Some of the common materials used to make baking pans are: oven-safe glass, stoneware, pottery, aluminum, tinned steel, carbon steel, aluminized steel, chromium-plated steel, aluminum, anodized aluminum, and aluminum combined with stainless steel. Glass pans have handles on each end but do not have rims around the entire pan, while most steel and stoneware pans do have rims. The surface of some pans will be made of a non-stick material that helps to keep foods from clinging to the pan after baking. Some pans will have an embossed or dimpled surface, which attempts to improve the airflow around the bottom of the food being baked.
Various types of baking pans will be slow to become hot, such as stoneware, oven-safe glass and pottery, but once they are hot, they retain the heat well, providing a well-browned or crispy crust. Browned crusts will occur most effectively with pans that have a dark colored surface rather than reflective surfaces of shiny metal that reflect rather than fully absorb the heat. However, browning nicely may also be a factor of the materials used in the construction of the pan. When selecting a pan, one other consideration may be the value of having a pan that can provide two purposes, baking and serving. Foods are generally removed from metal pans in the kitchen and placed on plates while some of the stoneware, oven-safe glass or pottery dishes are taken to the table and used as serving dishes. Typical foods that are prepared in baking pans include: cakes, brownies, bars, cornbreads, lasagna, egg dishes, cobblers, potato dishes, meats, poultry, and fish.