The 10 Best Loaf Pans of 2023

Bake quick breads, snacking cakes, and more with the Chicago Metallic Commercial II Loaf Pan, our Best Overall.

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10 Best Loaf Pans for 2022

Amazon

Professional bakers and home cooks alike can agree that nothing is quite as satisfying as watching that seasonal quick bread rise in the oven or throwing together a hearty meatloaf or casserole. Whether you're baking a bronzed pumpkin spice cake or your favorite levain, the pan you rely on can make or break your project. Indeed, loaf pans are proportioned to make breads and cakes rise to dome-like perfection. Metal pans bake bread up browner and faster than glass or silicone, as metal “catches temperature faster and provides better rise and crispier edges,” says Fernando Trocca, executive chef of Mostrador NYC. Yet, there are advantages to every type.

On this list, we included top-performing loaf pans in various materials, such as ceramic, cast iron, glass, and silicone. In addition to material and heat conductivity, we considered factors like size and cleanup, ultimately naming the Chicago Metallic Commercial II Loaf Pan the Best Overall. Read on to learn more about it and for our full list of the best loaf pans.

Best Overall

Chicago Metallic Commercial II Traditional Uncoated 1-Pound Loaf Pan

5
Chicago Metallic Commercial II Traditional Uncoated 1-Pound Loaf Pan

Amazon

Pros: It’s well constructed for heat conduction and evenly cooks baked goods. 

Cons: Extra greasing may be required especially in the corners.

This commercial pan is a staple in professional kitchens for a very good reason. From its construction of heavy-weight aluminized steel to its uncoated surface, this loaf pan ensures even baking due to how well it conducts heat. The uncoated surface is malleable, and you can grease it with your fat of choice. Even its folded corners, which look great, contain a wire rod in the rim to reinforce its shape and prevent warping. 

  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.8 inches
  • Wash: Dishwasher safe, but hand wash recommended

Price at time of publish: $16

Best Splurge

Le Creuset Graphite Loaf Pan

Le Creuset Heritage Loaf Pan

Amazon

Pros: Baked goods go directly from the oven to the table in one stylish dish.

Cons: Ceramic can be tough to clean when heated to very high temps, and food becomes crusted in it.

Le Creuset's loaf pan is a classic: stylish, resists scratches, and can be heated up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Dense stoneware maintains a consistently high temperature throughout the cooking process, while little ridges on the handle make it easy to grab even while using oven mitts. The enamel glaze is non-porous, non-reactive, and relatively nonstick, allowing baked goods to release easily. Plus, it’s great for serving dessert in – just remove it to slice it first, as knives may damage the loaf pan’s finish. 

  • Material: Ceramic stoneware
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 3 inches
  • Wash: Hand or dishwasher 

Price at time of publish: $56

Best Value

Amazon Basics Baking Bread Loaf Pan

Baking Bread Loaf Pan

Amazon

Pros: You get two identical pans for a great value. Steel conducts heat well for even browning and consistent results.

Cons: The pans have small handles compared to other models.

It's hard to resist two identical pans for the price of one. Since many recipes are actually formulated for two loaves, having two pans of the same type and shape makes your job easier, especially once they go in the oven. Made of heavy-weight steel, these pans are super durable, heat evenly, and have the standard non-stick coating for easy release. Just make sure to take extra precautions if broiling since the recommended temperature, like that of many other similar pans, is only 428 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 6 x 2.8 inches
  • Wash: Hand wash

Price at time of publish: $17

Best Mini

Silpat Perfect Mini Loaf Mold

Mini Loaf Mold

Silpat

Pros: It holds nine mini cakes, which cook evenly and are easy to remove.

Cons: Very little browning is possible with silicone.

Silpat is legendary in the baking world for their creating a silicone-coated baking mat, perfect for all sorts of delicate choux pastries and more. This mini mold uses the same technology, layers of a glass fiber textile coated with naturally nonstick silicone for easy release and cleanup with barely any greasing necessary. Silicone isn’t a heat conductor, so a Silpat pan won’t overcook or burn batter as easily as other pans. It’s a great choice for mini cakes that cook quickly. 

