Which muffin pan is best?
Muffin pans are among the most versatile baking instruments, whatever the name suggests. You can use them for muffins or anything else you want to bake. From mini-quiches to pizza pockets, a good-quality muffin pan is a must-have for any home baker.
The best muffin pan is the Rachael Ray Oven Lovin’ Muffin Tin. It’s strong and has silicone grips that come in three colors for easy maneuvering, but the real treat is the portion of proceeds that goes to charity.
What to know before you buy a muffin pan
Muffin pans come with cups in four sizes: mini, standard, jumbo and muffin top.
- Mini cups are roughly half the size of a standard cup, holding about one-fourth of a cup of batter. They’re great for kids and for portion control.
- Standard cups are the most common size. They can hold roughly half a cup of batter.
- Jumbo cups are roughly twice the size of standard cups, holding up to a full cup of batter. Most bakeries use jumbo muffin pans.
- Muffin top cups are specially designed for baking muffin batter so that all you get is the muffin top. They accomplish this by being as shallow as possible.
Number of cups
Muffin pans have a total cup number closely related to the cup size.
- Mini pans usually have 24 cups.
- Standard and muffin top pans typically have 12 cups, though some models offer six or 24.
- Jumbo pans typically have three to six cups, though professional bakeries may use pans with as many as 24 cups.
What to look for in a quality muffin pan
Muffin pans are made from a variety of materials.
- Aluminum pans are lightweight and bake evenly, though they can be tricky to clean. They’re available in a range of thicknesses, with thicker pans being more durable but heavier.
- Stainless steel pans are easy to clean and durable, plus they don’t bend or dent like thin aluminum. However, they don’t bake as evenly.
- Coated steel pans use nonstick coatings applied on regular steel. They’re cheap but tend to rust and become unusable if the nonstick coating wears off.
- Cast iron pans are heavy and require extensive upkeep, but they can last for generations.
- Silicone pans are lightweight and flexible enough that you can push your muffins out rather than scoop them out. Cheap silicone can’t handle high temperatures, so double-check what your prospective silicone pan is rated for.
Metal pans’ color affects the bake of your muffins. Lighter colors will heat more evenly, while darker colors will bake faster and crispier.
How much you can expect to spend on a muffin pan
Muffin pans typically cost $10-$30. Some pans cost less than $10 but are rarely worth the discount, so stick to $10-$15 for budget options. Better pans typically cost $15-25, with high-end pans costing $30-plus.
Muffin pan FAQ
Is there a difference between muffin and cupcake pans?
A. Yes, though the difference is small enough that the average baker can use them interchangeably. Muffin pans have straight sides, while cupcake pans have slightly slanted ones. Muffin pans can also be slightly deeper than cupcake pans, but not always.
Why do some muffin pans have lips on the cups?
A. Some pans have little ridges, or lips, on the top edge of the cups to help the muffin tops rise up rather than spread out. Both muffin top types are delicious, but if you want a specific look, make sure to have or avoid these lips.
How do I care for a muffin pan?
A. Most muffin pans need to be washed by hand. Just fill your sink with some hot water and mild dish soap and give it a good scrub. Never use rough scouring cleaning gear such as metal wool as it will scratch the pan and can remove the nonstick coating. If you’re having trouble removing baked-on batter, let it soak overnight and scrub it off in the morning with nothing harder than the tough side of a sponge.
What’s the best muffin pan to buy?
Top muffin pan
What you need to know: It’s a good-quality pan that helps Rachael Ray’s charity.
What you’ll love: A portion of the proceeds goes to Yum-O! to help families develop healthy food habits. The silicone handles make it easy to grip and they come in orange, blue and red. It’s nonstick and available in six, 12 or 24 cup sizes.
What you should consider: The silicone grips prevent easy stacking and storage with other tins. It’s dishwasher-safe but it’s recommended to wash by hand.
Top muffin pan for the money
What you need to know: This set is perfect for bakers of any kind.
What you’ll love: The set includes a 12-cup muffin pan and a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. They are nonstick, dishwasher-safe, oven-safe to 450 degrees, microwave-safe and freezer-safe. There’s no need to scoop your baked goods out. Just push the bottom up, and they pop right out.
What you should consider: The muffin pan is large enough to bend oddly when full of batter or baked muffins. Some customers had issues with the pans not being nonstick enough.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: It’s sturdy, attractive and effective.
What you’ll love: It’s made of alloy steel for durability with a beautiful aluminized steel color and a ribbed design. It uses Americoat as its nonstick coating — it’s silicone-based and PTFE, PFOA and BPA-free. It’s made in the U.S. by a family-run company.
What you should consider: It’s expensive and it isn’t dishwasher-safe. Some purchasers reported receiving dented or clearly used pans. Others found the nonstick coating to be ineffective.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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