Nothing says autumn like a freshly baked loaf of pumpkin bread, or a loaf of warm sourdough right out of the oven. If all of your favorite memories revolve around the kitchen, then you know that it’s important to have the right cookware and bakeware on hand.
Today, we’re talking all about loaf pans, specifically glass varieties. Designed to deliver beautiful, even results every time, these pans are plentiful, but not everyone will be right for your needs.
Wondering how to find the best glass loaf pan? Read on to discover the reasons why we recommend one, the features to look for, and our top five picks in this category.
What Is a Glass Loaf Pan?
A glass loaf pan is a special type of bakeware designed to be used in an oven. You can find these in a variety of different sizes, although the two most common are 11-inch x 5-inch and 9-inch by 5-inch.
While they have plenty of advantages that we’ll get into soon, the main thing to understand about these pans is that glass is an insulator, not a conductor. That means that it slows down heat flow as the warm temperatures interact with your batter. For this reason, glass loaf pans usually take longer to heat up than their metal alternatives. The glass needs to warm up first, and the batter will only turn warm once that process occurs.
While this may alter your baking time a little, it can actually work to your advantage. Once glass pans heat up, they retain that heat much better than other materials. This makes them more efficient in the oven and can ensure that your final product is evenly browned and delicious, without any aggravating burn spots! If you find it challenging to get your treats brown on the bottom, you’ll discover this is less of an issue with a glass pan.
Why Do You Need a Glass Loaf Pan?
A glass loaf pan can be an ideal addition to your home kitchen setup. Let’s take a look at a few of the main reasons why this type of bakeware is a smart choice.
Visibility While Baking
How many times have you taken something out of the oven because it looked done, only to find that the inside was a sticky, underbaked mess? Every time you open the door of your oven, you lose heat and alter its internal temperature. For that reason, you only want to “test” your baked goods when you’re fairly certain they’re ready.
With a metal or ceramic loaf pan, you can only see the top of your item. If it looks brown, then you’re forced to assume that it’s cooked all the way through. This isn’t the case with a glass pan.
With these, you can easily see the sides and bottom of your dish, so there’s no second-guessing required. Plus, it’s super fun to watch the batter morph and change shape as it rises and cooks!
You might not think much of it, but the lemon extract in your favorite pound cake is acidic. Over time, ingredients like this can corrode a metal pan and cause it to wear down more quickly. Conversely, glass is a non-reactive material.
This means that not only will it not corrode or show signs of wear and tear, but it also won’t absorb the flavors of anything you cook. You know that funny taste and smell you get when you try to drink water out of your beloved stainless steel coffee tumbler? Metals tend to absorb the properties of anything you put in it, but you don’t have to worry about that with glass. You can bake a chocolate cake on Monday and a personal-sized meatloaf on Tuesday without any issue!
No Adverse Side Effects
Your favorite non-stick metal pan might produce perfect brownies every time, but some of those coatings aren’t the best for your health. At high temperatures, they can produce unhealthy fumes that can leach into your food. While individual quantities are minuscule, they can add up over time. Today, you can find plenty of pans that are made with “safer” non-stick coatings than the traditional Teflon, but if you’re cooking with an older model, it’s best to swap it out for something else.
Glass is an inert material, which means that it isn’t chemically or biologically reactive. In other words, it won’t share properties with anything that it comes into contact with. This makes it a slightly healthier choice when you’re deciding among your different baking vessels.
Easy to Clean
Glass pans are dishwasher safe. Their smooth surface is also easy to scrub clean with a soft sponge or dishrag. When your cake is finished cooking and it’s time to clean up, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of simply placing yours on the rack.
Safe in Microwave, Refrigerator, or Freezer
You definitely can’t use your metal pans in the microwave, but you can easily add a glass one in there! As long as it’s made with oven-safe or tempered glass, it’s good to go. If tempered glass breaks, it will break into small pieces. It will not shatter or create jagged edges, which would happen with standard glass.
This can be a fun way to experiment in your kitchen and try new meal ideas. With a little digging, you can find many loaf pan recipes that use the microwave. Check out this mouth-watering microwave bread that takes just four minutes to make!
When your dish has cooled and you want to store it, your glass pan will also work beautifully in the refrigerator or freezer!