  • Material: Silicone coating over glass fiber textile
  • Dimensions: 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Wash: Hand wash

Price at time of publish: $52

Best Aluminum

USA Pan 1-Pound Loaf Pan

5
USA Pan 1-Pound Loaf Pan

Amazon

Pros: Cakes cook evenly and release easily from the pan.

Cons: Grooves can be tricky to clean. 

Heavy aluminized steel is the way to go for even browning and consistent baking. A family-owned company that's supplied tools to professional bakers for over 50 years, USA Pan is known for solid products and even their own proprietary silicone nonstick coating that are free of PTFE and PFOA chemicals. The folded corners and rolled top contain coated wire reinforcements to help maintain the loaf pan’s shape and cooking abilities and prevent warping. Even the ridged portion of the pan helps to increase airflow while baking.

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.8 inches
  • Wash: Hand wash

Price at time of publish: $19

Best Ceramic

Emile Henry French Ceramic Potter Loaf Pan

Emile Henry French Ceramic Potter Loaf Pan

Williams Sonoma

Pros: This stylish pan can go straight from the oven to the table.

Cons: It doesn’t come with a lid for storage.

Stoneware is one of the most effective heat conductors and this loaf pan, made from Emile Henry’s signature Burgundian clay, can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The Potter Collection is a throwback to decades of artisan ceramicists crafting durable and beautiful pieces ready to top any table. The hand-applied glaze resists food odors as well as chipping or cracking. While baking that loaf of bread or zucchini cake is always an option, the clay’s ability to retain heat makes it a great choice to keep casseroles or gratin-like dishes warm while at the table. 

“I'm also a fan of the Emile Henry products,” says Jessica Leung, the executive pastry chef at the Shinola Hotel in Detroit. “They are ceramic, so a little different than glass. I find them to be sturdy, hold their heat and also have a nice aesthetic. As long as you properly take care of these products, while a little more pricey, they generally last a lifetime.”

  • Material: Ceramic 
  • Dimensions: 11 x 5.5 x 3 inches
  • Wash: Dishwasher safe

Price at time of publish: $35

Best Cast Iron

Lodge Cast Iron Loaf Pan with Silicone Grip

Lodge Cast Iron Loaf Pan with Silicone Grip

Amazon

Pros: Its browning and nonstick capabilities are top-notch.  

Cons: It’s heavier and more cumbersome to move than other loaf pans. The silicone hand grips are only safe to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, while the pan is good up to 500 degrees.

Lodge cast iron pans are revered for a great reason; they provide excellent heat conduction. This loaf pan is a solid choice and then some. The sturdy base has crisp corners, clean lines, and convenient handles with removable silicone hand grips. The best part? It comes pre-seasoned and ready to go. Pack it to use on a camping trip or give your banana bread a little smokiness on the grill. 

  •  Material: Cast iron with silicone grip
  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 12.1 x 2.9 inches
  • Wash: Hand wash cast iron; handles are dishwasher safe.

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Glass

Pyrex Basics Loaf Dish

Pyrex Basics Loaf Dish

Amazon

Pros: It’s easy to use as a baking dish and can go in the dishwasher.

Cons: Even durable glass can crack with a drastic change of temperature.

Pyrex bakeware can last a lifetime if you take care of it properly, and glass has the advantage of resisting odors and stains. In addition to the oven, this versatile loaf dish can go in the microwave, fridge, and freezer, and its extra-large handles make it easy to transport to the table. While baked goods may rise better in metal pans, this glass version is great for just about everything else. 

  • Material: Glass
  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 10.4 x 3 inches
  • Wash: Dishwasher safe

Price at time of publish: $28

Best Nonstick

Great Jones Breadwinner

4.7
great jones breadwinner

Great Jones

Pros: Vibrant colors set it apart from most loaf pans, and it’s dishwasher safe.  

Cons: The wavy base is harder to clean crumbs out of than other models, and ceramic coating can chip from metal utensils.

Great Jones may be a newcomer, but like its cookware, the brand's bakeware performs nicely and has an eye-catching design. Made of aluminized steel, these loaf pans have a nonstick ceramic coating that’s both non-toxic and dishwasher-safe. Plus, a corrugated bottom helps release baked goods easily. Available in broccoli green, raspberry pink, and blueberry, a blue that tends toward cobalt, this loaf pan would add a fun, modern touch to your table.

