April 27, 2005 at 7:58 PM CDT - Updated July 12 at 10:10 AM
Kitchen Aid Silicone Bakeware By: Amy Jacquin
We've all heard of silicone oven mitts. Now there are silicone baking pans. They're flexible and rubbery, and feel like they'd melt. They don't. But do they work well enough you'd pay $25 for one?
Kitchen Aid claims its $25 silicone bakeware provides superior food release, even after hundreds of bakings and dish washings.
"It is refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and oven safe," Amy Jacquin reads directions. "It has a quick-release, permanent, non-stick surface that cooks quickly. It's dishwasher and metal utensil safe."
We quickly whip up a boxed cake mix. Even though it claims to provide superior food release power, directions recommend using non-stick cooking spray. But we do NOT... just to see how "non-stick" silicone really is. We pour half into the Kitchen Aid silicone pan, and the other half into a traditional cupcake pan with liners.
"I'm going to have to do two different shelves," says Amy as she puts the pans into the oven. The handles on the metal framework stick out too far. She sets the timer, and reads-up on directions while waiting on the cupcakes to bake and cool.
"Before removing from the silicone bakeware, allow for foods to cool or defrost completely in the bakeware," reads Amy. "To remove, invert pan and apply pressure to the bottom, and carefully peel the bakeware away from the baked goods."
Sounds easy! Let's give it a try.
"Not too bad, with no cooking spray," comments Amy as the first cupcake comes out of the pan with just a little work.
"You peel each one back from the cupcake," she says as she releases the rest. "Which is easier at first, till you get to the center ones. Ooops, that one didn't... I pinched it. See, I pinched that one, too. See that in there? I think the key is to press evenly on the bottom at first!"
That... and practice. It's a different feel, for sure! You can see the silicone bakeware cupcakes are flatter than the traditional cupcakes... but we spruce them up with icing, and they don't look too bad.
"I guess the real question is, looking at both, if you're going to grab one, which plate would you grab from?" Amy asks.
he silicone bakeware did not melt, and it is relatively nonstick. But it didn't cool as quickly as promised. And it's a different feel, so it's really a personal preference. Just be prepared to pay for the Kitchen Aid name. We give the $25 silicone cupcake pan a B-.
By the way, Mike Shain tested cupcakes from the silicone pan, and from the traditional pan. He says he could taste a difference, and prefers the traditional ones.