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Can You Put Silicone Molds and Pans in the Oven?

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Short answer: Yes, food-grade silicone molds and bakeware are oven safe. They are also freezer-safe and microwave-safe.

But it’s a little more complicated than that. Generally, silicone pans can tolerate high temperatures up to 428*F (220*C) although some products may be higher. It’s best to check with the manufacturer’s instructions for its maximum temperature. For example, silicone molds for the Instant Pot need to be heat-resistant to 450*F (232*C).

Table of Contents
Benefits of silicone
Can you put silicone bakeware directly on the rack?
Tips for baking with silicone
Challenges of silicone baking
Why to use silicone baking pans and molds

silicone molds on a table. Are silicone molds and pans safe for the oven

What are Silicone Molds Made of?

Silicone is a manmade, synthetic polymer made from bonded silicon and oxygen, sometimes with carbon. This rubbery compound is somewhere between a synthetic rubber and a synthetic plastic polymer. It does not react to food or change the flavor of your food.

Benefits of Silicone Bakeware

  • Flexible material will regain its shape if twisted, bent or squished.
  • Heat-resistance and cold-tolerant. 
  • Lightweight.
  • Does not contain BPAs or PFAS, those forever chemicals found in some plastics.
  • Variety of shapes. Unlike glass, aluminum or other metals, it’s available in a lot more varied shapes. 
  • Non-stick surface makes it easy to clean.
  • Reusable alternative to disposable single-use materials like aluminum foil or parchment paper.
silicone baking supplies including cupcake molds, measuring spoons

Where to Start with Silicone Molds or Baking Pans.

Many of us have already been using silicone in our kitchens already. Silicone spatulas, silicone-tipped tongs and pastry brushes have become kitchen staples for many of us. 

But now you’d like to jump on the silicone bandwagon with some cookware for your oven.

When shopping for silicone molds, insist on 100% pure silicone products. It may be listed as food grade. Do the pinch test: pinch the silicone and twist. If the color stays the same, it’s professional-quality pure silicone, but if it turns white or streaky, it’s mixed with chemical fillers and is not the same heat-resistant material. 

When starting out, think minimalist. Three piece sets – round cake pan, square cake pan and bread pan – are common. Muffin pans or individual cupcake cups are another option. Try it to see how you like silicone bakeware and how often you’ll use it before you commit to a larger set or more different shapes. 

Silicone bakeware has a plasticky smell when it’s new. The best way to deal with that is to wash it in soapy water, let it air dry and heat the empty molds in a preheated 350*F (176*C) oven for 30 minutes.

Can you put silicone baking molds or pans directly on the oven rack?

Yes, you can put silicone pans directly on the oven rack as long as the oven temperature does not exceed 428*F (220*C). Obviously you have a bit for flexibility if the manufacturer states it’s got a higher limit.

When heated, the silicone will become soft. The good news is you do not need to buy the single-purpose companion rack or “sled” the manufacturer is selling to fix that issue. Like with disposable aluminum pans, placing the silicone mold on a cookie sheet will suffice for added stability when moving your food in or out of the oven. 

Silicone pans will get hot so it’s a good idea to use oven mitts for removing the pan from the oven (or microwave oven). 

someone putting macaron batter on a silicone mat

Can you put silicone molds or mats in the air fryer?

Yes, but again this comes with the same temperature limitations. 

Silicone mats are a great alternative to parchment paper in the air fryer. Silicone mats are safe to 450*F to 500*F (232*C to 260*C) while parchment paper is rated for 420*F to 450*F (215*C to 232*F). Check the label for the manufacturer’s recommended temperature.

Tips for Baking with silicone molds

One of the great advantages of silicone cookware is the non-stick properties. High quality pans do not require greasing and flouring or non-stick cooking spray. Cheaper pans may be a little stickier. The fat and sugar in your cake batter will help prevent sticking as well.

If using a mold with multiple cavities, like the silicone cake molds that make six mini cakes, fill any unused cavities with water or flour. Do not bake with empty cavities (other than the initial post-purchase time).

