Brand vs brand bakeware

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by crankbait09, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. crankbait09

    crankbait09 Member

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    I have used a number of brands over the years when it comes to cookie sheets/baking pans. I always settle for what I have, but none of them really leave me feeling satisfied with the long term results. I have used Wilton's more times than not. That also includes the spring form pans for when I make cheesecakes.

    I am considering switching to either Williams-Sonoma, or Chicago Metallic. I have heard great things from both. More from Chicago Metallic tho. I figured I'd come here to get a few more opinions on folks that have use one or the other, or better yet, BOTH.

    Would anyone mind sharing their experiences?

    Much appreciated.
     
    crankbait09, Nov 20, 2019
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  2. crankbait09

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    I can't speak for Chicago Metallic, but I *LOVE* my Williams-Sonoma gold bakeware. It's gotten the top ranking from America's Test Kitchen. It's thick and solid—can't imagine that you could dent it or bend it unless you took a hammer to it. It releases cakes and such easily, and it's super easy to clean. It can be scratched, but not easily. So far, it hasn't stained, and it certainly feels like it will last a lifetime.

    It's also pretty :D

    As for baking...it might be "too good." The first WS bakeware piece I bought was a bundt cake pan. The recipe had the cake in the oven for an hour. It came out dry. Next time I baked it, I checked on at 50 minutes, it was ready (and moist and delicious). I've baked this cake again since then, and it seems to be ready at about the 45 minute mark. So, that is one thing to note if you go Williams-Sonoma gold bakeware. At some 10-15 minutes before your cakes or such are supposed to be done...check on them. This bakeware conducts heat very well.
     
    J13, Nov 22, 2019
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  3. crankbait09

    crankbait09 Member

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    thanks for the review. I've noticed the gold ware as well. And the gold color turned me off, instantly. First thing I thought of? uh, it won't match :eek:. I have nothing gold in my kitchen.

    Since I posted this thread, I received more input on the Chicago line. So I decided to buy a set of it, should actually be on my porch by the time I get home today. Now, the only problem with this? I can't deviate from this brand/color. Unless it's total junk. I can't have this line/color, then have a random gold piece from another brand. Good grief :(, the struggle is real.

    Over the next week or so, I will be doing some more baking. I will certainly come back to this thread with a little feedback from first use/impressions. I know I can't compare it to the WS line, but maybe someone else can use the feedback on the Chicago.

    I will definitely think of the Sonoma brand if Chicago fails me.

    thank you again
     
    crankbait09, Nov 22, 2019
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  4. crankbait09

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Heh. Well, I've nothing gold in my kitchen either, but all my bakeware is in the cupboards rather than out on the counters and clashing :D And yes...there was that problem of mixing and matching the new "gold" pieces with the old non-gold pieces once I had more than just that bundt cake pan. I solved this by gradually replacing all my bakeware with Williams-Sonoma gold and now I open my cupboard and there are all these golden items: cookie sheets, cupcake pan, round and square cake pans, even a cooling rack, all lined up and ready to create delicious treats. No regrets! Every one of them does a wonderful job.

    But Chicago brand sounds to be equally good from what I've read. I'm sure you're going to be very happy with them. Please do leave a detailed review.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 5:16 PM
    J13, Nov 30, 2019 at 5:10 PM
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  5. crankbait09

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Hands-down Chicago Metallic! I’ve owned William Sonoma Gold. used it a couple times and literally threw them out. They were the worst cake pans I’ve ever used.


    Problem with the Williams-Sonoma Gold is that gold coating conducts heat way to intensely. You do not want coated bakeware. It’s not just William Sonoma Gold. It’s Sur La Table. It’s Fat Daddio anodized aluminum. It’s dark metal non stick Nordicware.

    If you go into a commercial bakery you won’t find any coated bakeware. You’re going to find heavy Chicago Metallic, Vollrath, or mass produced to the trade brands.

    Just as aside Chicago Metallic makes a lot of the commercial form bread pans for mass production (e.g., 4 strap loaf pans, 28 compartment mini loaf pans). Those pans will be coated. But the loaves are also being baked in commercial ovens that have exacting temperature control, top and bottom heating elements, convection, steam function, and venting. Plus the doughs contain dough conditioners that the home bakers do not have access to and the doughs are baked in quality baking paper forms. Those commercial pans are designed for those commercials ovens, for commercially produced doughs to ensure the produce is not dried out, overly brown, and hard as a rock.


    I’ve had a lot of discussions on bakeware. This thread will show you a picture of how the pan effects cake batter baked in two different cake pans.


    https://www.baking-forums.com/threads/victoria-sponge-sandwich.5438/#post-38706
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 30, 2019 at 7:33 PM
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  6. crankbait09

    crankbait09 Member

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    As I mentioned above, I received an 8 piece set (from JC Pennys), as well as the pizza cooking sheet. I have used the pizza sheet, and one of the baking sheets.

