Silicone Bakeware the Hype and the Truth
If anyone is baffled about silicone bakeware, there are three points to research: the history, the reasons to buy (hype) and things to watch out for (truth).
Silicone? I’m pretty sure there are some silicone bakeware in my own kitchen. However, it never occurred to me to research this new trend in cooking.
French inventor Guy DeMarle invented the Silpat, a silicone based baking sheet liner. This invention was a hit with pastry chefs, who rejoiced when gooey cookies could easily be removed without ingredients or odors seeping into the pan.
*Reasons to buy – Hype
There is a vast variety of silicone bakeware sold in houseware stores – everything from spatulas to tortilla warmers. I’m sure the opportunity to buy silicone bakeware in every color and shape imaginable has inspired consumers to mix and match.
Silicone bakeware is known to be stick-resistant, heat-resistant, stain-resistant and dishwasher-safe. Talk about flexibility – go WWF if you like – you can squish it, fold it, and flatten it. No matter what you do, it’ll snap back into shape.
With brands such as Kaiser Bakeware, a revolutionary brand consisting of both aluminum and silicone, the average consumer will find that researching and comparing products will reduce their disappointment.
It has been noted that silicone is safer than Teflon. Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman, associate director at the FDA, has stated that silicone has met approved safety standards.
*Things to watch out for – Truth
Some silicone products contain fillers, which turn white when the product is pulled or pinched. These fillers are dangerous because they compromise the performance of the product, especially when resisting heat. Also, filler products lose their elasticity, buckle, and produce an odor that can seep into the food. Everyone wants to be able to smell the cupcakes, not the pan.
At times these products can be a little too flexible, thus creating a huge mess. They also collect dust due to static electricity. Consumers who pride themselves on baking perfect cakes and other treats should be forewarned: pans tend to bend a little after being removed from ovens. This drawback can produce crumbling desserts and unhappy perfectionists. There is a solution but it can get kind of difficult: it is recommended that confections are baked on a non-silicone cookie sheet. However, the consumer would need to adjust baking times to reduce browning from occurring.
Even though Dr. Cheeseman has said that silicone is FDA approved, consumers should still be careful when using these products – especially when baking at high temperatures. Materials in the silicone can potentially leak into the food. I’m sure the majority of consumers won’t find that tidbit appealing. What about cost? Silicone products usually cost more than metal products. However, it is up to whether or not you want to try silicone bakeware.
Some resources that you can use are: