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You may choose the best mini muffin pan, also called a gem pan, by fully evaluating the available options to determine how well they suit the baked goods you make. If you often cook with gooier batters, for example, the best pan for you may be a non-stick or silicone pan. For more moist batters, cast iron pans may offer good options. If budget is a major concern, steel or aluminum pans can make for affordable options, but often are more difficult to work with and typically require cooking spray to avoid sticking. A well-chosen mini muffin pan often can improve the quality and consistency of your results.
It is important to find the mini muffin pan that is best suited for the ingredients you will be baking in it. Gooey batters with a high sugar content often stick to steel, cast iron and aluminum pans. Mini muffin pans with a nonstick coating require no addition of oil or cooking spray to easily release the baked gems. Another good non-stick option are silicone baking cups, which allow you to push the flexible cup inside out to pop out the mini muffins with ease.
Consider selecting a cast mini muffin pan if the majority of the batters you bake are moist and savory, such as cornbread. Cast iron gem pans are thicker and heavier to hold heat for longer and transfer the heat more evenly to the batter. Thick cast iron mini muffin pans are sturdy enough to be handed down to future generations when they are properly used. Also, a cast iron mini muffin pan should never be wash with harsh soaps so it is able to build up a layer of oil, known as seasoning, that makes it easier for the baked muffins to be dumped out.
Aluminum and steel mini muffin pans are typically less expensive, but often require an application of oil or cooking spray prior to filling the baking cups. Even with this lubricant layer these cheaper gem pans often cling to the bottom of the mini muffins. Soaking a muffin pan with stuck on food material can cause the majority of it to release for easier cleaning.
When choosing a mini muffin pan, visiting cooking, baking, restaurant supply and gourmet specialty stores may be helpful. You can evaluate their available inventory and ask the staff about their personal experiences or those of their customers to get a real-world review of a mini muffin pan they suggest. Review the features of all the muffin pans you find to see if they offer something that would make the baking process easier for you. Specializations, such as removable baking cups and flexible silicone, can shorten clean up time and reduce product loss.
Since mini-muffins are small and usually easier to get out of the pans to start with, nonstick isn't absolutely necessary, although it is nice.
I make little Yorkshire puddings in my mini muffin tin, and I think the oil heats up better with a regular finish, rather than nonstick. And you have to heat the oil in the muffin cups to get them sizzling hot before you put the batter in. That's the best way to get a good Yorkshire pudding that doesn't collapse on you. I think the heat distributes more evenly in the mini tins, too. The batter seems to cook through in mini tins, probably because the mini muffins are not nearly as dense as they are in regular muffin pans.
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