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!
- Use butter or oil to coat your pan. This ensures that the brownies will release easily from the pan after baking.
- Use parchment paper for extra-sharp brownies. Using parchment paper allows for a quick release of the brownies from the pan. It also gives the brownies a sharper edge and more refined look.
- When the brownies are removed from the oven, let them cool until they are just barely warm to the touch, and then cut them. Not waiting long enough will cause the brownies to fall apart when you cut them, and waiting too long will make the brownies difficult to remove from the 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!
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.
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.
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.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.