Which Is Better For Baking: Glass Or Metal?

If you've binge-watched your favorite baking show and want to try your hand at it yourself — who doesn't love a warm homemade slice of bread, after all – you want to set yourself up for success. Getting your kitchen completely stocked for making tasty baked goods isn't just about the ingredients and following the recipe. You need to make sure that you take into consideration the type of bakeware that you're using. The two most common options you'll find in the stores are glass and metal. And while they may seem like they are pretty much interchangeable, it turns out that they're not.

The recipe you're using might be pointing you in the right direction for which one to choose. You just need to know what to look for. If the recipe says to use a pan, generally that means go for metal and a baking dish generally refers to oven-safe glass (via Better Homes & Gardens).

Glass can be ideal for pies

Understanding the different properties of the two options is the first step. Glass doesn't conduct heat as well as metal; it's an insulator, which means that once it heats up in the oven, it will stay warmer for longer when you take it out compared to metal (via The Kitchn). This can also result in a perfectly baked interior but an overcooked exterior, notes Bon Appetit. So if you're using glass, reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees (per Better Homes & Gardens).

There are times though when glass dishes are ideal, like when you're baking a pie. Being able to see the sides of what you're baking before it's done can be helpful. Erin McDowell, author of "The Book on Pie," told Bon Appetit, "Being able to 'check' that bottom crust can be really helpful for those just starting out, to get comfortable with the visual cues."

And McDowell's not the only one. Southern Living food editor Patricia York said, "The glass design makes it easy to see how much browning and/or bubbling is going on in the oven."

Glass is also better ​​if you're baking anything with acid, like berries and citrus, since it won't react to the acid the same way that metal can (per Food Network). So choose glass for cobblers and fruit pies for sure.

Metal pans are perfect for cookies and cakes

Metal pans conduct heat much more quickly and will cool down more quickly as well, and they can take higher temperatures compared to glass (via AllRecipes). With the metal heating up faster, it gives a better rise and nice crisp, but not over done, edges, per Bon Appetit, so they're perfect for things like biscuits, brownies, and cookies.

Edd Kimber, the first winner of "The Great British Baking Show," calls an aluminum pan the "MVP of bakeware," noting in his book "One Tin Bakes" that "It's relatively cheap, doesn't have nonstick coatings to worry about scratching, and, if looked after properly, will last a very long time. Aluminum is a very good heat conductor, which means baked goods will brown evenly, and it doesn't rust" (via Bon Appetit).

Keep in mind though that the metal pan category can be broken down into light vs dark; according to Better Homes & Gardens, a dark metal pan is ideal if you want something to be a little more crisped or browned while light or shiny pans are great if you want a more delicate crust