Solid alloy steel construction. The 2-piece design allows for easy food release and quick cleanup. Our product expert loves the interior lifting pan. Handles are extra wide for more control.
Occasional reports of flaking on the nonstick coating.
Heavy-gauge steel construction for even heating. Pan dimensions embossed on handles. Nonstick and easy to clean. Pan lip makes it easier to rotate in oven. Pans cool quickly. Dishwasher safe without detergent.
Must hand-wash for best results to protect the finish.
Dishwasher safe. Designed to brown evenly. Drip pan included. Nonstick. Works for more than just meatloaf - make bread and desserts, too. Wears silicone grips.
Internal pan is smaller than the external pan; this caught a few owners by surprise.
Heavy-duty steel rolled-rim bakeware construction for warp resistance. Nonstick coating. Handwash recommended. Cooks evenly. Nonstick coating works in some cases.
Nonstick coating is hit-or-miss. Hand-wash and dry soon for best results.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
From moist banana bread to citrusy lemon loaves, it’s great to have loaf pans on hand when you have a hankering to bake something sweet — or savory. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just need the correct mold to shape your famous meatloaf, a loaf pan is a seemingly simple yet versatile kitchen accessory.
If you’re looking for a loaf pan, you’ll soon find that there are a wide range of choices on the market. You’re going to want to consider the material with which the pan is made, the size, and of course the price.
Your top consideration is your baking needs. What do you bake most often? Loaves of white bread? Nut loaves? And why does this matter?
The fact is, certain pans work better for baking traditional loaves, while others are better for shaping loaves made of ingredients other than flour (like meatloaf). If your favorite type of loaf is the sweet kind, a silicone loaf pan is an excellent all-around kitchen accessory. If you bake multiple loaves at once, you may prefer a multi-mold loaf pan designed for baking large quantities.
In short, there isn’t just one type of loaf pan, so you’ll want to take inventory of your baking habits to figure out which type would serve you best.
A standard-size loaf pan measures 9 x 5 x 3 inches. If you plan to bake a variety of loaves in your new pan, a standard one may be your best bet. If you have a specific recipe in mind, however, you should pick your pan size according to the recipe you’re using. Otherwise, the wrong loaf pan size could lead to improper rising or spilling of ingredients. Fortunately, most recipes specify the pan size that you need.
Loaf pans may be constructed from several materials. The most common choices are metal, ceramic, cast iron, silicone, and glass. Here’s a look at each type.
Metal: Stainless steel pans are durable and easy to clean, but they don’t heat evenly, which isn’t great when it comes to baking bread. Aluminum, on the other hand, is inexpensive and heats evenly. However, aluminum does nick easily, and aluminum pans require more frequent replacement than other pan types.
Ceramic or cast iron: Cast iron and ceramic are both long-lasting options that distribute heat evenly. Notably, ceramic is relatively delicate and will break or crack if dropped. Cast iron can be heavy, but if treated well, it can last a very long time.
Silicone: Silicone is easy to clean, highly durable, and safe for use in the refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and oven. As mentioned, a silicone loaf pan is an apt choice for people who like to bake sweet bread.
Glass: If you opt for a glass loaf pan, choose ovenproof glass to prevent shattering. Glass is delicate, but it heats slowly. Slow heating isn’t necessarily ideal for baking bread, as it could cause loaves not to cook all the way through while the exterior becomes rock hard and too dark. Notably, glass works well for non-yeasted loaves, and its transparent nature allows you to keep tabs on your creation.
If you have pets in your home, choose pans that are clearly marked PTFE and PFOA-free. Birds and small rodents have sensitive respiratory systems that may be affected by the fumes given off by certain cookware coatings.
Most loaf pans are rectangular in shape. However, there are specialty pans with decorative molds available as well. These are typically used for baking cakes rather than bread.
Some loaf pans have a nonstick coating. This coating may wear off over time, but it’s ultra-convenient and prevents frustrating accidents caused by batter and dough that stick or burn onto your cookware.
Check manufacturer instructions to be sure it’s safe to place your loaf pan in the dishwasher. If in doubt, wash the pan by hand to avoid damaging it.
A loaf pan with prominent handles is easier to remove from the oven. What’s more, you won’t accidentally puncture your perfect loaves if you have something to grab.
Embossing is a handy feature for frequent bakers with multiple pans. Some loaf pans have handy markings with the size of the pan, which allows bakers to quickly find the right vessel for their immediate baking needs.
A single loaf pan made of metal, glass, or silicone won’t set you back more than $15. You may pay slightly more for ceramic or decorative pans, however.
Stoneware selections vary in price, but for a high-quality pan with sturdy chip-proof construction, expect to pay at least $35.
Brand name loaf pans typically cost upwards of $50.
A. It may be an issue with your oven, your recipe, or perhaps the size of your pan. If you’re baking in a pan that’s too large, your bread may not rise and dome accordingly. The standard loaf pan size is best for bread recipes calling for 3.5 cups or more of flour. If the recipe calls for less flour, you’ll need to pick a smaller loaf pan for your baking.
A. You likely need to adjust your method, not your pan. Increase the oven temperature (did you know that many ovens don’t heat accurately?) or the cooking time, so the center is cooked and doesn’t come out raw. Use a toothpick to test the center when removing your loaf from the oven. The larger the loaf, the more baking time required.
A. Your best bet is to invest in a Dutch oven in order to bake perfectly risen round loaves of bread.
A. Homemade bread tends to be nutritionally superior to store-bought sliced white bread. In addition, it’s usually cheaper. The downside, however, is that baking yeasted loaves requires a significant time commitment. Thankfully, active cooking time is minimal. You’ll spend most of your time waiting for the dough to rise, and while that happens, you can happily perform other household tasks, head out to work, or run errands. The best part of baking bread at home is the amazing smell!