I’m starting something new! Things I Like Thursday. TILT. I like it. :) I hope you like it too.
First off, I’m a thrifty person, as we are a family of four (don’t forget the dog – she is almost as expensive than the toddler!) living on one small income, so I try to buy things that are lower in price. However, I am also willing to save and pay more for something that is really good quality because I’ve learned over and over, the hard way, that you almost always get what you pay for. Not always, but usually. And you actually do end up saving money, and getting better results, by paying more for high quality pans that last a lifetime than paying for $5 pans over and over and over.
Which leads me to my favorite pans. I have bought a lot of cheap pans and the results I got with them were OK, not great, but I’m a good baker, so it wasn’t terrible. I finally decided, after the state fair judges told me for the millionth time not to grease the sides of my pans (and finally disqualified me for doing so after many warnings), that it was time to buy some really killer pans that baked goods would actually come free of, even if I didn’t grease the sides.
I did some research, comparing different brands, and I was swayed by the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon for the USA pans. So despite them costing more than I’d usually like to pay, I used some of my state fair winnings money several years ago to purchase a loaf pan and two muffin pans.
Oh my wow, people. These pans are amazing. I actually had previously purchased an even higher priced Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Loaf Pan with a gift card I got for a birthday, and these pans beat the pricey Goldtouch pans out of the park. Yes, the Goldtouch pans are nicely nonstick, and they give breads and muffins an excellent rise, but they also consistently over-browned the sides and bottom of my baked goods. And dark brown on the sides, golden on the top is just not a good look for baked goods. State Fair judges are definitely not fans of that look. The pans also tend to collect yucky stuff in the corners that was a lot of work to get out with a toothpick.
The USA Pans are not only fabulously nonstick, and give your baked goods an excellent rise, but they do not over-brown the bottom and sides of your baked goods, and do not collect gunk in the corners. I have also had no problems with rust, and my pans are still in the same condition they were when I bought them two years ago.
I can now present my quick breads to the judges without having the “fry line,” as they call it, on the sides, and last year I was not disqualified. In fact, my Black Walnut Banana Bread got third place. (Yes, the blue ribbon STILL eludes me! One day, people, one day. Here is the main part of my Banana Bread adventures if you’re unfamiliar with my epic quest for a blue ribbon and want to catch up.)
I will say that the one drawback with the muffin pans is that they won’t fit side by side in a regular-sized oven if you want to bake two dozen muffins or cupcakes at once. Which I often do. It hasn’t slowed me down though, I just put one in the middle rack on the far right, and one on the very top, far left. The bottom one gets done first and I move the top one down to finish, or sometimes just leave it up there to slowly finish. It really upset me when I discovered they wouldn’t fit side by side, but I don’t mind it at all now. Since it bothered me so much, though, I wanted to make sure to mention it so you guys don’t have any surprises if you decide to buy them! They are definitely my favorite muffin pans, even with the unfortunate size problem.
I highly recommend USA pans to anyone that enjoys baking. They are definitely “Things I Like.” :)
Check back next Thursday for another kitchen edition of TILT! After that I might get all wild and crazy with posts on cloth diapers and essential oils. I be so crunchy! :D
Full disclosure: I’m not being paid to provide this review, nor was I provided with anything free to do it. I just really LOVE these pans and want to spread the word. There are affiliate links contained in this post, and I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase any of these items through the links I provide, but again, the thoughts and opinions stated here are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting my blog! :)