    I noticed immediately, before actually using it, that the bakeware is rather heavy in weight. Certainly isn't cheap feeling. It seems to have a non stick coating on it.

    I used the pizza sheet first. When in the oven I heard it warping and popping while baking. Nothing horrible, but enough to notice. Once I removed the sheet from the oven, it eventually flattened back out. I used it again, a few days later, and I didn't hear the popping and the sheet certainly didn't seem warped at all. So not too sure what that was all about.

    As for the baking sheet, That didn't warp/pop at all. It definitely performed as I had hoped. I baked homemade cinnamon rolls on it, and to mu surprise, they were evenly baked and there were no signs of uneven baking (burnt/raw).

    The only thing that makes me wonder about long term with this set, is the development of rust. As an example, with the baking sheet, the outside edge of the sides of the pan are folded over/rolled. When I wash this sheet, water collects in to that rolled lip. Obviously I can't dry the curl or rolled edge of that lip, so additional water builds up in there. I can only imagine, over time, rust will form. But we'll see.

    But so far, the chicago line seems solid!
     
    crankbait09, Nov 30, 2019 at 9:40 PM
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  7. crankbait09

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    It’s the temperature that caused the sheet to warp. The pizza was baked at a higher temperature than your cinnamon rolls.


    But all of the bakeware is made out of the same gauge metal, so you can test it by roasting root vegetables on it in a 400°F oven and see if it warps.

    A warped baking sheet is not safe to use.

    A quality baking sheets should not warp at that temperature. I own at least 16 rimmed baking sheets from 1/8 to 2/3 size sheets, which is the largest that will fit in a home oven.


    I own Chicago Metallic, NordicWare, Vollrath, and no brand name from the restaurant supply store. Not one of those sheets warps in the oven. And they’ve been in as high as 450°F.


    My sheets are hand washed because aluminum should not go in the dishwasher. Towel dry.

    I then placed the sheet in a hot oven and let the heat evaporate the water in the rim.


    A few of my sheets are nearly 20 years old. Some of the older ones do have signs of rust in the rim. Those are 14 gauge the heaviest Chicago Metallic makes. Those things are like a tank.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 30, 2019 at 10:06 PM
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  8. crankbait09

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    I'm shocked to hear you say that. William Sonoma Gold is by far the best bakeware I ever used, and I think you're being way too harsh on it, whatever your experience. None of my pieces has ever caused me any problems at all, excepting that I do need to adjust down 10-15 minutes when baking a cake. But my cakes and cupcakes and muffins all turn out just fine if I do that. No issues at all.

    I'm sorry they didn't work out for you. Then again...I'm a part-time baker. Maybe they're fine, even perfect, for someone like me, but not for someone far more professional, and who bakes a good deal more than I do on a daily basis.
     
    J13, Nov 30, 2019 at 11:03 PM
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  9. crankbait09

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Having to adjust your temperature to counter the effects of the overheating of the metal and coating is typical of non-stick. And it’s not just WS’ Goldtouch, it’s all non-stick. I think what upset me so much about the WS was the poor performance for such an expensive product.

    The other thing that irritates me about WS Is they really mislead the consumer. They use terms like “commercial grade”. There’s no definition or standard for commercial grade. So that’s completely misleading. If you go into the restaurant supply store you can find very heavy 14 gauge by Chicago Metallic and really thin 20 gauge no brand.

    But the thing that really gets me is their claim that the diamond pattern increases airflow for even baking. That’s completely illogical. Walk to any bakery and you’ll see that all the pans are flat surfaces. Not only that, but mats or parchment paper is routinely used on baking bakeware. So this notion that you need airflow between the baking service and the dough or batter is ridiculous. And I’m quite sure that people who own Goldtouch use parchment paper and mats, totally covering up those diamond patterns.

    Despite the marketing claims on ceramic coatings, there’s no evidence that it performs better than standard PTFE coatings. They also know that ceramic coatings are just like PTFE‘s in that they begin to degrade when they are repeatedly heated and cooled. So despite WS’s claims, they really aren’t a superior bakeware at all.

    these baking sheets are in an oven. There’s no Diamond patterns on these baking sheets. Plus there’s baking mats on them. There’s no airflow between the pretzels and the baking surface.
    46260108-5777-4FDD-A7DF-CC42F67E0F03.jpeg

    pretzels baked up fine on a untreated metal baking sheet and a baking mat. WS is dishonest when they claim the diamond pattern of their baking sheets increases airflow for even baking. You don’t need airflow under your dough or batter for baking. Oh and those splits on the pretzels is where the were slashed. They did not burst open.
    717C2A81-F32F-41E3-B09B-9FC569A6075C.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Dec 3, 2019 at 8:31 AM
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