Wider-than-average cavities are fantastic for buns, baked breakfast sandwich fillings, or generously sized muffin tops. Nonstick coating for easier removal and cleaning. Well-constructed with a sturdy feel. Includes a few recipes to get you off to a great start. Handles make for easier removal with oven mitts.
Not dishwasher-safe. Nonstick coating requires gentle handling and washing.
High-quality, cold-rolled steel construction is exceptionally sturdy and stands up well to regular use. Durable nonstick coating allows baked goods to slide out easily and makes washing up a breeze. Large 12-cavity size is ideal for baking in bulk. Plus-sized handles offer improved grip. Dishwasher-safe.
Despite being dishwasher-safe, the nonstick coating will benefit from gentle hand washing.
European-grade silicone undergoes more rigorous testing than regular FDA-approved silicone. Maintains flexibility and nonstick properties longer than other types of silicone bakeware. Thick and sturdy. Freezer, microwave, and oven-safe.
Needs to be placed on an oven tray before filling to prevent spills.
Robust carbon-steel construction heats evenly for consistent results. Nonstick coating works beautifully for easy release and hassle-free cleaning. Generous 4-inch diameter makes bigger muffin tops and works well for buns too. Dishwasher-safe.
Feels a bit lightweight. Nonstick coating wears down faster in a dishwasher.
Strong and sturdy, with the anti-corrosive properties of aluminum combined with the durability of steel. Uniform heat distribution ensures even baking. Rolled edges combat warping. Generous cavity diameter. Nonstick coating for easy release. Dishwasher-safe.
Some users found it difficult to take out of the oven while wearing oven mitts.
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Who doesn't love a good muffin top? For many, the slightly crispy and perfectly caramelized bit at the top of a muffin is the only part worth eating. If you're a fan of muffin tops but don't know what to do with all those "stumps", a muffin top pan is bound to be a game changer.
Unlike their more-traditional counterparts, muffin top pans have shallow cavities that allow you to bake the best part of a muffin without wasting so much as a crumb. They're also great for making perfectly round eggs, deliciously crispy cheese crackers, burger buns, and a lot more.
Muffin top pans come in a variety of sizes, construction materials, and colors. As with all types of bakeware, the devil is in the details, and any or all of these factors could affect your baking results.
Muffin top pans come in many of the same materials that regular muffin pans do, including aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, and silicone.
Aluminum: An exceedingly popular choice among bakers, aluminum heats quickly and evenly for uniform browning. Aluminum muffin top pans tend to be affordable, lightweight, and easy to care for. However, it's worth noting that aluminum can warp when subjected to sudden temperature changes, and thinner pans may develop holes over time.
Stainless steel: If you're looking for something that will last a lifetime, stainless steel is a great choice. These pans tend to be easy to clean and naturally resist rust and scratches. They do, however, have one major drawback. Although stainless steel pans are generally strong, durable, and reasonably priced, they don't conduct heat quite as well as aluminum pans and can sometimes produce uneven results. Some high-end stainless steel pans have an aluminum or copper core for improved heat conductivity.
Carbon steel: Compared to stainless steel, carbon steel is a harder and stronger material. It heats relatively quickly and retains heat better for even baking results. There is a downside: maintaining carbon steel pans can be somewhat labor-intensive. Like cast iron bakeware, carbon steel pans need to be seasoned with oil or fat before and after use. They should also be hand washed and dried thoroughly to prevent rust.
Silicone: Naturally nonstick and highly flexible, silicone pans release baked goods quickly and easily. They're also dishwasher and freezer safe, making silicone a convenient option for busy bakers. Just like any other bakeware material, though, silicone has drawbacks. These pans can take a while to heat up, increasing your total baking time. Further, silicone pans can be nearly impossible to handle after filling and often need to be placed on a metal sheet to keep them flat and steady.
While some might prefer the look of a light-colored pan over a dark one (or vice versa), the color of your muffin top pan actually has very little to do with aesthetic appeal (unless, of course, you've decided to use a silicone pan). Far from simply being a cosmetic consideration, pan color can have a major influence on the outcome of baked goods.
Light-colored pans absorb less heat and produce minimal browning, making them more suitable for eggs, cookies, cloud bread, and cakes.
Dark pans, on the other hand, absorb and distribute heat quickly for improved browning and extra crispiness, making them a top choice for mini pies, taco shells, cheese crackers, and cornbread.
When it comes to cup size, you have three basic options to choose from: mini, standard, and large (or jumbo).
The average muffin top pan is anywhere from 17.25 inches long and 11.25 inches wide to 11.6 inches long and 6.8 inches wide. While pan size isn't usually a concern, it can become an issue if you're using a toaster oven. To avoid ending up with a pan that does not fit inside your toaster oven, we recommend measuring the oven interior before buying. Sticking to pans that measure 13 inches or less is generally a safe bet, but it's always a good idea to double-check your oven dimensions.
The number of cups in a muffin top pan ranges from 4 to 24. Most 24-cup pans produce mini muffin tops, while 12-cup pans make standard-size muffin tops, and pans with four to six cups are more likely to have jumbo-size cavities. If you have a big family or want to bake large batches and freeze them, you'll need at least one or two 12-cup pans. Baking for two or perhaps just yourself? If so, a pan with four or six cups should fit the bill.
Whether you're baking muffin tops or eggs, pans with a nonstick coating release their contents far more easily than those without. A nonstick coating also allows you to cut back on the amount of butter you use to grease your pan. (In some cases, it may allow you to forgo greasing entirely.) Keep in mind that some nonstick coatings (like PTFE, also known as Teflon) come with special usage and care instructions. To prevent your nonstick coating from breaking down prematurely, always follow manufacturer guidelines.
Some muffin top pans come with side grips or grab handles to make getting your goodies in and out of the oven easier. While these are great for preventing the dreaded "thumb dip", they do add a little extra length to your pans and can make stacking multiple pans for storage somewhat awkward.
Oven mitts: When it comes to handling hot baking pans, oven mitts are a kitchen safety must-have.
Stand mixer: Whether you're an occasional baker or a serious pastry chef, a stand mixer is a worthwhile addition to any kitchen. Even a simple model can help cut your whisking, whipping, and beating time in half.
Always place your pan in the center of the oven to prevent uneven cooking.
Muffin top pans priced under $10 are typically crafted from lightweight aluminum or silicone. These usually have six cups or less. Though it's possible to find some 12-cup models in this price bracket, most are made from thinner metal that can be prone to warping and uneven heat distribution.
For between $10 and $20, you can find some real gems. Many muffin top pans in this price range are made of sturdy steel with a nonstick coating, and some come with handy features like side grabs. You'll also find silicone pans in a variety of sizes at this price point.
Whether you're after superior heat distribution or simply want something that will stand the test of time, the $20 to $40 price range usually yields the highest-quality pans. These are generally made of thick carbon or stainless steel that won't warp or develop holes, and many sport a durable nonstick coating as well.
A. The best way to clean any baking pan is by carefully following the manufacturer care instructions. However, there are a few universal guidelines that can help keep your pans in tip-top shape:
A. If you're using thin batter, we recommend filling the cups to just over three quarters full to prevent sloshing, spills, and overflows. When it comes to thicker batter, feel free to spoon it in until it reaches the top of the cup or, if your batter is very thick, slightly higher for gorgeous high-domed muffin tops.
A. Despite being naturally nonstick, most silicone pans can benefit from a light greasing. A quick spritz of baking spray can help ensure effortless release every time.
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