How many pans do I really need?
If that simple-seeming question makes you a little anxious, don’t worry - you’re in great company. Both new bakers, cooks, and seasoned professionals alike can get lost in the truly astonishing variety of baking pans on the market today.
Do you need a square pan, a round pan, or both? What about an oblong baking dish, a tart pan, a springform pan, or a cookie sheet pan? And how about specialty pans like a bundt pan, a tube pan, a jelly roll pan, or a muffin pan? And don’t even get us started on choosing the best bakeware material. (Porcelain? Glass pan? Ceramic? Nonstick aluminum? Silicone?!) The questions literally never end.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. If you choose wisely, you really only need a few key pans to get you through the vast majority of baking endeavors. That’s why Made In ’s inaugural bakeware line includes just three versatile pieces:
- The 9 x 13 inch rectangular baking dish (5.3 quart capacity)
- The 8 x 8 inch square baking dish (2.4 quart capacity)
- The 10 x 6.6 inch oval baking dish (2.6 quart capacity)
In this guide, we’ll review these three baking pans - so you know how and when to use each one. We’ll also give you some handy tips about pan size substitutions and recipes. But first, let’s cover some baking pan basics.
Baking Pans 101
What are the standard baking pan sizes?
What is a baking dish size most commonly found in a kitchen? While there’s a lot of variation, the most common size baking dish is a 9 x 13 inch rectangular pan. If you hear someone talking about a “standard-sized” baking pan, this is probably what they mean. Coming in at a close second, however, is the square 8 x 8 inch baking pan, which you’ll find in almost as many kitchens.
What about round baking dishes? It turns out a square 8 x 8 inch baking pan can substitute almost perfectly for a 9 inch round cake pan. The area of the square pan is 64 square inches, while the round one is almost identical at 63.5 square inches. So if a cake recipe, for example, calls for a 9 inch round cake pan, you can swap in your 8 x 8 square cake pan with no problem.
All of that said, any recipe worth its salt will say exactly what size baking pan you need! If a baking recipe doesn’t call for a specific size pan, you should probably find a new recipe.
How big is a 9 x 13 nonstick pan?
Sometimes, recipes will call for a “9 x 13 pan” without giving proper units. As you might have guessed, these numbers are shorthand for inches. In other words, a “9 x 13 pan” is 9 inches wide and 13 inches long. Occasionally, recipes will also specify a depth, such as 2 inches. This would be written “9 x 13 x 2.”
Not sure how big a baking pan is? If you need to measure pan size, always measure from the inside edge. Different pans have different thicknesses, and you don’t want that extra material to throw off your measurement.
Can I use a 9 x 13 pan instead of 8 x 8?
What should you do if a baking recipe calls for an 8 x 8 inch pan, but you only have a 9 x 13 inch pan available? Good news! It turns out that a 9 x 13 inch pan is almost exactly twice the pan size of an 8 x 8 piece. This means if you simply double the recipe, a 9 x 13 inch baking pan should be a great fit.
Remember, you can always check the area of a baking pan by multiplying the length and the width. So, for instance, an 8 x 8 inch pan is 64 square inches (because 8 times 8 equals 64). And a 9 x 13 inch pan is 117 square inches (because 9 times 13 equals 117).
If you need to check a round pan, multiply 3.14 times the radius of the pan squared. So for a baking pan that’s 9 inches across, simply square the radius (4.5 times 4.5 = 20.25) and multiply by 3.14 for a total pan size of 63.5 square inches.
Made In Bakeware: Three Essential Items
As we mentioned above, you need three basic baking pans to handle most of the recipes you’ll comes across. When we said we chose these items for their power and versatility, we meant it! Here’s the lowdown on the three baking pans we think are essential for any kitchen.
The 9 x 13 inch baking pan
There’s a reason 9 x 13 inch pans are the most common size in kitchens across the world. It’s because they’re perfect for an incredible variety of entrées, desserts, and everything in between. Think summer squash casserole, baked ziti, gooey brownies, roasted cauliflower, black bean enchiladas, strawberry layer cake, eggplant rollatini, peach cobbler… (We could go on, but we’re getting hungry.)
