The 7 Best Loaf Pans of 2020

Create delicious breads and baked goods in your kitchen

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Our Top Picks
"This heavy-duty, commercial-grade pan creates tall, golden loaves."
"A classic and inexpensive pan that lets you visually monitor your baking."
"Nonstick, lightweight silicone makes cleanup a breeze."
"A beautiful and functional piece that can be handed down for generations."
"Great value pan that releases easily and is easy to clean."
"Perfect for gift baking or a scaled-down recipe, these minis deliver the same performance as a standard-sized pan."
"The two-piece design allows grease to drain away while keeping meatloaf moist."
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Best Aluminum: Chicago Metallic Commercial II Traditional Uncoated 1-Pound Loaf Pan

What We Like
  • Professional grade

  • Heavy-duty design prevents warping

What We Don't Like
  • Lift-off can be problematic if not greased/lined properly

  • No handles

If you’re looking for a professional-grade metal loaf pan, you’ll love the sturdy feel of this one. Made of aluminized steel, this pan features a reinforced rim and folded corners that help to prevent the warping that may happen with lighter pans. “Chicago Metallic's uncoated loaf pans are workhorses for us,” says Clémence Gossett, owner of The Gourmandise cooking school in Santa Monica. “The narrow base allows for more vertical expansion, allowing for a taller loaf. I prefer metal to ceramic for a more golden, even crust on our yeasted and quick breads.”

The size of the Chicago Metallic pan is perfect for baking babka, banana bread, or a sandwich-worthy sourdough loaf. Gossett’s pro tip: lining your pan with a single quarter sheet of parchment paper rather than greasing the pan makes for easy lift-off and clean-up after baking.

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Best Glass: Pyrex Clear Basics Glass Loaf Pan

What We Like
  • Retains and distributes heat well

  • Non-reactive with acidic foods

  • Resistant to odors, staining, and rust

What We Don't Like
  • Requires adjusting cooking temperatures

  • Needs to be well-greased

  • Can shatter with drastic temperature changes

The transparency of glass loaf dishes makes it easy to gauge the doneness of your baked goods—one reason the Pyrex Clear Basics Glass Loaf Pan is a perennial favorite. “Glass takes longer to heat in the oven but stays very hot when it does,” according to LA-based chef Leslie Durso. Because the glass distributes heat evenly, the outside and inside of your loaf will cook fairly evenly as well. Glass is also non-reactive, making it great for baking recipes with tomatoes and citrus.

But cooking in a glass vessel requires some adaptation, as most recipes are written for metal pans. Durso notes that when you use glass, you’ll have to adjust the temperature your recipe calls for. “You’ll want to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake a little bit longer,” she says. She also cautions against exposing the pan to drastic temperature changes, as it could shatter from “thermal shock” by going immediately going from hot to cold—never put a warm glass pan into your refrigerator or freezer!

of 07

Best Silicone: Trudeau Structure Silicone Pro Loaf Pan

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Fairly inexpensive

  • Cools quickly and releases food easily

  • Dishwasher- and microwave-safe

What We Don't Like
  • Oven-safe only to 430 degrees

  • Can potentially be damaged by sharp utensils

Silicone bakeware is a favorite in Europe and has been used for years, particularly for specialty pans and molds, as traditional metal counterparts require greasing and flouring. Made of food-grade silicone, this Trudeau loaf pan is perfect for those who want a lightweight, easy-to-clean pan that requires no extra steps to prepare the surface for use.

This innovative design combines the stability of traditional bakeware with the nonstick, easy-to-clean material—no utensils required to remove your loaf from its baking pan. This material cools quickly and is resistant to thermal shock, making it possible for you to go from oven to freezer and back. The only drawbacks: This pan is only oven-safe up to 430 degrees, and sharp tools may damage the pan. 

of 07

Best Ceramic: Le Creuset Heritage Loaf Pan

What We Like
  • Beautiful design and color variety

  • Stoneware retains heat evenly

  • Safe for oven, broiler, freezer, and microwave

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Bulky to store

  • Can chip if dropped or banged on a hard surface

The brand Le Creuset might be best known for its vibrant enameled Dutch ovens, but its stoneware collection also performs exceptionally well. “Ceramic heats evenly and can be very sturdy,” says Durso, who likes to use her Le Creuset loaf pan for baking bread. “ Bonus points for the beautiful pop of color it can give your kitchen!”

The Heritage Loaf Pan, made of high-fired stoneware, is a solid addition to your bakeware collection and is gorgeous to boot. This vintage-inspired design features stylish scalloped handles for easy transport from the oven to the table, and it comes in a number of colors. Thanks to a durable enamel-glaze finish, it will resist stains, odors, and scratches and is also easy to clean. It is safe for use in the oven, freezer, and microwave, and can withstand up to 500 degrees. 

of 07

Best Nonstick: Wilton Perfect Results Large Nonstick Loaf Pan

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Nonstick

  • Has handles for easier transport

  • Affordable price point

What We Don't Like
  • Nonstick coating can scratch or peel

  • Hand-wash recommended

Wilton is a well-recognized brand when it comes to bakeware, and this popular pan is a great example of why: It performs well at an unbeatable price. This sturdy loaf pan is made from carbon steel, giving it enough heft and structure to prevent warping. Its reinforced nonstick surface ensures that your baked goods will release easily and cleaning up will require very little effort. 

Durso calls the Wilton Perfect Results pan her “go-to”, thanks to its excellent heat conduction for even baking. This model is slightly larger than your traditional loaf pan, allowing for a 25 percent larger loaf (around 2 pounds). It's ideal for making family-sized sandwich loaves or quickbread for a crowd!

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Best Mini Loaf Pan: Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick Mini Loaf Pan Set

What We Like
  • Great for gift baking

  • Similar baking performance to larger Wilton pans

What We Don't Like
  • Hand-wash recommended

  • Difficult to manage with oven mitts

Another winning Wilton product, the Recipe Right Non-Stick Mini Loaf Pan, is a perfect choice for those who prefer working with smaller quantities or want to give away their baked goods. With a similarly heavy feel and sturdy construction, these smaller pans still perform like the bigger pans, cooking evenly and providing excellent heat conduction and browning. 

This set’s capacity equals one full-sized loaf, so no need to recalculate your original recipe—just distribute it among all three pans. These mini-sized loaf pans can also fit right into a countertop oven or air fryer. The nonstick coating will give you an easy release and cleanup (it's dishwasher-safe, but it is hand-washing is highly recommended to preserve the nonstick capability). 

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Best Meatloaf: Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick 2-Piece Healthy Meatloaf Set

What We Like
  • Allows for a healthier version of meatloaf

  • Bakes evenly

  • Lifetime warranty from the manufacturer

What We Don't Like
  • Not very versatile

While one could argue that any loaf pan is suitable for meatloaf, the Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Healthy Meatloaf Set will level-up your meatloaf-making. Made of aluminized steel, it is comprised of a pan and perforated insert that keeps the loaf elevated and allows for excess fat to drain away while baking.

Thanks to a nonstick coating and the lifting tray, it’s a breeze to remove and serve your favorite meat (or meatless) loaf without making a mess—simply pull the loaf out of the pan and slide it onto a serving plate for slicing. The nonstick finish also makes cleanup quite effortless—no scouring required. 

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

The author of this piece, Bernadette Machard de Gramont, specializes in global food and wine content. She interviewed two culinary experts for this piece and grew up baking banana bread in Pyrex loaf pans. She has personally used the Wilton loaf pans (large and mini) and also loves her Le Creuset Heritage Loaf Pan for making quatre-quarts, the French version of pound cake. 

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