Bake-and-Give Loaf Pans
Bake-and-give pans are single-use pans for giving away baked goods. They are disposable and inexpensive and can handle the oven temperatures required for most baking recipes. They also help keep tender loaves from getting smashed in transit. While these products are sold in many shapes, we tested three “mini” loaf pans, priced from 58 cents to $1.50 each (they are sold as sets). Two brands, both made of paper, were oven-safe to 390 degrees. One, made of thin wood, was safe to 450 degrees.
We baked our Chocolate Pound Cake and Zucchini Bread in them (both recipes are formulated for an 8 1/2 by 5 1/2-inch pan), filling each small pan exactly to the recommended two-thirds level and taking note of how many mini loaf pans one batch of batter filled. All were easy to use; none required greasing, and no cakes stuck to the pans. With every brand we tested, the loaves browned nicely and cooled in their containers without becoming soggy. So, our decision largely came down to appearance: The wooden brand was awkwardly shaped and oversized for a mini pan, making only 1 1/2 loaves; one of the two paper brands looked plastic and cheap. Our favorite cost $6 for four pans, which are oven-safe to 390 degrees. One batch of batter made five small loaves with nicely domed tops, and the dark brown, gold-embossed paper pans were festive. A bonus: Each set comes with clear gift bags and gold ties—a complete package for homemade gifts.
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasn’t sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|Recommended with Reservations|
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.
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