The built-in nonstick characteristic of silicone makes it an efficient choice for bakeware, despite some limitations. Silicone withstands indirect heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature setting of most home ovens. You can purchase silicone cake, pie, bread and muffin pans, plus nonstick mats for cookie sheets and cupcake liners.
Pros and Cons
Food-grade silicone, made from sand, performs like rubber, with a flexible shape and durable surface. It distributes heat evenly and cools quickly; can go in the freezer, microwave and dishwasher; and resists stains, odors and lingering flavors. You cannot use silicone with direct heat, such as under a broiler or over an open flame. It prevents browning, so it is not appropriate for all recipes. And although it is in theory recyclable, it can be difficult to find a drop point for it. Manufacturer recommendations for maximum heat exposure vary from 428 to 500 F, so check your particular product for use instructions.
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Since landing her first journalism job editing a small-town weekly in 1992, Deb Barracato has written for and edited newspapers, regional magazines, books and online publications. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Maryland.
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