Silicone bakeware is becoming very popular on kitchen shelves. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to store in kitchens with minimal cupboard space. There are a number of different molds available for special event and holiday baking at much more palatable prices than you will usually find in metal baking items. While most people love silicone, there are a few tips that can help make your baking more successful.
While silicone bakeware does contain silicon particles, it is not the same thing and is extremely safe to use. It is dishwasher safe and can be frozen as well. To get the best results, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations with respect to maximum heat it can withstand and general care guidelines. Never use it over an open flame or on the stovetop burners.
Always wash your silicone items before the first use. Although it is naturally non-stick, many bakers find clean-up easier if you grease or flour it like you would with metal tins. You can also use a non-stick spray on it if preferred. Check the size of the baking items as well. Many silicone pieces are smaller than traditional metal pans and you may need to adjust your recipe accordingly to get it all in the pan.
Silicone is extremely flexible. This means it is very easy to overfill it and create an odd and undesirable shape. It also means that it is very easy to spill your creation when moving it into the oven or crack it when removing it after baking. To avoid this, especially with large items like cakes, place the bakeware on a cookie sheet or rack before filling it and transfer the whole thing into your stove. Remove it as a unit as well. This will not affect the baking process. You will still get the nice even cooking that silicone is known for producing.
The molds are hot when removed from the oven and an oven mitt should be used to handle items. They do cool off much faster than metal dishes. Some products recommend removing baking from the container immediately after cooking while others suggest letting it cool for a few minutes. Read the recommendations on the package of your bakeware and use them as a guideline. Do not use a knife to remove your food from the container after baking. It can pierce the silicone and ruin it for future use.
Most people find cleaning silicone baking tools easy and they will generally come clean with a bit of soap and water, just like any dish. Items with many crevices, like cupcake molds may need to soak a bit before cleaning.
There are many advantages to baking with silicone. The even baking and lack of burned edges are particularly nice. It is important to keep in mind its limitations and have a plan for handling the flexibility of the pans to avoid spillage. Handled with care, it can provide an inexpensive and handy tool to add to your kitchen.