Can silicone go in the oven? A guide to baking with silicone

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Can silicone go in the oven? Absolutely, and it’s a popular choice for kitchenware due to its high heat resistance and nonstick surface. Frequently used as an alternative to metal or glass pans, silicone items are known for their lightness and flexibility. They can typically handle temperatures up to 428 F, making them suitable for a wide range of baking tasks.

Several colorful silicone cake molds.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

However, it’s important to note that silicone products’ quality and heat tolerance can vary. Always check the product labels and follow the provided instructions. 

To prevent damage like melting or warping, use silicone within its recommended temperature range. Remember, silicone bakeware should not directly touch heating elements or flames, as this can harm the material. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of silicone bakeware.

“Silicone baking tools have been a lifesaver. I have just about anything you can imagine in silicone form. Using nut flours or fibers has always been a challenge, and silicone bakeware made it possible for my kids to enjoy healthier options in beautiful shapes that never stick together.”

— Zuzana Paar, Low Carb No Carb

Safety guidelines

When using silicone cookware, follow all safety guidelines to ensure durability and food safety. These include adhering to temperature limits, purchasing food-grade items and following specific manufacturer recommendations.

Maximum temperature ratings

Silicone kitchen products have varying maximum temperature ratings. For baking molds and mats, it’s best to only heat them up to 446 F. This temperature range is ideal for a variety of baking applications, from cakes to cookies to bread. Exceeding recommended temperatures may cause the silicone to degrade.

A person is putting cookies on a silicone baking sheet.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Food-grade standards

Can silicone go in the oven? Yes, but not all silicone is meant to be used when baking. Look for these standards to ensure that the silicone is safe for cooking. Silicone items coming into contact with food should be:

  • Certified food-grade: Look for FDA approval or BPA-free labels. These certifications guarantee that the silicone is safe for food contact and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals that could leach into your food.
  • Free of fillers: A pinch test — twisting the silicone to check for white streaks — can indicate the presence of non-silicone fillers. Pure silicone should not change color when twisted.

Oven types compatibility

Silicone is a versatile material compatible with various types of ovens. Its heat resistance ensures safe usage within a standard temperature range.

Conventional ovens

In conventional ovens, silicone bakeware, like what’s required in this cottage cheese breakfast muffins recipe, can be used without concern. They withstand temperatures up to around 425 F. However, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications for each silicone product.

Convection ovens

Silicone items are also suitable for convection ovens, which are known for providing an even baking process. They should be placed on a metal rack or baking sheet for stability due to the moving air.

Toaster ovens

Silicone also works well in toaster ovens. Just note that the silicone should be kept at least an inch from the heating elements to prevent damage from exposure to direct heat.

Usage tips

When using silicone bakeware in the oven, it’s important to consider placement, cooking time adjustments and cleaning to ensure optimal results and longevity of the bakeware.

A person pouring batter into a silicone muffin tin.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Placement in the oven

Keep silicone bakeware at least 1 inch away from the oven walls and heating elements. This prevents overheating and potential damage. Also, place silicone bakeware on a firm baking sheet before filling. This step is crucial to prevent spills due to the flexible nature of silicone.

Cooking adjustments

Be aware that baking times might be shorter since silicone heats up and cools down quickly. It’s a good practice to start checking for doneness a few minutes before the recipe’s stated time.

Additionally, silicone’s insulating properties can sometimes lead to uneven cooking, particularly for larger items like cakes or bread. Placing the silicone on a preheated metal tray can help achieve a more even bake.

Cleaning and maintenance

Allow the bakeware to cool first, then clean it with warm, soapy water or place it in the dishwasher if it’s dishwasher-safe. For storage, keep the bakeware in a cool, dry place and avoid contact with sharp objects that could puncture or slice the silicone material.

Common issues when baking with silicone

When using silicone bakeware in the oven, bakers might face certain challenges that can affect how well their food cooks and how long their bakeware lasts. Understanding these issues can help in finding effective solutions.

Odor and taste transfer

One of the drawbacks of silicone is its potential to absorb strong smells and tastes, which can then be transferred to other foods. This issue is more prevalent when using silicone for baking foods with strong flavors.

To avoid this, some bakers have separate silicone items for sweet and savory baking. Regular and thorough cleaning can also help reduce flavor transfer, though it may not eliminate it.

“I excitedly bought a huge set of silicone bakeware years ago, which is now sitting in the basement. It turns out I much prefer baking with traditional pans. I found that baked goods stuck to pans even though they were supposed to be nonstick. But my biggest issue was that no matter what dishwasher detergent I used and no matter where I placed silicone pans in the dishwasher, they came out smelling like soap.”

— Erin Dooner, Texanerin Baking

Staining challenges

While silicone is nonstick and generally easy to clean, it’s prone to staining over time. Foods with deep colors can leave marks that are tough to remove. Additionally, nonstick cooking sprays can create a build-up over time, leading to a sticky residue that’s difficult to clean.

Preventing stains involves prompt cleaning after each use. Sometimes, soaking the silicone in a mixture of baking soda and water can help lighten stains and remove residue from cooking sprays. However, it’s important to accept that some staining over time is normal and doesn’t necessarily affect the functionality of the bakeware.

“Silicone mats are great in place of parchment paper when baking, but while I have tried out silicone baking molds for things like cupcakes, bread and more, I’ve been less thrilled with those and returned to traditional pans. Nonstick spray adheres to them, becoming hard to remove.”

— Michelle Price, Honest and Truly

Warping risks

Silicone bakeware is valued for its flexibility, but high temperatures can sometimes lead to warping. Silicone can change shape if exposed to heat for too long, especially if it’s not placed on a stable surface like a metal baking sheet.

Final thoughts

The final answer to the question, ‘Can silicone go into the oven?’ is that yes, silicone bakeware can be a practical tool, but they do experience some issues, especially when cleaning them. They can handle heat up to around 428 F and don’t stick, which is great for baking. It’s important to buy good quality silicone and follow the maker’s instructions. Remember, using silicone correctly means knowing and following its use and care instructions.

Sara Nelson is the food blogger behind Real Balanced, a site that showcases easy and balanced recipes. Since 2017, she has shared delicious and nutritious recipes with thousands of blog readers and social media followers. Sara lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two children and their dog.

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