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best square baking dishes

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i'm making a gooey pumpkin butter cake and a pear cake, both which require square baking dishes, so i need to go buy some tonight. which kind are best? glass, aluminum, ceramic, etc.? should i just go to target and get the inexpensive pyrex dishes, or spend more and get an emile henry or le creuset at sur la table? ideally, i'd like one that's most versatile to be used for desserts and casseroles alike in the future. thanks!

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  1. For cakes Pyrex is fine. Superlative, in fact. Also fine for baked mac, etc.

    1. If you choose glass, read the product description. I recently purchased a glass baking dish, and it is not pyrex, and my uses are restricted, e.g., can't go from the freezer to the oven.

      1. Inexpensive pyrex! I've had the same ones for over 20 years, so they're very durable. And "clear" has it's advantages.

        1. we have a clear, square glass Anchor Hocking dish that is really great. it has a nice heavy lid, too, so it works as its own leftover dish. It was received as a gift but I suspect it is a reasonably priced item and (maybe) available at places like Target.

          It's 8 inches square, and 3 inches deep. I used it to make creamed pearl onions last weekend and it even goes into the broiler. We use it a lot, for mac-n-cheese and casseroles.

          1. Hi sg,

            Pyrex, I agree, is a fine, inexpensive product.

            My personal favorite, however, is the Magic Line aluminum removable-bottom square pans. I like the straight sides for cakes and bars, and removing cakes from these pans is a snap. There may be a slight risk of leakage from something ulta-liquidy (like macaroni and cheese, or a particularly liquid cake batter), but I have never experienced a leaking problem. For peace of mind you can always set it on a rimmed baking sheet.

            I got mine -- a 9x9 and a 8x8, at Bridge Kitchenware. These are also super helpful in that you can make a pastry/pie dessert (I make an Anne Willan deep-dish nut pie in one) and very easily remove it from the pan. Looks super fancy and professional.

            Link: http://wwww.bridgekitchenware.com/cat...

            1. Bed Bath & Beyond sells silicone ones-can only go up to a certain temp. and do have wobbly sides. I put them on cookie sheets. BBB also had silicone muffins pans-which I got bec. my muffin pans rusted.

              1. Once again, Pyrex. They brown well and are cheap. Just take care to check on your item earlier than the recipe calls for, since Pyrex seems to cook faster due to the good heat retention property of glass.

                And try to avoid dramatic temperature changes since it is glass and can crack.