Sure, you can bake a traditional cake in your glass loaf pan. However, don’t stop there! Their size makes them ideal for a range of both sweet and savory dishes. In addition to cakes and soft breads, try making a veggie breakfast loaf, or mini lasagnas! You can even melt and freeze logs of ice cream in yours!
A 9×5 size is ideal for feeding a small family, though it doesn’t produce as many leftovers as you’d get with a 9×13 pan.
The possibilities are endless, but we suggest checking out a comprehensive recipe list, like this one. Beef-and-bacon meatloaf, anyone?
When you’re ready to retire your glass pan from the kitchen, rest assured that you don’t have to toss it in the recycle pin just yet. Why not repurpose it in another room? Here are a few ways you can use them:
- Store and sort mail (envelopes fit lengthwise!)
- Divide silverware
- Store pens, pencils, and other office supplies
- Fill with succulents to create a table centerpiece
- Fill with candies and use as a serving dish
Classic, simple, and attractive, glass loaf pans make timeless accessories and home decor accents.
How to Find the Best Glass Loaf Pan: Features to Look For
When you start shopping for a glass loaf pan, it might seem as though all of your options look alike! How can you find the best one for your needs? Below, we’re sharing a few considerations to keep in mind as you browse the selection and make a decision.
Tempered or Borosilicate Glass
As mentioned, glass loaf pans should be made of tempered glass or borosilicate glass. Both types of glass are very heat-resistant, and are also impact-resistant. While your drinking glasses might shatter if you stack them the wrong way, a great-quality loaf pan can withstand its fair share of bumps and dings.
Thin glass will usually begin to shatter and break at temperatures between 302 degrees Fahrenheit and 392 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeing as most recipes call for a baking temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you can see why these aren’t the best choice!
On the other hand, tempered and borosilicate glass can withstand temperatures up to around 470 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, though this varies by manufacturer. Always check the item description to understand the safest baking range.
Most loaf pan recipes are designed for a 9-inch x 5-inch or 11-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. While this is the standard size, it’s not the only one available. As you shop, you can also find ones that are bigger or smaller.
If you do go with an alternative size, be sure to make the proper adjustments to your recipe. Adding too much batter to a small pan can cause it to overflow, although not adding enough to a large pan can keep it from rising properly.
Mini loaf pans are usually sized at around 5¾ inches x 3¼ inches. Larger ones measure roughly 13 inches x 4 inches. Some brands will also offer sizes in between. If your crew eats more than a standard-sized pan will allow, then consider sizing up. Or, you may find that you prefer the ease and convenience of a mini model.
Many glass loaf pans will come with a glass or plastic lid that you can easily attach to the top once your food has cooled. These make it easy to travel with your loaf, as you won’t have to worry about anything spilling out or falling into the pan as you transport it.
If you don’t routinely take food outside of your home, then you may not need this “extra” feature. However, you’ll want it if you’re used to sharing your baked goods with others. Just make sure to label yours so you get it back!
Number of Pans
While you can certainly buy just one, many glass loaf pans are sold in sets of two or three. These are designed to stack neatly into one another when not in use. As you browse, consider how many you’ll need both now and down the road. It’s worth investing in a couple so you can rest assured that you always have one on hand.
Two loaf pans can fit side-by-side in most ovens with ease, which can help you cook a greater quantity of food in a shorter amount of time.
The Best Glass Loaf Pans: Our Top 5 Picks
As we researched all of the glass loaf pans available for purchase online, we found our top five picks by measuring each one against a list of three criteria. These included:
- Great customer reviews (at least 75% five stars)
- Affordable price point
- Quality construction
With these parameters in place, we were able to find the pans that stood out from the rest. All of these are available to purchase on Amazon, though there are plenty of others out there! You can also find great bakeware at your local thrift or secondhand store, as well as big-box stores. You can’t beat the convenience of one-click shopping, however, so let’s take a look at what makes these five pans so special.
With more than 9,200 reviews, it’s easy to see that the OXO Good Grips Glass Loaf Pan is a fan favorite. This particular cookware line is available in a range of different sizes, from a 1.6-quart loaf pan to a 3-quart option!
For this review, we focused on the 11-inch x 6-inch glass loaf pan with a glass lid. A little larger than the standard 9-inch x 5-inch model, this roomy pan is ideal for cooking lots of different dishes! The classic, non-fussy design will look great alongside any type of kitchen decor.
