Just short of Silpat, is there any Silicone you like using
Just short of a couple of Silicone potholders which I'm not a big fan of , but they have a small footprint and I use them more as trivets - the only Silicone thing I like in the kitchen is the Slipats.
We have a couple of the Silicone baking items - muffin pans, etc and they are such a bear to wash. GF got them thinking they would be non stick, etc but the cleanup on them is such a chore. After using them when baking, she needs to soak, then use baking soda, and scrub, etc. etc.
Good ole fashion commercial alum pans, and a quick soak with the rough side of the sponge, and all is clean..
Curious what Silicone items you like in the kitchen.
I use an 8 in. square silicone baking pan for caramels; I cook them in a Le Creuset casserole, then pour them into the silicone to set up. They pop right out once cooled, a non-stick quality I simply could not get with a similarly sized (and well-buttered) Pyrex pan. I've never used this silicone pan for any other purpose, so can't add much more.
Oh, I do use a silicone spatula for the caramels, also for its non-stick qualities.
I like these multi taskers in my micro kitchen:
Orka lids-they work as storage or cooking lids as well as as trivets, -warning tho; when I opened the package it smelled scary-toxic-like nail polish remover. But after washing with Dawn it didn't smell. I hope it is "inert" as they say in general about silicone cooking things.
and the Cuipro Slickdrip coffee filter-good for a single pour-over cup. it's also a good mini trivet and folds flat.
The silicone pastry brush is also great for seasoning cast iron and steel pans.
I really, really like my silicone pans - I have muffin cups (I adore them, because they hold their shape, they don't rust, and I only have to wash the number of cups I actually *use* -- and no annoying paper to peel off the cupcakes.
I also have two round cake pans, and a loaf pan.
I love the way stuff rolls right out of them, and the dishwasher seems to make quick work of them.
Spatulas and a pastry brush are necessities.
I have several silicone things in my kitchen... my yays and nays...
poach pods - great for poaching eggs
steamer baskets - don't scratch the non stick pots.
cupcake cups - a pain to clean - would be SO much better if the sides were smooth, but they are pleated like typical paper cupcake liners.
meh - silicone pot holders
I have a couple of small oval containers with drainage holes and a removable bottom. I like those; they are silicone. And I have a trivet that folds up; it is coated with silicone. And I just bought tongs to use for my 2 non-stick pots; they have silicone coated ends.
I'm not against all silicone.
Question for those who have silicone ice cube trays: have you ever used them for freezing olive oil & herbs? If so, what were the results?
In our kitchen, the most-used silicone items are:
* Silpat, esp the smaller rectangular & hexagonal ones for toaster ovens.
* Williams-Sonoma basting/pastry brush that comes apart for cleaning.
* Trudeau pinch holders. (I use them; husband uses Ove'Gloves.)
* Spatulas. Though they're used a lot, I don't like them. I've tried pretty much every brand. Neither the glossy finish nor the matte finish ever seems clean, even when it has been thoroughly washed.
Things we're not so crazy about:
* Madeleine pan. It fits in the toaster oven, which is why I bought it, but the cakes have to be carefully coaxed out, and even then some stick. And it has to be placed on a cookie sheet to support it. (Recently I found metal nonstick plaques that fit in the toaster oven, so the silicone has probably seen its last use.)
* MIU France square pot holder. Way too awkward as pot holder. Makes good trivet, but who doesn't already have tons of trivets?
* Le Creuset handle sleeve. I just never remember to put it on until the pan's already hot & full of food.
* Baking cups, standard & mini. Never used them and not sure why I bought them. I never make cupcakes.
In addition to the silicone spatulas and basting/pastry brushes mentioned by others, a silicone item I use a lot is the 'poach pod' for easy poached eggs, a stocking stuffer four Christmases ago. Before the pod I almost never made poached eggs, so delicious and useful.
Silicone baking items have no appeal for me; I don't bake much at all, and have a full complement of aluminum baking pans for the occasions when I do.
