meaning they won’t hold onto flavors or release anything into your food.
How are they different?
Glass bakeware pieces are transparent, most times clear, but sometimes tinted. This feature differs to ceramic types and the beauty of it is that you can see if the baked goods are right to take out, e.g. the pie crust is nicely browned.
Whereas, ceramics allow you to pick from a wide range of colors and designs, although most often ceramic bakeware comes in white. Ceramic cookware also conducts heat more easily than glass does and I find it more versatile.
As with glass ovenware, you shouldn’t these under the broiler. While ceramic is fine for use here and great if you’re wanting to brown the contents of your dish or top it off with melted cheese.
Who should buy ceramic bakeware?
If I had to choose between the two, I’d buy ceramic because it is more versatile. Ceramic bakeware is best for things like casseroles, bread puddings, and cobblers, but also useful for cooking and heating foods under the broiler and in the microwave.
Ceramic bakeware is an excellent choice if you also plan on serving dishes in your bakeware since it looks great and comes in many different colors. This makes ceramic bakeware fitting for special occasions and holidays.
Who should buy glass bakeware?
Glass bakeware works wonderfully for baking things like casseroles, meat, pies, quick breads, and lasagna. Glass is also suitable for food storage, making it a convenient option for those who like leftovers.
Always allow glass baking dishes to gradual heat or cool so if taking from the freezer or refrigerator let the dish sit for room temperature for a while before placing in the oven.
If you were going to use glass rather than metal pans for baking brownies or cakes, the standard advice is to drop the oven temperature by 25°F below that given in the recipe, and allow for up to 10 minutes extra in the oven.
Popular ceramic and glass bakeware brands
There are many choices of bakeware on the market. Buying a set is a great way to round out your kitchen with beautiful, cohesive cookware. Here are just a few popular ceramic and glass bakeware brands.
Xtrema is a great choice for true ceramic bakeware, cookware, teaware, and more. You can choose from low-maintenance products like muffin and loaf pans, roasting trays, pie pans, or a convenient baker’s bundle, all 100% ceramic.
Emile Henry offers numerous beautiful ceramic bakeware products. Ramekins, roasting pans, pie and tart dishes, and specialty bakeware are just a few products the brand offers.
Rachael Ray features bakeware and cookware from several different materials, including stoneware and ceramics. This Rachael Ray ceramic stoneware set is perfect for casseroles. It comes in a beautiful color and is microwave, freezer, oven, and dishwasher safe.
Corningware is a well-known bakeware and cookware brand. They offer glass ceramic bakeware for your kitchen needs. For instance, check out Corningware’s French White Round Baking Set, which is useful for both baking and serving. The set is non-porous and resistant to chips and cracks.
The Pyrex brand is popular for its selection of glass bakeware. Pyrex supplies mixing bowls, measuring cups, baking dishes, and pie plates.
How much does bakeware cost?
Bakeware can vary greatly in cost, depending on factors like the brand, type of bakeware, and how many pieces you need. Depending on the brand, ceramic bakeware can be more expensive than the cheaper glass bakeware.
A single good piece of bakeware will likely cost at least $25, and sets can run from $50 to upwards of $500, depending on what’s included. But whatever type of bakeware you choose, it’s a worthwhile investment that will serve you for years to come.
How to care for your bakeware
Taking good care of your cooking supplies will help them last a long time and continue working well.
I like to hand wash my glassware. I’ve found the caustic detergent for dishwashers, over time, causes the surface of the glass to wear — very fine scratches appear. On the times I do use the dishwasher, it’s always the top rack of the dishwasher. Most glass bakeware care instructions will say this also.
Glass and ceramic bakeware are both vulnerable to temperature changes…probably glass more so. So, for example, you should never sit a hot glass dish on a cold stone counter top. Likewise, you should never put cold glass or ceramics into a hot oven. Both will break and shatter if you drop them onto a hard surface for a reasonable height.