If you’re looking to stock your first kitchen, or re-do the whole thing, you’re probably considering what kinds of pans you’ll need for your various baking projects. Whether you’re interested in making exclusively healthy meals, or a combination of healthy and not quite so healthy dishes, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right pans on hand.

person holding baking pan

What Are Baking Pans Made Out Of?

One of the most important aspects of deciding which pans you’ll need will be examining the materials they’re made from. Each type of material makes a difference in how food bakes. Be sure to look into the uses of each material before choosing the pans you buy.

Baking pans come in a variety of materials, including:

  • Cast iron
  • Pottery
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Carbon steel
  • Stainless steel
  • polytetrafluoroethylene coated metals
  • Enamel coated metals
Baking Pan with cupcakes

Types Of Baking Pans

You may not use every one of these baking pans on a regular basis, but when special occasions come around, you’ll need them.

freshly baked chocolate muffin in a baking pan

1. Baking Pans for Pies

Even if you don’t expect to make a lot of pies in your lifetime, a pie pan is one of the baking pans you’ll use fairly regularly. They’re perfect for baking pies, of course, but also cheesecakes, quiches, and another round, shallow dishes.

2. Baking Pans for Cakes

Of course, you’ll need some cake pans to get you through birthdays and anniversaries. But you’ll also use those cake pans for making lasagnas and baked ziti.

3. Bundt Pans

If you love the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” you know exactly what a Bundt cake is, even if you can’t quite pronounce it. But in case you haven’t seen that film, a Bundt pan is a round pan with a hole in the middle. This is a type of mold pan. Other uses for Bundt cakes include baking monkey bread, as a large ice ring mold, as a gelatin mold, and making coffee cakes.

4. Casserole Dishes

If you grew up going to church or living in the South, you already know that casserole dishes are extremely useful pans for making a variety of dishes. Casserole dishes usually are made of ceramic or glass and come with glass lids.

5. Baking Pans for Tarts

Tart pans are for making tarts, mini-quiches, and other small desserts and baked goods in single-sized servings. Not everyone will use these on the regular, but if you have some on hand, you may find more creativity flowing as you craft mini meatloaves, individual pizzas, and other fun treats.

7. Baking Pans for Muffins

Of course, muffin pans are mandatory for making muffins and cupcakes. These versatile pans can also be used to create mini-quiches, mini meatloaves, mini pizzas, frozen peanut butter and jelly bites, mini granola bowls, and more.

8. Baking Pans for Meatloaf And Bread

There is technically a small difference between a loaf and a bread pan. The sides of a loaf pan simply are not as tall as those on a bread pan. But otherwise, these pans can pretty much be used interchangeably.

9. Cookie Sheets

You’ll need cookie sheets for a variety of projects, cookies, of course, being one of the primary uses. You can also use cookie pans for baking a variety of other items, including rectangular pizzas, shaped bread, like braided bread and breadsticks, and various hours devours, like spirals and pigs in a blanket.

10. Sheet Pans

Sheet pans are slightly different from cookie sheets. Baking sheets or sheet pans have rolled edges, while cookie sheets do not. That means that baking sheets are more versatile and can be used for items that need to be roasted. Cookie sheets will drip since there are no edges to catch any juices.

11. Jelly Roll Tins

A third, similar pan is the jelly roll tin. The difference in this pan is that it has even higher edges than even a baking sheet. A jelly roll pan has all four sides at about an inch or slightly taller. You may opt to have a jelly roll pan instead of a baking sheet, but we’d still recommend cookie sheets as well.

The lack of sides on cookie sheets is better for removing perfect cookies, while jelly rolls or baking sheets may cause cookies to come out damaged when they’re removed from the pan.

12. Dutch Ovens

Dutch ovens are thick-sided pots that generally are made of cast-iron, and have tight-fitting lids. They’re perfect for slow baking items like roasts, casseroles, and stews.

What’s the Baking Pan You Need?

Now that you know what baking pan types exist, you can get to stocking your kitchen to meet all of your needs. Go through each pan type and think through the types of recipes you have been making, or would like to make. Which materials are most beneficial to your plans? Which pans will help you make the right foods for your family, your parties, or your office or church gatherings? Keep these in mind as you choose.

 kitchen utensils