Monday, December 19, 2011

But...I love my silicone bakeware!

...a suburban greenmom realizes it's evening and she forgot to post...

Just this evening I came across this on Grist: (thanks to Crunchy Chicken for posting it!)

Ask Umbra: Is Silicone Bakeware Safe?

Check it out, of course, but the bottom line is, "well, maybe not so much."

This breaks my heart, although it's one of those questions I have carefully ignored in my own baking life.  Because until I got my silicone bakeware, I never once successfully got a bundt out of its pan, I had split muffins all the time, and my birthday cakes were exercises in reconstruction. I didn't want to know.

But now I do...

Honestly, I will probably continue to use them.  Much of the concern around this bakeware seems to revolve around high heat and/or high fat baking, and generally I'm just kind of cooking muffins at 350. So it's not a big whoop. And I have them--they are mine, I get that carbon footprint stuff whether I use them or not, so it's not like replacing them will negate that from my slate.

Anyone else use silicone? What do you think of it?

And anyone have any wisdom to offer about how to get bundt cakes out of the pan without leaving half of the thing in there, for when I do try using other pans?

--Jenn the Greenmom

8 comments:

Lisa Sharp said...

My husband got me a huge set of nice silicone bakeware one year when switching from Teflon, I sent it back right after I used it because it made the whole house smell even after I washed it a lot.

Now I just use glass and stainless. I just coat it with butter, coconut or olive oil. I really love Pyrex and American Kitchen, both are made in the US which I like.

Elizabeth said...

Do you have a good quality bundt pan, like a NordicWare? I grease well with crisco, getting into all the spaces, then flour well. My bundt pan is harvest gold and from the 70's and works great.

Never have used silicone. Do have a Sil-pat mat that I use under appliances like a crockpot or my lefse griddle as protection for the counter. Never used it for baking actually.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

You don't find that the silicone gives your food a weird flavor? I bought one silicone baking thing many years ago for making popsicles in - never baked in it - but it made our popsicles taste weird so I got rid of it.

I find that butter works much better to grease pans than cooking spray or oil.

Jenn the Greenmom said...

No, never detected any weird flavor. And the butter suggestions are all good...I do have a high quality Bundt pan (I forget who makes it), but now that I think of it the days before I switched to silicone--also well before I started thinking in green terms much at all--I was much more stingy with the oils and fats when baking, and that could have been part of the issue.

How about timing? How long do y'all wait after getting a cake out of the oven before you turn it out of the pan? I've wondered if that might be part of my problem...too quick, and it comes apart; too long, and its settled via gravity and adhered more...

Dea-chan said...

With bundts, you're supposed to suspend them while they cool for a good 30 minutes, and then I try to upend it. If that doesn't work, we discovered recently at my house that wooden coffee stirrers have just the right amount of bendiness to slide down the inner edge of a bundt pan and loosen a stuck cake.

Oh, and don't use breadcrumbs or rice flour when flouring your pan -- they stick like the dickens.

Jenn the Greenmom said...

Hmm, when I've suspended mine, half of it has fallen out while the other half stayed in there stubbornly hanging on. I knew that was supposed to work for angel food, didn't know about Bundts...

But the coffee stirrer thing sounds like a plan!

Rosa said...

We just eat the cake right out of the pan, usually.

I have a brand new silicon candy mold, because all the other options were hard plastic. The old ones were tin, with lead, which is obviously much worse.

noteasytobegreen said...

I bought silicon muffin cups so I wouldn't have to keep using paper ones, and I'm probably going to keep using them, too. It's not like I use them all the time or bake muffins at high temperatures! Apparently parchment paper is also coated with silicon. Someone suggested baking cookies on a baking stone, and that idea definitely has promise.

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