Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

From here: http://cooking.stackexchange.com/a/13170/6168

The first approach which comes to mind would be to use a pan which insulates well.

I use these glass vessels: http://www.borosil.com/products/consumer/storage/

Do they insulate well?
Are there any other kind of vessels which insulate better than this?
Will Aluminum vessels work better instead of glass?

share|improve this question
    
Pyrex (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrex) is suggested in the question you linked to. –  Ward Mar 11 '12 at 16:37
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

After some thought on this, an isolating form for baking seems to be counterintuitive. It is about heating the dough, isn't it.

From an insulating standpoint, your best bet is probably a silicone baking form. Aluminum conducts heat about 300x better than glass, and silicone insulates about 4x better than glass. Also, the thicker the material, the better the thermal insulation generally.

Here are a few values of thermal conductivity in W/(mK) for typical kitchen materials

  • 400 Copper
  • 235 Aluminum
  • 50-ish Steel
  • 15-ish Stainless Steel
  • 2-ish Stone
  • 0.8 Glass
  • 0.2 Silicone

As rumtscho points out, pyrex may be a bad choice, because it is transmitting infrared light so well. Also, it is unclear as to how well silicone transmits infrared. Silicone materials can vary wildly in physical and optical characteristics.

Pure silicone forms only work for some geometries, too. Soft form sides don't work well with rectangular geometries, for instance. Round forms work fine, though.

On further thought, with forms that do not transmit heat along the perimeter, the forms should be turned in the oven more often, because no oven heat is truly homogenous.

A compromise would be a silicone coated metal form. Cant say anything about these.

Personally, I hate baking in thin-walled glass containers, being scared of breaking them when any amount of prying is needed.

I love my soft silicone muffin forms.

But for cake, I go metal.

share|improve this answer
    
Important information, but this isn't everything needed to know. Silicone isolates better gram-for-gram. But a silicone form weighs a fraction of the weight of a glass. Which makes glass probably the better choice for the conduction part of heating. However, glass is transparent in the visible range and probably also in the near-visible infrared range, which means that for radiation heat, glass is a terrible isolator. It lets the IR rays through, instead of being slowly warmed by them and conducting their heat into the batter the way metal does. –  rumtscho Mar 11 '12 at 19:25
    
Yes, interesting aspect. IR, visible, and UV transparency are not necessarily the same, but pyrex transmits IR pretty well. infrared.als.lbl.gov/images/pyrexcurve.GIF –  Posipiet Mar 11 '12 at 19:32
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.