We baked muffins in every pan we could find -- these five broke the mold.

muffins pans

1) KitchenAid 12-cup Nonstick Silicone Pop-out Muffin Pan $30, kitchenaid.com UPSIDE Pop-out cups can be used individually; cups cool quickly. DOWNSIDE Expensive; baked goods may turn out slightly misshapen when used without the frame; uneven browning; surface may discolor with use.

2) Silver Stone Simply Baking 12-cup Nonstick Muffin Pan $9, silverstone.com UPSIDE Inexpensive; dishwasher safe; flat edges on underside of pan won't trap food or water. DOWNSIDE Flimsy; metal and sharp utensils can scratch the finish.

3) Chicago Metallic Commercial 12-cup Muffin Pan $16, cooking.com UPSIDE Warp- and rustproof; dishwasher safe; can handle sharp metal utensils. DOWNSIDE Must grease muffin cups or use baking liners; surface discolors with use.

4) Circulon Nonstick Bakeware 12-cup Muffin Pan $18, circulon.com UPSIDE Heavy-duty construction; dishwasher safe. DOWNSIDE Cups are smaller than standard; metal and sharp utensils can scratch the finish.

5) Regency Reusable Silicups $24 for 12, williams-sonoma.com UPSIDE Stackable cups for compact storage; cups cool quickly; eco-friendly liners. DOWNSIDE Expensive; cups are smaller than standard; uneven browning; must be used with a baking sheet; baked goods may turn out slightly misshapen.


*Prices and other details were accurate when we published this article in September 2008.