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Best Type of Baking Pan for Brownies (Glass vs. Metal)

Best Type of Baking Pan for Brownies (Glass vs. Metal)

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Brownies: the all-American fudgy treat. Usually composed of a thick chocolate batter, the brownie is soft and gooey on the inside, and crispy on the outside.

Brownies can be filled with chocolate chips, peanut butter, caramel, and plenty of other delicious things. To get that perfect bake on the brownie, though, is a glass or metal baking pan better to use?

The answer is:

It really depends on what you’re looking for. Metal pans, which tend to produce a harder, chewier brownie, heat up quickly, meaning they need closer monitoring to prevent over-baking.

Glass pans, on the other hand, provide better heat distribution, leading to more evenly-baked brownies. Either can be a good option, depending on your preference.

Ways to bake brownies using glass and metal pans

Baking in either a glass or a metal pan does require some extra effort. Here are some tips on how to make sure your brownies come out looking delicious!

Glass Pan

Brownies in Glass Pan

A glass pan is the ideal type of pan for baking brownies. Why? Unlike metal pans, glass pans heat up at a slower rate, and once hot, they get very hot.

Due to brownies usually having a long cooking time (mostly 40 minutes, although sometimes longer or shorter depending on the recipe), you don’t want the pan to get too hot right away or the brownies will over bake. This is a common occurrence when using a metal pan.

Benefits of using a glass pan

  • Heats up gradually, eliminating the risk of over baking the brownies.
  • Distributes heat evenly throughout the pan, thus giving the brownies an even bake.
  • Once hot, the glassware stays extremely hot, allowing for a faster cooking time for the brownies.
  • Produces a soft and melt-in-your-mouth brownie.

Drawbacks of using a glass pan

  • With any sudden change in temperature, there’s always the risk of the glassware breaking.
  • Although it’s good that the glass slowly heats up, it also retains heat so there’s a risk of over baking the brownies once they’re removed from the oven (to avoid this, use foil to line the pans or cut the brownies soon after baking).

Need to make brownies, but missing an important ingredient? Learn how!

Metal Pan

Brownies in Metal Pan

A metal pan, although perfect for baking many things, is not ideal for brownies. The metal heats up very quickly, and this makes it hard to bake things for a long time without them ending up over baked.

Since brownies take a long time to bake, the pan shouldn’t be very hot right from the start. The metal pan, though, has sharp edges and makes for a more refined brownie.

When looking for a metal pan for brownies, look for a square one with a non-stick surface.

Benefits of using a metal pan

  • It’s usually easier to get the baked brownies out of the pan cleanly than using a glass baking pan.
  • If brownies happen to have a shorter baking time, a metal pan would work best.
  • Produces a harder, chewier brownie.

Drawbacks of using a metal pan

  • Heats up quickly, so the brownies could over bake.

Alternative pans

The glass and metal pans are far superior to any other types of pans when it comes to baking brownies, but other pans can do the job.

  • Non-stick pans – easy to use, brownies are able to be removed easily, and in my experience, the brownies are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • Foil pans – if you need something disposable or something to bring to a party, these pans are the best. They produce a softer brownie, and are good if you don’t want to bring anything too fancy, or you want to transfer the brownies warm.

Although a glass pan seems to be the clear winner here, there really isn’t much of a difference between baking brownies in glass vs. metal pans. Both have their drawbacks and benefits, but each will do a great job baking your brownies.

Cut Brownies On Parchment Paper

I personally like to use metal pans, because although there is that risk of over baking the brownies, I monitor the pan closely to make sure that doesn’t happen.

In my experience, baking in metal pans produces a brownie that is a little bit harder and chewier than the brownies produced in a glass pan.

Again, it all depends on your preferences of what you want the consistency of your brownies to be like! So if you’re patient and are willing to monitor your brownies closely, use a metal pan. Otherwise, using a glass pan will produce a soft and still delicious brownie!

Regardless of the type of pan you choose, you might be interested to know what it takes to make cake-like brownies.

KathrynT

Friday 12th of June 2020

Finally someone explained the real differences between using porcelain and using metal pans for baking brownies. I have always used metal pans because I see glass pans as casserole pans not baking pans. I always line my pan with parchment paper to protect the pan from scratches and so I can lift the brownies out for slicing. I will offer this tip, brownies cut better with a plastic knife than a metal one. However some metal knives work well too like the low drag knives with the holes (also called aerated knife) or a cheese knife. Cheap plastic disposable knives work well, unless your edges are too hard and could break the plastic. You will be impressed with the difference between plastic and metal knives cutting brownies.

mari

Thursday 7th of November 2019

Please clarify. I line the glass (that's what I'm using) pan with parchment paper and then take out the entire batch and cut on cutting board? My main concern is nice crisp cuts. In the past, my brownies always look messy. These are for a party and I would love them to look like the photo.

Sarah | Baking Kneads

Monday 11th of November 2019

Hi, Mari!

Yes! You’ll use the parchment paper to take the brownies out, so the edges that are against the pan will look a lot cleaner. You’ll also be able to cut them on a cutting board, which should make for crisp cuts! Good luck!!

Amanda

Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

Please tell me, will using parchment paper, how does it affect the edges of the brownie?? I LOVE the crispy edges!

Sarah | Baking Kneads

Saturday 6th of July 2019

Hi, Amanda!

I love those crispy edges, too!! With using parchment paper, you shouldn’t have any shortages of crispy edges. Just make sure you grease any sides that aren’t covered by parchment paper, and you’ll have beautiful, crispy-edged brownies that you can cut on a cutting board! Good luck!

Bob

Tuesday 13th of March 2018

I don’t understand this tip:

Benefits of using a metal pan: It’s easier to line a metal pan if coated with butter or oil first.

You're saying someone should first grease the pan and THEN line it with foil? What’s the point in that? And it doesn’t seem like it would make it easier, only messier.

This sentence is clearly incorrect:

"Not waiting long enough will cause the brownies to fall apart when you cut them, and waiting too long will make the brownies impossible to remove from the pan."

While it may make it DIFFICULT, it certainly won’t be IMPOSSIBLE!

I can read correctly

Monday 4th of November 2019

She actually used the term difficult Karen! Don't correct someone for a mistake you made in your own head. Lol

Sarah | Baking Kneads

Tuesday 13th of March 2018

Good question.

It’s actually pretty common to use spray or grease along with a parchment liner. Using a small amount of grease helps to hold the liner in place and improves the release of your baked goods when the batter seeps through the edges of the liner. Is it necessary to use both? Definitely not. If you’re using a liner that’s wide enough to cover the entire pan, don’t worry about using spray or grease.

To your second point, “impossible” is indeed a strong word and not accurate. I’ll update the post with the word “difficult” instead.

Thanks!