The 9 x 13 inch pan is also a very convenient piece to swap in for other baking dish sizes. You can use it to bake any of the following:
- A doubled recipe for an 8 x 8 inch baking pan
- A doubled recipe for an 8 inch round baking pan
- A doubled recipe for a 9 inch round baking pan
- A recipe for a 10 inch bundt cake pan
- A recipe for 20-30 cupcakes
But what about materials? While you can buy different size baking pans made from any number of substances (including glass, nonstick metal, and silicone), we think porcelain outshines them all, even though stoneware vs porcelain is a popular debate. That’s why our entire bakeware line contains only pure French porcelain. Our porcelain is made from locally-sourced materials by French artisans working in a two-hundred-year tradition. It’s crafted from a unique and proprietary blend of kaolinite and silicate - natural minerals that have proven safe, strong, and beautiful since the 1800s.
You’ll find that our 9 x 13 inch porcelain baking pan, just like all of our bakeware, is thermal-shock resistant, so you can move it straight from the fridge to the oven. It also spreads heat evenly across your food, for perfectly through-cooked casseroles and desserts. It’s durable enough that you’ll see it passed down through your family for generations. And with its fine crafting and hand-painted details, this dish is beautiful enough to make an elegant centerpiece for any meal.
The 8 x 8 inch baking pan
As we mentioned above, the 8 x 8 inch pan is around half the size of a 9 x 13 inch pan. That means it’s perfect for any baked good you’d like to make in smaller quantities. That could mean Mexican cornbread, date oatmeal cookie bars, mushroom-stuffed peppers, peach-lime cobbler, spicy polenta casserole, spinach manicotti, and more.
But an 8 x 8 inch baking pan isn’t just useful for cooking smaller portions of food. You can also swap it in for a number of other pan sizes, including:
- A 9 x 13 inch baking pan with the recipe halved
- A 9 inch round baking pan
- A 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan
- A deep-dish pie plate (9 inches across x 2 inches deep)
Just like the 9 x 13 inch baking pan, our 8 x 8 inch pan is made from high-performance French porcelain. It’s entirely non-porous, meaning it resembles a nonstick coating and doesn’t absorb the aroma or flavor of whatever you’re baking. This makes it a breeze to clean, keeps the dish entirely odor-free, and creates a more sanitary cooking surface. Like our 9 x 13 inch pan, this piece is dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and oven safe up to 650 degrees.
The 10 x 6.6 inch oval baking pan
The final offering in our inaugural line of baking dishes is our oval baking pan. It measures 10 inches long and 6.6 inches wide at their widest points, with an overall capacity of 2.6 quarts. This dish is perfect for bread - whether you’re whipping up a traditional loaf of crusty, leavened flour bread or need a mold for a wet-batter loaf like beer bread. The fantastic heat transfer of porcelain means your bread will rise, brown, and bake evenly, with no hot-spots or burns.
Our oval baking pan is also ideal for deep, rich casseroles like a golden shepherd’s pie, black bean taco casserole, or coconut cream spinach casserole. Or you can try a crispy gratin dish like the crowd-favorite potatoes au gratin, polenta gnocchi, or a crispy-cheesy hash brown bake. And of course, this dish is a trusty companion as you enter dessert territory - think golden custard, blueberry-rhubarb cobbler with cream, or classic cherry clafoutis.
As with all of our bakeware, this oval baking dish is crafted to achieve incredible performance without sacrificing a bit of aesthetic beauty. With just a glance, you’ll notice striking attention to detail in every hand-painted line and curve. (And no surprise there - with designs cultivated by French artisans for over two centuries, these pieces are built for timeless beauty.) If you’re looking for a durable and elegant dish that wows your guests when you introduce an appetizer, side, or dessert, we think this piece is exactly what you need.
The bottom line
As we mentioned before, you can’t go wrong with any of these baking pans. In all honesty, you’ll want to have each of these baking pan sizes in your kitchen in order to prepare as many delicious meals as possible. Just remember, each pan has a different purpose, so refer to this guide before cooking to produce the best results!