Pros: Surprisingly practical; ultra-even cooking; fun shape
Cons: Delicate non-stick coating
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review item courtesy of Baker’s Edge.
The Baker’s Edge pan looks like an incredibly single-purpose item, the kind that most people don’t want to waste room in their kitchen (or their money) on except perhaps as a gift for the cook who has everything. Instead, it’s a surprisingly useful little pan.
Personally, I wanted to try the Baker’s Edge pan because I’m an inveterate edge-lover. When we make brownies, bar cookies, or cake, I’m the person who always cuts their pieces from the edges, avoiding the center at all costs. (Of course my husband likes the center, so I don’t think he’s as fond of this pan’s existence as I am!) I love the chewy-crunchy texture of edge pieces, so I was delighted to see a pan that would produce brownies that ALL have at least TWO sides—and some have three! It’s an edge-lover’s paradise!
*Ahem*—where was I? Oh, yes, and yet, this is a pan with purpose beyond appealing to edge-lovers. But first, a brief description. Hopefully the company won’t mind my borrowing their image, because it helps:
The pan creates a sort of squared-off ‘W’ or ‘M’ shape, turning your brownies or bar cookies into, essentially, a very long, thin strip with lots of extra corners. It’s a very heavy-duty pan that spreads heat out beautifully, and it’s incredibly non-stick. It comes with a narrow, non-stick-safe plastic spatula that you can use on it, but I found it easiest to place a cooling rack upside-down on top of it, hold onto both at the ends (remember your hot pads!), invert, and shake gently once or twice—the contents come right out, in perfect shape. No crumbling, cracking, sticking, or falling apart.
The downside to the incredible non-stickness of the pan is the fact that you have to be careful with it. No dishwasher, no metal implements, etc. Also, they recommend using cooking spray on this, and in my experience that does eventually tend to build up a little no matter how carefully you clean it, reducing the effectiveness of a non-stick coating. That said, however, I can only bring myself to dock half a point for that potential downside, because so far this pan has proved incredibly easy to clean by hand. If I find that the non-stick coating holds up particularly well or poorly over long-term use, I’ll come back to note that and adjust my score accordingly.
What really surprised me about this pan, however, is that it’s useful for more than just an edge-lover’s brownies. Because the pattern is so consistent and narrow and the material is so heavy, anything cooked in it comes out extraordinarily evenly baked. There’s no worry that the center might be underdone. There are no cracks caused by the outside being done before the center.
The accompanying manual suggests using the pan for all sorts of things in addition to brownies, such as quick breads, coffee cakes, and so on, and I agree. A recipe that was meant to make two loaves of banana nut quick bread came out perfectly in this. I’d happily make bread pudding in here, or just about anything that I’d otherwise cook in a 13×9, 9×9, or 8×8. I found that the evenness of the baking means that recipes that should use smaller pans—such as those meant for an 8×8—come out just fine in here despite being layered more thinly.
So if you’re an edge lover like me, this makes a great little gift or specialty item. But if you’re looking for a very even-baking pan for any occasion and enjoy the funky-shaped results, this makes a good, solid multi-purpose baking pan.