You should not need to alter your baking time. If your recipe includes a longer bake time for dark pans and your silicone is dark, follow the instructions accordingly.

As silicone does not conduct heat as evenly as aluminum or other metal bakeware, baked goods do not brown the same way. Your bread will have paler sides. Leave your baked goods in the loaf pan to cool. This lack of browning makes silicone pans ideal for macaron shells and madeleine cookies as well.

For best results in removing your food, give a slight twist or pull for an easy release and then turn onto your cooling rack . Do not use knives or sharp objects to aid in removal as those can damage your cookware. (Similarly, don’t clean your silicon molds with abrasive sponges which can cause micro scratches and damage the non-stick surface.)

For unmolding cakes, place a larger plate on the cake and flip the plate and mold together. This special care gives the cake support the whole time and the same stability as the baking sheet in the oven so the cake doesn’t crack or bend in its flexible pan.  This works better with smaller cakes. 

After washing, let them fully air dry before you store them away. Stored wet, the silicone pans may discolor and develop tackiness. With proper care, silicone molds can last a long time. Some brands brag their silicon pans are good for 3000 uses. 

cookies, a spatula on a cooling rack with a cup of milk

Challenges with Silicone Bakeware

Larger cakes are prone to cracking when baked in silicone cake molds. This is one time it is better to stick with a traditional metal pan for their rigidity.

Many bakers report their cakes stick in a silicone bundt pan. This might be one pan that does require a light grease, likely due to the intricate and fancier patterns. This is a little bit of trial and error; try without greasing and, if it sticks, next time try it with greasing.

Some silicone bakeware is not the same standard sizing we have become accustomed to. This may mean adjusting the batter level and using a second smaller one for excess. The loaf pan is a good example of this size difference. The single silicone muffin cups are good for overflow. Pay attention to the size and the specifications in your recipe.

Silicone molds often do become less non-stick over time due to oil and grease which have baked onto the surface over time from cooking at high temperatures.. Alternatively, you can scrub with a grease-cutting liquid dish soap and a non-abrasive brush, then coat any greasy spots with a baking soda and water paste. Let the paste dry and repeat with the dish soap. It should remove the grease. Repeat if necessary.

If the grease really isn’t coming off your silicone molds, preheat the oven to 350*F (177*C) and heat for ten minutes to soften the grease. Remove from oven. Then add the baking soda paste, let it dry and scrub it off with soapy water. 

Do not cook meat or fish in direct contact with silicone molds. Rule of thumb: if it adds its own extra grease, it is not a good candidate for silicone cooking.

honey, flour, eggs, silicone baking spatula

Cautions about Silicone Bakeware

While the US Food & Drug Administration did declare food-grade silicone safe for cooking in 1979 and Health Canada says there are no known health hazards with using it, there are still some uncertainties to be aware of. 

When silicone cookware is exposed to higher temperatures, the chemicals in the product can be released into the air and into your kitchen when you open the oven door.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412018318105

Silicones are not completely inert and can leach harmful chemicals at low levels into baked goods. Leaching increases proportionally with fatty substances like oil. These levels are below safety thresholds set by regulatory bodies. Leaching can also be increased with age and wear of the silicone product. 

https://lifewithoutplastic.com/silicone/#:~:text=Silicones%20are%20not%20completely%20inert,fatty%20substances%2C%20such%20as%20oils.

Silicone items are not biodegradable and, unlike aluminum, can not be recycled at the end of its lifespan.

silicone baking bold pan and an oven

Why should I try silicone molds for baking in the oven? 

In the end, what really matters is the delicious desserts and tasty meals that you make. Silicone molds are made of a durable material which can withstand extreme temperatures from your freezer to your oven without waiting for the pan to defrost or come to room temperature. There are many good quality molds available in a variety of colors and various shapes on the market today, whether you shop through an online store or in person at a secondhand store. 

The best thing is that you have lots of choices! Pick one and get started!

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