The first silicone potholders I got were just awful, but make great trivets. The newer waffly ones are much better. But my favorite are a pair that came with a new casserole, tough cloth with ribs of silicone running across them. They handle and feel like cloth potholders, but have a nice bit of grippiness from the silicone.
If I could only have one silicone item, it'd be the big spoonula with metal handle.
I had a similar experience using Silcone bakeware. I tried making heart-shaped cupcakes in special muffin pans last Valentine's Day, and was thoroughly disappointed. Because of the shape, I did not use liners, and I was shocked at how poorly they performed. First, they wobbled, and I needed to put them on a cookie sheet. Then, not only did the cupcakes stick (I used cooking spray) but they were HORRIBLE to clean and I had to soak them for quite a while. I have a feeling that I won't be using them again for a long time. I had actually purchased two different brands in different sizes, so I think this is a problem with Silicone in general.
I occasionally use a Silicone garlic peeler, which works well, (you roll the cloves in it), and I use some Silicone spatulas, but I am not a fan of anything else. I've looked at the Silicone oven mits, but somehow prefer to use good, old fashioned cloth. I do have one Silicone basting brush, and it seems useful, but I would be afraid to use it on a barbecue with flames around the food items.
Like you, I had a problem with cupcakes sticking and difficult cleaning, and had used cooking spray. Only later did I read the directions carefully, and realize that they specifically said NOT to use cooking spray, which will damage the silicone's performance. Mine was a gift, so at least I didn't ruin something I'd spent money on.
That the bakeware needs support from a baking sheet is, in retrospect, a "Duh" realization. Not a big deal to set it onto a standard pan.
I've read that the full-size oven mitts are awkward, but I do like the small, "sock puppet mouth" style one I have. It slips over your fingertips on one side, thumb on the other, and protects the palm, so it's very good for removing bakeware from a hot oven.
Pretty much the same as other posters:
spatulas with metal handles - I use these almost every day - have three in different shapes/sizes and I love them.
exopat baking mats - have four, think they're the bees knees
"muffin" pans in various shapes - stars, hearts, flowers - I use these for molding ice cream, jello, stuff like that.
I like the silicone "condom" that fits over the handle of a hot pan, especially when I've oven-finished pan-seared meat and have the pan back on the burner to deglaze and make a sauce. It stays in place, so there's no chance of grabbing the handle without remembering that it's dangerously hot. I also like the silicone spatulas, turner, and brush. I consider the $20-ish Silpat to be pricey but eventually bought one when I had a coupon. Turns out I don't like it. You have to wash it, sometimes more than once, then dry or hang it, and store it. For most purposes, a sheet of parchment is no-fuss and just as good. I use the black-and-silver binder clips from office supply stores to hold the parchment in place (they are fine at 375 degrees - I never experimented to see if they can take higher temps).
In addition to regular spatulas, I have a silicone fish spatula, which is also a dream to use for omelets. I have a few different silicone brushes; the heavier ones I use for basting and the lighter weight ones for pastry. And I have a silicone sleeve that slips onto the handle of my cast iron skillets. I just love it. So much easier than trying to use a pot holder. No silicone baking pans; never felt the need.
I lovelovelove my silicone pastry brush! Silicone may be difficult to clean, but it's still easier than a bristle or feather brush, and it goes in the dish washer. It's very soft and doesn't snag, and it's heat resistant so I can use it to oil hot pans. It's the only silicone tool in my kitchen I really would hate to give up.
I like using silicone spatulas and Silpat. I also dislike the silicone cake pans and muffin tins. For some reason, the light colored ones discolored. I also don't like the wobblyness of them. If I have to put the pan on a baking sheet, I might as well use a regular pan lined with parchment.
One good use for the silicone pans is to use them as molds. I used the cupcake mold to make sorbet 'cupcakes.' I also have a large bowl shaped silicone pan that I use to make an ice cream bombe. It sometimes takes the place of a birthday cake. My heart shaped pan (bought from Target for $) is used for jello or ice cream.