Baking Dish Buying Guide
Things to Consider when Buying a Baking Dish
Think about the points listed below when you are looking at different baking dishes. Thinking about these things before you purchase will save you disappointment, time and money and prevent you from buying a baking dish that won’t work for your specific needs.
- What will you use the baking dish for? – One if the biggest and most basic questions to ask yourself are what you will be using the baking dish for. Do you want something that you can store leftovers in? Do you want to be able to take the dish from the oven straight to the table? Do you want it to match your dinnerware or does it matter to you? Do you use the microwave to reheat things? Do you mind hand washing if the dish isn’t dishwasher safe? The answers to these questions will help you eliminate the dishes that don’t meet your needs.
- Tolerance to Temperature – The type of baking dishes that can handle going from the cold of a freezer to the hot temperatures of the oven and then set on the table need to be able to handle large temperature changes in a short amount of time. If the dish isn’t strong enough to handle these fast temperature changes the dish can crack or warp. Make sure that the baking dishes you are considering can handle these transitions easily and safely.
- Non-Stick Ability – Food that has been baked on can be really difficult to remove. Non-stick coatings are designed to make food release much easier and takes care of difficult clean ups as well. If nonstick is important to you, look for dishes that specify they have non-stick coating and be sure not to do anything to that coating. Using metal utensils and cutting inside the dish with sharp knives can scratch or damage the coating. Some coatings state that they are scratch resistant which means they are less likely to become scratched or damaged from these utensils.
- Size and Shape – There are so many different shapes, sizes and colors of baking dishes on the market that you can choose a huge variety of different baking dishes that will add tons of color and style to your dining tables. Think about the size of the meals you want to cook and use that as your guide to the size baking dishes you purchase. If you have a large family, you will want to get the larger capacity baking dishes. If it is just you or you and a partner or roommate, you can get away with much smaller baking dishes that will accommodate just the two of you. Having several different sizes is the best course of action to take regardless of the size family you have because you never know when you will need a specific size.
- Easy Maintenance – How easy a baking dish is to clean is an important thing to know ahead of time. Food gets baked onto dishes all the time and getting it off can be a real chore if the dish isn’t set up to make cleaning easier. Non-stick coatings are very helpful in this regard but you want to also make sure that the baking dishes can be safely scrubbed and soaked in the event food gets stuck to the bottom and side of the dishes. If you are using a cast iron baking dish that is not coated don’t forget to rub it with oil and season it properly to keep it in excellent shape.
- Do you Need Lids? – A lot of baking dishes have lids which work well for cooking certain dishes in the oven. It is also great for storage. If having a lid for your baking dish is important to you, make sure to check the descriptions to ensure that a lid is included with the baking dish or dishes you choose.
Any well stocked kitchen is going to have good quality baking dishes of different shapes and sizes. Lids are always a plus although you can use foil on the ones that may not come with lids. If you are going to be moving the baking dish to another location once you have cooked something in it, you will appreciate the convenience a lid provides. There are several purchase considerations you want to look at before you make a decision on the baking dish you want.
- Functionality – Baking dishes are the perfect item to cook tomato-based foods in like spaghetti, lasagna, and other types of food. You want a baking dish that has the strength and ability to go from freezer to microwave to table and also that is oven safe and dishwasher safe. This functionality will be very beneficial to you when you are creating different dishes.
- Shapes and Sizes – You will find baking dishes that are round, oval, rectangular, and square. They will vary in size from 1 quart to over 6 quarts. The more variety you have with baking dish sizes, the more prepared you will be for a variety of cooking tasks and dishes.
- Design – There are tons of different designs and colors of baking dishes available to choose from. Some are clear or white; others are brightly colored or patterned in some way.
- Weight – The larger the baking dish the more it will weigh and the more food it will hold. Different materials will also weigh more than others. Make sure that you don’t purchase a baking dish that is so large it becomes a problem to life it safely in and out of the oven.
- Handles – Because many baking dishes can go from the oven to the table, handles are a good feature to have. It makes transporting them much safer and easier. You want the handles to be large enough so you can safely grab them with pot holders.
Baking dishes are a frequently used kitchen staple that will help you prepare delicious meals for your family and friends in a variety of situations. There are so many choices of baking dishes on the market that you have an endless array of choices to sort through and choose from to add to your kitchen.
The information in this buyer’s guide will help you assess your baking dish needs and sort through all of the choices available so you can make a decision on the right baking dishes for your needs.
Having the knowledge to make the right decisions and understanding what is available and what makes a good quality baking dish will enable you to be confident about your decision. You’ll end up with a baking dish or several that you absolutely love and use all the time.