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Is Silicone Oven Safe? And Things to Watch For

Is there any risk of silicone bakeware? We buy lots of baked foods, and many of us enjoy getting hands-on in the kitchen baking up something yummy. However, some baking products can contain toxic elements from the materials used to make them. Silicone bakeware has gained recognition for its durability and nonstick properties over the years. But some of us are still determining “is silicone oven safe?” and whether silicon baking equipment has harmful effects. 

Yes, food-grade silicone is oven safe. However, there are some exceptions. In this article, we will answer your questions about silicone bakeware's safety. Also, we will examine the benefits of silicone baking tools and their alternatives.  

What is silicone bakeware? 

Baking with silicone pan in the background
Photo by Andres Ayrton.

Silicone bakeware is a convenient kitchen utensil used to make baked products. Manufacturers produce silicone baking sets from synthetic polymer created from silicon. Silicon is a mixture of bonded silicon made from silica and oxygen. 

Silica is a common element found in clay, sand, and soils. Manufacturers also mix it with other elements apart from oxygen. These elements include aluminum, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and iron. A rubber-like material is the end product of the combination of silica and any of these elements. This rubber-like material can form pretty much any desired shape easily. 

Silicone products differ from plastic products. They have different chemical compositions. Plastic is made from organic polymers like nylon, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and poly methyl methacrylate.  

Related: Is Silicone Eco-Friendly? - Environmental Impact Of Silicone  

Silicone Bakeware Dangers: Is Silicone Safe for Baking?

People often wonder, is silicone safe to use in an oven? Yes, it is oven safe. The Food and Drug Administration approves silicone as a food-safe substance. This means that companies can use silicone to manufacture food-grade silicone cookware that can hold food items. Unlike plastic products, food-grade silicone bakeware doesn’t leach harmful chemicals into its food content. 

It can withstand high temperatures without leaching chemicals during everyday usage. However, you must pay attention to the type of silicone bakeware you buy. Buy high-quality silicone instead of low-quality ones without the manufacturer’s instructions. High-quality silicone bakeware can withstand temperatures without changing colors or melting.

Silicone bakeware that is of inferior quality might contain additives. It won’t have high heat resistance, which can lead to harmful chemical contamination of your baked foods. So, you should always check for the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing silicone bakeware. 

It should show the maximum temperature the silicone can handle. Stay within that temperature when you are baking.

What are the pros of silicone pans and other silicone products? 

It is non-stick. 

Silicone is the best non-stick bakeware. You don’t need to add much oil or butter for greasing. This makes your baked food come out nicely. You are free from the stress of burned pans, which usually occurs when you use a metal pan. Your ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, making it easy to clean. 

It is not expensive. 

Silicone cookware is as expensive as other cooking utensils created with metal, ceramics, or glass material. You can easily buy silicone bakeware that suits your baking needs without breaking the bank. 

Besides its low prices, silicone cookware is also durable. You can use it for an extended period before you throw it inside the recycling bin. 

There are fun shapes, colors, and sizes to choose from.  

Shopping for silicone bakeware is a fun experience. It comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors. There are endless possibilities of various shapes and sizes of silicone molds to buy from the store. These endless possibilities allow you to create interesting dessert designs 

for your family and friends. 

Aside from bakeware, silicone also makes a great material for everything from alternatives to Ziploc bags to collapsible water bottles and reusable straws

It is dishwasher safe.  

You can hand wash your silicone pans and other bakeware. Washing silicone cookware by hand is easy because of its non-stick property. Food doesn’t stick to it. Silicone bakeware is also dishwasher safe. You can wash it in a dishwasher if you have one. It is easier to wash a silicone pan, silicone muffin pans, or bakeware in a dishwasher than bakeware made with other materials. 

It saves space in your kitchen. 

Unlike other forms of bakeware, silicone bakeware doesn’t take up a lot of storage space. Silicone bakeware is a flexible synthetic rubber that doesn’t weigh much. So, you can fold them into small storage spaces without ruining them. You can easily pull it out, and it will always maintain its shape. 

Silicone Bakeware Alternatives 

There are better alternatives to silicone bakeware if you are still skeptical about using silicone in your oven. Avoid all forms of plastic baking sets if you want to replace your silicone spatulas, silicone baking pans, muffin pans, silicone molds, and other silicone cookware. 

Parchment Paper  

You can use parchment baking sheets instead of using a silicone baking mat. A non-stick spray oil is also a suitable choice. However, oiling the pan doesn’t prevent food from sticking to it sometimes. 

Glass and Stainless Steel Bakeware

Instead, opt for stainless steel cake pans. Stainless steel pans heat fast and cool down fast. Baking in a metal pan is slower than baking with glass. You can also use tempered glass to bake in your oven. 

Glass has a high heat resistance and bakes food faster than metal glass. Also, glass is non-reactive. It does not react to acid content, unlike a metal pan. So, you can add citrus and or berries to your pies without worrying about the possibility of ruining your food and your glass pie plate. 

Cast Iron 

However, cast iron is the safest and most recommended option for everyone. Cast iron releases a significant amount of dietary iron into food during high temperatures. People with iron deficiency might enjoy using metal pans because they would get iron from baking with the pans. 

However, people with bronze disease and hemochromatosis should avoid using cast iron for baking. You should avoid it to reduce your risks of iron toxicity.

Read more: Cast iron sustainability.

Ceramic Pans 

Ceramic pans are also heat resistant. It can withstand extreme temperatures, but it takes a longer time for it to heat. A ceramic pan is best for the times you want to store your baked goods. You don't have to transfer them out into another container. 

Is silicone bakeware recyclable?

What happens when you are done with a particular set of silicone baking products? Do not dump them inside your trash. Silicones are not biodegradable. They are just going to pollute the environment. The best thing to do is to recycle them. 

However, recycling silicone is a bit difficult. You can either drop them off at your nearest recycling centers or recycle them in your home. 

To learn more about recycling silicone at home, check out our article on the methods to recycle silicone. 

Conclusion 

Silicone is a material that can withstand high and low temperatures. It is microwave, oven, and freezer safe. There are silicone ice-cube trays. Unlike plastic, which releases toxic chemicals and microplastics when applying hot water, silicone can handle temperatures. 

It is an eco-friendly choice that won’t put a strain on your finances. If you are a newbie at baking, silicone bakeware is something you can start up with. You can also get other utensils made with silicone to avoid cookware made with plastic. 

By Jennifer Okafor, BSc.

Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.

Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.

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