- Made of durable borosilicate glass
- Safe to use in the oven, fridge, or freezer
- Generous, easy-grip handles
- Free of BPA and PVC
- Sturdy, slosh-proof glass lid
- Need to handle with care to avoid thermal stress
- Glass lid is more susceptible to breaking when stacked
Recognized as the Amazon’s Choice in this category, we also love the FineDine Superior Glass Loaf Pan. Each pan in the two-piece set measures 10 inches x 3 inches and comes with a durable plastic lid.
The design is simple and straightforward, which makes it a sleek addition to your home kitchen. We’ve come to expect nothing less from the FineDine brand, which also offers a range of other premium kitchen accessories, from bakeware to pantry storage solutions.
- Made of borosilicate glass
- Safe to use in the oven, refrigerator, freezer
- Ergonomic handle design
- Airtight, leak-proof lid that snaps on
- Chemical-free construction
- Plastic lid may crack with continued use
- Some users mention that the lid isn’t always airtight
If there’s any name that’s become synonymous with glass cookware, it’s Pyrex. With the Pyrex Easy-Grab Glass Loaf Dish, you can add a piece of the brand’s storied history to your home.
When founder Bessie Littleton’s earthenware baking dish cracked back in 1914, she asked her husband Jesse for help. Jesse worked at Corning Glass Works, which is now Corning Incorporated. At that time, he was researching the company’s approach to temperature-resistant glass, designed for use in battery jars and lanterns.
Bessie asked Jesse if the same material could be used in baking. To try it, he brought home a portion of a battery jar. Bessie baked a cake in it, and the rest is history. In 1915, Corning launched its Pyrex line — the first line of cookware made with temperature-resistant glass.
Measuring roughly 9 inches by 5 inches, this classic dish has everything you’d expect in a time-honored loaf pan. It’s basic functionality at its best, and it’s sure to become a favorite in your home.
- Plastic lid fits only over the center of the dish, leaving the handles free to grip
- Made of durable, nonporous glass
- Safe to use in the oven, fridge, or freezer
- All pieces are dishwasher-safe
- Plastic lid may not always seal tightly
- Some complaints of bakeware braking at high temperatures
The Anchor Hocking Glass Baking Dish is a top-quality loaf pan that you’ll use for years to come. In fact, you may already have some of this line in your kitchen already.
Take a look at those glass measuring bowls in your cabinet. Chances are, you’ll see the name “Anchor Hocking” splashed across them in red. This brand is just as lauded as Pyrex when it comes to delivering premium-quality bakeware and cookware.
The history of Anchor Hocking dates even further back, to 1905. That year, seven friends pitched in together to come up with $8,000. With the money, they purchased Ohio’s Lancaster Carbon Company. With the help of an outside investor, the friends transformed the plant into a glass company, named for the nearby Hocking River.
Since then, Anchor Hocking has been creating glass kitchen products that delight fans around the world. This loaf pan measures around 9 inches x 5 inches inside, and 11 inches x 5 inches with the handles. It can hold 1.5 quarts.
- Safe to use in freezer, fridge, or oven (up tp 425 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Two helper handles
- Five-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Does not come with a lid
- Some users complained that the glass broke in shipping
Fans of the Simax brand already know that it’s a great place to shop for bakeware, drinkware, and more. You can add to your growing collection with the Simax Glassware Loaf Baking Pan.
This 11-inch x 5-inch loaf pan delivers a streamlined design and top-of-the-line quality.
- Made of durable, shock-resistant borosilicate glass
- Can withstand temperatures between 572 degrees Fahrenheit and -40 degrees Fahrenheit
- Safe to use in the oven, fridge, or freezer
- Some say the design of the pan is a little narrow
Bake Away With Glass Loaf Pans
Whether you’re whipping up some seasonal chocolate chip pumpkin bread or a saucy meatloaf, the type of bakeware you choose matters. We love glass loaf pans for their transparency and visibility, as well as their classic and timeless design. We also love how glass retains heat and helps our favorite dishes come out beautifully browned every time.
While the five on our list are all solid performers, we recommend the OXO Good Grips Glass Loaf Pan for its generous size, sturdy glass lid, and incredible user reviews.
Now that you know how to find the best glass loaf pan, you can start shopping for the perfect pieces for your kitchen. Before long, you’ll become known for your delicious treats and decadent eats!