Bendy bakeware review and compare

Is silicone bakeware a revolution or a fashion statement?
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
  • Updated:7 Jan 2006
 

01 .Introduction

Bendy-bakeware

Test results for a selection of silicone bakeware from 10 brands priced from $10 to $50

We included, where available, a range of products from each brand - a muffin pan, a cake pan and baking sheet. We also compared their performance to traditional non-stick metal bakeware.

We tested for:

  • Cooking performance – baking a range of treats: sponge cakes and choc-banana muffins in the pans, and foccaccia on the baking sheets.
  • Ease of use – cleaning, storage & versatility, handling and dishwasher use.

How are CHOICE tests different? We buy all the products we test – we don’t accept industry freebies and we don’t take ads. We're non-profit and our work is funded by people like you.

Please note: this information was current as of January 2006 but is still a useful guide to today's market.


Findings:

  • All the silicone bakeware we tested cooked well.
  • Some bakeware is easier to use.
  • Silicone bakeware cools to the touch faster and is easier to store than regular bakeware. It can also go in your dishwasher without rusting.
  • Price isn't an indicator of performance.

Brands tested

  • BAKERS SECRET
  • BREVILLE
  • FLEX
  • JAMIE OLIVER BY TEFAL
  • PYREX
  • SILICONE ZONE
  • TUPPERWARE
  • WILLOW
  • WILTSHIRE
  • WONDERFLEX
 
 

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What to buy

Jamie Oliver by Tefal:

  • Six-hole muffin pan - $49.95

Wiltshire Bend ’n’ Bake:

  • Six-hole muffin pan - $14.99
  • Round pan - $15.99
  • Baking sheet - $10.99

The JAMIE OLIVER muffin pan clocked in with the highest overall score in our test but is expensive. We wanted to test the range’s round cake pan too, but it wasn’t available when we were buying.

If you’re looking for something cheaper the WILTSHIRE isn’t quite as easy to use but is good value and cooks just as well.

What about the rest?

  • The silicone near the handles of both PYREX muffin pans in our test started to split, which is why PYREX isn’t in the What to buy list despite its high overall score.
  • The BREVILLE round cake pan was more difficult to clean than other brands. It has ridges on the base, and it also needs to be soaked before it goes in the dishwasher.
  • All the other brands cook well, but they’re either more expensive or not as easy to use as those in the What to buy list.

Results table

  Performance Features Specifications Size & Price
Brand / model
(in rank order)
Overall
score1
(%)
Cooking
score2
(%)
Ease
of use
score3
(%)
Greasing
required
Flexibility4 Handles5* Oven-safe
temperature
Warranty
(years)
Origin Manufacturer/
distributor
Muffin pan
(number of
holes / **)
Round pan
(cm /**)
Baking sheet
(cm /**)
JAMIE OLIVER BY TEFAL 84 100 80 • (A) Firm 250°C ns Italy Tefal 6 /
$49.95
na na
PYREX Flexi Grips Bakeware 83 95 80 Firm 220°C 10 China World Kitchen Australia 12 /
$34.95
23 /
$29.95 (G)
na
TUPPERWARE 78 100 72 Firm 220°C ‘Lifetime’ Belgium Tupperware 7 /
$46.95
na 35x 31 /
$46.95
# SILICONE ZONE 74 100 68 Floppy 220°C ‘Lifetime’ China 6 /
$19.95
25 /
$34.95
31x 23/
$19.95
WILTSHIRE Bend ‘n’ bake 74 100 68 Floppy 220°C 3 China McPherson’s Housewares 6 /
$14.99
23/ $15.99 35x 25 /
$10.99
WONDERFLEX 74 100 68 Floppy (B) 230°C (E) Italy Tomkin 6 /
$29.95
24 /
$37.95
na
FLEX 70 93 64 Floppy 300°C 20 China Flex Silicone Bakeware 6 /
$19.99
23 /
$22.99
na
BAKERS SECRET 68 100 60 (C) 315°C (F) China World Kitchen na na 40x 26 /
$19.95
WILLOW 68 100 60 Very floppy 230°C ns China Willow Ware 12 /
$9.87
22 /
$9.87
na
# BREVILLE 60 93 52 Very floppy (D) 240°C ns China Breville 12 /
$24.99
23 / $19.99 na
 

Table notes

# Discontinued

* None of the baking sheets has a handle.
** Manufacturers’ recommended retail prices, June 2006.
na Not applicable.
ns Not stated.
(A) See the profile, above left.
(B) Round pan has a metal ring for support.
(C) We only tested a baking sheet for this brand, and they’re very floppy in all brands.
(D) Round cake pan only, not muffin pan.
(E) “Six to 12 months if it’s deemed a manufacturing fault.”
(F) Indefinite warranty period: if the product is deemed faulty, it will be replaced or repaired — “no questions asked”.
(G) To be discontinued and replaced with a ‘deep round cake pan’; you might still find the cake pan we tested in some stores.

1 Overall score
This is made up of:
Cooking: 20%
Ease of use: 80%
Since all the cooking scores were excellent, we gave the highest weighting to ease of use in order to differentiate the products.

2 Cooking score
Our CHOICE home economist cooked sponge cakes in the round cake pans, muffins in the muffin pans and focaccia on the baking sheet (not all brands have all three types of bakeware). She then assessed the quality of the baked goods.

