How to Bake With Air Bake Pans

How to Bake With Air Bake Pans. (Image: Belyaevskiy/iStock/GettyImages)

You never know when it's going to happen. Some of your baked items make you look like a pastry chef, while others are dark, hard or burnt on the bottom, even on the same pan. Do yourself a favor and check out AirBake pans.

A star in the baking lineup, it's made with two sheets of aluminum separated by a layer of air. The bottom layer insulates the top layer by absorbing most of the oven's heat, helping the goodies on the top layer to bake evenly. Voila! Your delicious pastries and your reputation are saved.

Advantages of AirBake Pans

The biggest advantage of AirBake pans is that food bakes more evenly on them and burns less often. You'll see the technology discussed most with air-insulated baking sheets used for cookies. Since cookies are small and delicate, they can burn very easily.

Using a traditional cookie sheet, baking results can be uneven. One cookie can be undercooked while the one right next to it is unappealing, dark and even burnt on the bottom. AirBake cookie sheets help you keep this from happening. AirBake cake pans help cakes cook evenly too, even in a 9-by-13-inch pan.

Talk about ease of cleanup! You might have to scrub your kitchen counter because the flour and water you spilled turned into a paste, but you'll be able to just wipe your AirBake pans clean. Since they don't require greasing, you won't have that greasy film to deal with either.

Disadvantages of AirBake Pans

Alas, the pans don't come with a magic wand. You can still burn anything baked on AirBake pans. However, you have to work a lot harder to make that happen, like forgetting to set the timer.

Sometimes, the very feature that makes AirBake pans so appealing can cause problems. The small holes that allow air to circulate around the pan also allow water to enter when the pans are washed. The water usually drains out, and any remaining water evaporates when allowed to dry completely.

If the pan is used when some of the water is still in it, however, it turns to steam in the hot oven. This steam could cause some of the baked items to become hotter than the others and burn – the very result the AirBake technology is designed to prevent. Allow the pan enough time to dry completely to keep this from occurring. Also, any pan made of aluminum can stain and scratch fairly easily. To prevent this, use parchment paper instead of baking directly on the pan.

Instructions and Tips for Baking

To get maximum benefit from your AirBake pans and extend their useful life, follow these tips when baking:

  • If your parchment paper comes on a roll, pull out a length of paper and hold it against the pan you're using to be sure it covers the pan before tearing it off.

  • Shorten the AirBake pan cooking times, since they tend to cook food faster. The number of minutes to shorten can vary with each recipe and your personal preferences.

  • Use nonscratch utensils to remove baked goods from the aluminum pans without scratching them.

Cleaning and Storing Pans

Keep your AirBake pans looking new by following these tips for cleaning and storing:

  • Although your AirBake pan may come with instructions that say it's dishwasher safe, water can get into the pan's holes and cause problems. It is better to hand wash the pans without immersing them in water. Also, some dishwasher tablets have ingredients that could harm the pan's surface.

  • Always use a soft cloth to clean AirBake pans. Don't use abrasive liquids or steel wool.

  • Avoid setting heavy items on AirBake pans, especially when they're hot, as this could dent the pans and cause uneven baking.
References & Resources