Because honestly, I wouldn't be nearly so in love with my dutch oven without the advice I got on this site. And I really believe in getting one good lifetime tool, rather than a bunch of cheap ones.

I'm kind of creeped out by Teflon, and will probably skip coatings. I've read here that baking with the silicone cup-type things isn't necessarily any better than a metal pan.

Are there any metal types or finishes that give better baking results?

  • 2
    Muffins are very forgiving to pan material, you don't have to select it by heating properties. Just go for whatever is easiest to handle. I love my silicone cups, they are low maintenance and function perfectly.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 28, 2011 at 13:24
  • 1
    @rumtscho people cook more than just muffins in these pans. Egg-based dishes for brunch, mini-meat loaves, cup cakes, etc. I'm facing the same dilemma as the OP. What metal (aluminum, stainless, cast iron)? Dark or shiny? Thick/heavy or thin? Coating or no coating?
    – mpoisot
    Oct 10, 2014 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


In general, the darker the color of the metal of the muffin tin the more it will brown its contents. You also want to look for a thick, durable metal as this will aid in even cooking. Finally, look for a tin with large, wide handles; the last thing you want to be doing is sticking your thumbs into a muffin when trying to insert/remove the tin from the oven! Most muffin tins these days are non-stick, so it may be hard to find one that is not. With that said, non-stick technology has advanced a bit since the Teflon-only days. For example, many modern non-stick pans/tins instead use other metals and ceramics that are not known to be harmful. Furthermore, some modern muffin tins are marketed as "metal-safe", meaning that one can use a metal utensil on them (e.g., to extract the muffins from the tin) without damaging the non-stick coating. Finally, muffin tins will likely never be heated to the temperatures at which the "dangerous" non-stick coatings release harmful gasses.

  • Ceramics? That perks my ears. I'll have to read into that and "metal safe" - thanks for the info, and useful terms to research. Apr 28, 2011 at 19:05
  • Please explain science behind "the darker the color of the metal of the muffin tin the more it will brown its contents" in relation to being in a domestic oven?
    – TFD
    Apr 28, 2011 at 22:25
  • @TFD: I'm not sure about the science, but that's what Cooks Illustrated concluded as a result of their "experiments".
    – ESultanik
    Apr 28, 2011 at 23:04
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    @mpoisot infrared light in domestic oven? Mostly hot air
    – TFD
    Oct 10, 2014 at 20:39
  • 3
    @TFD toasting and broiling (esp with the oven door open) cook almost exclusively via infrared. If the calrods are glowing red-hot, they are radiating infrared heat onto your food. When baking infrared is less prominent, but the walls of the oven and calrods still shine infrared light onto your food. A dark pan will absorb more of this heat and pump it into the food than a shiny pan.
    – mpoisot
    Oct 13, 2014 at 16:57

I've had very good results with this pan:


It's made from aluminized steel and in our experience has a few things going for it:

  • It's very heavy and holds its temperature well - haven't had uneven cooking that occurs in some older thin muffin pans we have.

  • It doesn't have the dark metallic finish that can sometimes cause things to brown faster than you might like.

  • It makes 20 nice sized muffins, so depending on your recipe, you may be able to get the full batch cooked in one shot and with one pan

  • It includes a recess at the top of each muffin so you get the nice looking muffin top that everyone loves - because awesome muffins are the whole point anyway, right?


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