Best Baking Dishes of 2018
A baking dish is a must-have kitchen staple that cooks depend on for baking everything from main courses to side dishes and numerous goodies in between. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best baking dish for your cooking preferences.
Shopping Guide for the Best Baking Dishes
Hearty casseroles, baked fish, roasted vegetables, and tasty pastas are just some of the many recipes that require a baking dish. With a reliable baking dish, you can properly prepare all your oven-baked favorites.
Because baking dishes vary in size, shape, and material, choosing the right one for your kitchen can get confusing. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the options, you've come to the right place.
At BestReviews, we do the hard work of shopping for you. Our deeply researched shopping guides and unbiased recommendations make finding the best products easy. Because we never accept promotional products, you can be certain that our advice is based on our own findings. If you'd like to learn more about the benefits and features of the best baking dishes, read on.
Benefits of Baking Dishes
Easy to Use
Baking dishes require little prep, provide enough cooking room for many different recipes, and are easy to take in and out of the oven.
With baking dishes, there are no long handles that stick out, bulky bottoms, or other features that take up space. They fit nicely on tables and countertops, easily leave enough space in most ovens to simultaneously bake other foods, and can be stored in kitchen cabinets when not in use.
Serving a meal isn't just about the food. While you probably wouldn't place pots and pans on your kitchen or dining room table, you can proudly serve your guests directly from a handsome baking dish. With classic patterns, gorgeous glazes, and stylish lids, baking dishes look right at home beside antique silverware, a floral centerpiece, or fine china.
Simply prepare your recipe, set your temperature, and pop your baking dish in the oven. Since cooking in a baking dish is so straightforward, you'll probably want to explore new recipes to make in this bakeware staple.
When you bake food in a baking dish, there aren't numerous components to clean. Just scrape food off the dish and lid and wash. Many models are dishwasher-safe, too.
Doubles as Storage
Do you have leftovers that you plan to enjoy later? Baking dishes are safe for food storage. Cover your baking dish with the lid, foil, or plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator.
Baking Dish Features
Baking dishes come in a variety of sizes, and the size that's best for your needs depends on what you plan to cook.
- Small: Smaller baking dishes are 1 to 2 quarts and are ideal for side dishes and making main courses for a few people.
- Standard: Baking dishes that fit 2.5 to 3 quarts are standard and suitable for most cooks' needs.
- Large: Baking dishes that are larger than 3 quarts are perfect for cooking meals for large groups.
Whether you prefer a round, oblong, rectangular, or square baking dish is a matter of personal preference for most recipes. However, when it comes to making some desserts like soufflés, round baking dishes are the preferred choice.
Baking dishes are usually crafted in stoneware, CorningWare, or glass.
- Stoneware: Stoneware is durable and rarely breaks, though rough blows can result in damage. This material is available glazed or unglazed.
- CorningWare: CorningWare has been popular since it was introduced in the 1950s. It resists stains and is fairly durable, but it is breakable.
- Glass: Though glass baking dishes are affordable and popular, they are the least durable of the three. They are prone to breakage and may even shatter when dropped.
Many cooks prefer baking dishes that come with lids. However, if your baking dish doesn't include a lid, foil makes a reliable substitute.
While some baking dishes are plain, others have striking glazed finishes, etched designs, and come in bright colors. Many CorningWare baking dishes feature the brand's iconic blue cornflower that has been popular for decades. While unglazed stoneware is basic, it offers a natural look that some cooks prefer.
Q. I'm used to baking in metal pans. When using a stoneware baking dish, are the cooking times the same?
A. Metal tends to heat up faster and hotter, so you may find that the bake times and temperatures that your recipes require are different with stoneware. Because stoneware takes longer to heat up, you may need to extend cook times by 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the recipe.
Q. Can I reheat leftovers in a baking dish?
A. This is another bonus of cooking food in a baking dish. Not only can you leave leftovers in the baking dish and put it in the refrigerator, but the baking dish can go straight from the fridge to the oven when it's time to reheat.
Q. Can I use a baking dish in a microwave?
A. Most baking dishes are microwave-safe. Just be sure to purchase a baking dish that will fit in your microwave, and check your recipes for appropriate microwaving times.