  • Material: Aluminized steel
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.8 inches
  • Wash: Dishwasher safe, but hand wash recommended

Price at time of publish: $28

Best Silicone

Trudeau Silicone Structure Loaf Pan

Trudeau Silicone Structure Loaf Pan

Amazon

Pros: Silicone cleans up easily.

Cons: It’s only oven safe up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trudeau Silicone Structure Loaf Pan manages to be both lightweight and stable thanks to a built-in steel frame, which supports the pan and keeps it from drooping – a big plus when it’s full of batter.  Due to the integrated steel frame, this pan performs more like metal models, but the silicone cools to the touch quickly. To prevent spills, just place the pan on a baking tray to slide in and out of the oven. Best of all, the Trudeau pan is truly easy to use and easy to clean. Simply hand wash or throw it into the dishwasher, then let it dry fully before storing it. 

  • Material: Silicone with a steel frame
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 10.4 x 2.8 inches
  • Wash: Dishwasher safe

Price at time of publish: $25

Our Favorite

Loaf pans are incredibly useful tools for baking everything from meatloaf to banana bread. As you’ll likely use a loaf pan for quick breads and cakes more than anything, we chose our best overall with baking in mind. Made of alloy steel, the Chicago Metallic Commercial II Loaf Pan is the right material for conducting heat and even baking.

Factors to Consider

Care and Cleaning

Before using, always wash your pans with mild soap in warm water to remove any residue or particles from the packing plant. While many loaf pans may say dishwasher safe, washing by hand is mostly recommended to keep them in like-new condition. When hand washing, always use a gentle soap and sponge or towel and never scouring pads or abrasive agents.

When baking, take all precautions to grease even your nonstick pans. Lining your pans with parchment paper can be just as effective as butter or spray oil, if not more. This helps baked goods release more easily, and you’ll thank yourself when you're cleaning up.

While glass and stoneware tend to be more resilient against knives, silicone pans can tear or scratch. Using only wood utensils is a great way to keep pans in the best condition. Also, when cutting or slicing baked goods, always use a cutting board.

Material

While there are many different types of loaf pans, in a professional setting you’re most likely to see loaf pans made of stainless steel, aluminum, or aluminized steel. These have the sharpest corners and the straightest lines, which are what professional chefs look for in a loaf pan.

Home chefs have the luxury of being able to choose between performance and appearance and can also use glass or ceramic loaf pans almost interchangeably. Nonstick silicone pans are the happy medium between glass and metal but still may need to be placed on a sheet pan before you put them in the oven. 

If you bake often and enjoy sharing your perfectly browned cakes with crisp corners, opt for a classic metal version. If a casual snack cake that will stay on the counter is more your speed, you can use a glass or ceramic pan just as well.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the difference between a bread pan and a loaf pan?

    “There is no difference between a bread pan and a loaf pan. They are one and the same to chefs,” says Trocca.

  • How many mini loaf pans are equal to a standard loaf pan?

    About three mini loaf pans are equal to a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, according to Trocca.

  • Do you use parchment paper to make a loaf pan nonstick?

    “Depending on what I'm making, I'll usually use non-stick spray with parchment paper on the base. Parchment is such a nice secret because it makes things so much easier to take out and clean,” says Leung.


    Whether you use parchment paper can also depend on the bread, according to Trocca. “If it is sourdough, just use oil. When making richer breads like brioche or milk bread, use butter and flour, and add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom with larger sides to pull it off the tin easily,” he says.

  • Any tips for getting your cakes out in one piece?

    “Make sure to properly cool your product down so that it keeps its shape and comes out in one piece,” says Leung. A loaf pan needs at least five minutes to cool, according to Trocca.


    “The last thing you want is for your work of art to just crumble or deflate before presenting it,” says Leung. “With breads, it's a little easier to handle, but if making banana bread or babka, I will cool it down, run a small paring knife or offset spatula along the edges and then gently flip it out. If using parchment, you can generally just pick the whole thing up in one go.”

Our Expertise

Alissa Fitzgerald is a chef, recipe developer, and food writer with over 15 years of experience in the food industry. For this piece, she interviewed Executive Pastry Chef at Shinola Hotel, Jessica Leung, and Executive Chef Fernando Trocca of Mostrador NYC, to find out what the pros look for in loaf pans. She then used their insights, market research, and her own expertise to curate this list.

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