F&W's Test Kitchen evaluated three types of 9-by-13-inch baking dishes—glass, ceramic and metal—to discover the best uses for each, then created amazing recipes to prove their point.

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Baking Dishes

Ceramic

Sweet Noodle Kugel with Dried Cherries

Photo © Fredrika Stjärne.

Ceramic can go straight from the freezer to the oven—even to the table, where it helps keep food warm. It heats up gradually, so it's ideal for dishes that need slow, even cooking, such as custards and baked-noodle dishes.

Glass

Bacon, Tomato and Cheddar Breakfast Bake with Eggs
Credit: © Fredrika Stjärne

Photo © Fredrika Stjärne.

Like ceramic, glass is nonreactive, so it's good for acidic foods like tomatoes. Bakers like it because they can see if the bottom is done. It costs less than ceramic but can crack when exposed to big temperature swings.

Metal

Caraway Parker House Rolls
Credit: © Burcu Avsar

Photo © Fredrika Stjärne.

Metal heats quickly and gives food crisp edges, so it's perfect for cakes and brownies. It's also a great time-saver: In our tests, it shortened cake-baking time by 15 minutes, on average.