Baking pans are very commonly used in food preparation. There are a number of different types that can be used for several different purposes. Here are some examples of the different kinds of baking pans, including the different materials used in their manufacture.
The average baking pan is made of either some sort of metal or glass. Metal versions often are constructed of aluminum, carbon steel, or tinned steel. Occasionally, a metal pan may have a copper treated bottom, similar to the copper coating found on many sets of stainless steel range top cooking pots and pans. Today, many metal pans also feature a nonstick surface. This makes them easy to use for all sorts of baked goods, and certainly makes the cleaning process much faster and simpler.
Along with metal, glass is a common material used for baking pans. Glass pans are made of made of tempered glass that will hold up well to prolonged exposure to heat in the oven. Some people prefer to use these pans, since they are rumored to provide an even distribution of heat during the cooking process. They come in clear types, as well as a variety of colors. Some may also include a ridged baking surface in the bottom of the pan, which is considered ideal when baking meats such as fish or chicken filets.
Along with glass and metal, there are other materials used for baking pans. Stoneware and pottery versions are favored in some cultures and with certain types of baked goods. Many people prefer pottery or stoneware when preparing a casserole.
Baking pans are commonly found in square, round, and oblong shapes and may measure anywhere from seven to fifteen inches (18 to 38 cm) in length and width. Depths may range from just under an inch to over three inches, depending on the pan's intended purpose. These pans can be used for the preparation of appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. While the cost of a pan ranges from inexpensive aluminum types all the way to costly pottery and stoneware models, affordable baking pans are readily available just about everywhere.