3 Ease of use score
This is made up of:
Cleaning/dishwasher: 40%
Storage and stackability: 20%
Ease of transferring to and removing from the oven: 40%

4 Flexibility
We assessed the firmness of the muffin pans and cake pans for each brand. All baking sheets are intended for use with a flat metal baking tray, and it’s often recommended for the other bakeware too.

5 Handles
Not all the muffin and cake pans have a specific firm handle area.

Product profiles – the best

JAMIE OLIVER PROFESSIONAL SERIES BY TEFAL

Muffin mould (six)

Price: $49.95

Good points

  • Best overall score
  • Easy to clean and stack in dishwasher
  • Initial greasing for first use, but not necessary after that unless washed in a dishwasher
  • Firm handles make it easier to transfer to oven with raw ingredients.

Bad points

  • Expensive
  • Some water marks noticeable after use.

WILTSHIRE Bend 'n' Bake

Muffin pan (six)

Price: $14.99

Round cake pan (23cm)

Price: $15.99

Baking sheet

Price: $10.99

Good points

  • Equal best for cooking
  • Reasonably priced.

Bad points

  • No firm handle area
  • Some water marks noticeable after use.

Product profiles – the rest

PYREX Flexi Grips Bakeware

Muffin pan (twelve)

Price: $34.95

Round pan (23cm)

Price: $29.95

Good points

  • Easy to clean
  • 10 year warranty
  • Firm handles make it easier to transfer to oven with raw ingredients.

Bad points

  • Possible to accidentally break reinforcing in handle of muffin pan resulting in splitting of the silicone.
  • Some water marks noticeable after use.

TUPPERWARE

Muffin pan (seven)

Price: $46.95

Baking sheet

Price: $46.95

Good points

  • Very good overall score
  • Easy to clean and stack in dishwasher
  • Fairly firm - easy to transfer with raw ingredients.

Bad points

  • Expensive
  • Some water marks noticeable after use.

# SILICONE ZONE

Muffin pan (six)

Price: $19.95

Round pan (25cm)

Price: $34.95

Baking sheet (31 x 23cm)

Price: $19.95

Good points

  • Very good overall score
  • Easy to clean.

Bad points

  • No firm handle area. Very soft and droopy silicone means that you need to be careful when transferring to oven with raw ingredients.
  • Some water marks noticeable after use.

# Discontinued

WONDERFLEX

Muffin pan (six)

Price: $29.95

Round pan (24cm)

Price: $37.95

Good points

  • Very good overall score
  • Easy to clean
  • Cake pan has a reinforcing ring that is removable to help with support.

Bad points

  • No handle area.

FLEX

Muffin pan (six)

Price: $19.99

Round pan (23cm)

Price: $22.99

Good points

  • Good overall score
  • Easy to clean
  • 20 year limited warranty.

Bad points

  • No firm handle area. Need to be careful when transferring to oven with raw ingredients.

BAKERS SECRET

Baking sheet:

Price: $19.95

Good points

  • Reasonably priced.

Bad points

  • Some staining
  • Baking sheet not easy to place in dishwasher
  • Baking sheet needs to be placed on a baking tray for cooking.

WILLOW

Muffin pan (12 cup)

Price: $9.87

Round cake pan (22cm)

Price: $9.87

Good points

  • Cheapest bakeware tested
  • Australian made.

Bad points

  • Some staining and water marks noticeable after use.
  • No firm handle area. Very soft and droopy silicone means that you need to be careful when transferring to oven with raw ingredients.

# BREVILLE

Muffin pan (12 cup)

Price: $24.99

Round cake pan:

Price: $19.99

Good points

  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to store and stack.

Bad points

  • Lowest overall score
  • Ridges in base of round pan can make it difficult to clean
  • Stains difficult to remove
  • Difficult to stack in dishwasher
  • Need to be careful when transferring pans to oven as bakeware droops with raw ingredients.

What are the benefits? While all the brands cooked well, so did their conventional metal counterparts. Regular non-stick metal cookware did as good a job overall as the top three silicone brands, so there’s little or no advantage in cooking performance.

Pros:

The big advantage of silicone bakeware is its ease of use:

  • It’s flexible.
  • It can be rolled up, folded or stacked.
  • It can be put in the dishwasher without rusting.
  • It’s very light.
  • It won’t rust, corrode, scratch, dent or peel.

Cons:

However, there are also downsides:

  • Transferring the bakeware to the oven when it’s filled with heavy raw ingredients can be difficult because some of the silicone is very floppy. In fact, manufacturers recommend placing silicone bakeware on a metal baking sheet to keep things stable.
  • It can be expensive. A typical muffin pan costs from $15 to $50 — much more than standard metal or even non-stick bakeware.
  • While it’s non-stick, most brands still need to be greased with every use to ensure the baked items come out easily.

For people with a disability

Silicone bakeware may not be suitable for some people with a disability, such as hand weakness or the use of only one hand. Two hands are needed to transfer the bakeware to the oven or onto a tray.

Bakers tip:

When you’re baking muffins or cakes in a silicone pan, try leaving them in the pan to cool down a little longer than you would with a traditional metal tin, say 15 minutes. This should help your baked goodies come out of the pan with even less chance of sticking and damage.