Monday, April 7, 2014

Pyramid Pan Silicone Baking Mat

Like a shmuck, I let myself be enticed into buying a Pyramid Pan Silicone Baking Mat (As Seen On TV!).


The supposed upsides are:
1. Fat is drained away, since the food sits elevated upon the spiky silicone pyramid tips

2. You don't need to flip food, because heat circulates underneath

3. Food cooks quicker, because, again, heat circulates underneath

4. The pad can be cleaned in a dishwasher
In reality, cook time was the same, cleanup was a major drag, and the food turned out exactly the same as ever. Let's go point by point:

1. Fat is drained away, since the food is elevated up on the spiky pyramid tips
Sort of. But in actual use, fat quickly accumulates in the wells, which fill and still soak/fry the food. Maybe a bit less so than with a ridged broiler pan. But there's not a significant difference.

2. You don't need to flip food, because the heat circulates underneath
Obviously, not as much heat circulates underneath, so the bottom side still cooks slower. If you want any sort of evenness in the result, you still have to flip. But, anyway, is flipping really such a nuisance?

3. Food cooks quicker, because, again, the heat circulates underneath
The catch is that you need to keep oven heat below 420 degrees. And that slows cooking time, removing any marginal improvement.

4. The pad can be cleaned in a dishwasher
Sure...if you have room in an average dishwasher load to unfurl this sprawling rubber pad. And if you run your dishwasher daily. But consider, too, the pan you've got to use beneath the pad, which also needs cleaning. Before my life was transformed by this miracle product, I used small aluminum broiler pans, which I tossed out with the trash. Not terribly "green", but neither is the considerable hot water used to clean a large pad and a large pan, and the more frequent dishwasher runs. And it was a zillion times easier.

2 comments:

Ted Behr said...

One can line the pan underneath with tin foil to avoid washing the pan or using a disposable aluminum one.

My biggest concern is this product's conflicting statements about maximum oven temp. The box says 428F. The instruction sheet says "lab tested up to 450F." At least half of the recipes on the back side of the sheet call for 450F cooking temp. I certainly hope they have tested this product at temps higher than 450F !

kris w said...

Well, honestly how often do you cook anything in the oven that needs to be 450F or higher?
On the rare occasion that you do, just forego using the mat.

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