The 10 Best Loaf Pans For Every Baker, Tested by Allrecipes

Our tester picked the Great Jones Breadwinner as the winner.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

four loaf pans with teal burst
Photo: Allrecipes Illustration

Any baker looking to curate a well-rounded collection of bakeware should invest in a loaf pan. It's essential not just for quick breads, like banana bread or zucchini breads, but also for pound cakes and meatloaf, or even freezing no-churn ice cream.

Loaf pans can be inexpensive, no-frills kitchen workhorses or decorative serving pieces you'll want to display on the kitchen table. To help you find the best one for your kitchen, we asked Allrecipes product tester Samantha Lande to put the top options on the market to the test. She considered each loaf pan's performance, easy release, look and feel, and cleanup.

With these features in mind, the Great Jones Breadwinner was deemed to be the very best.

Read on to discover the best loaf pans, according to our testing.

Best Loaf Pans at a Glance

What to Consider When Buying a Loaf Pan

Material

Metal pans, usually aluminized or anodized steel, are the obvious choices for loaf pans thanks to their excellent conduction capabilities and heat retention. You can find them with or without a nonstick coating, and when possible, we would recommend going with the former. If you've ever been faced with the daunting task of lifting your banana bread out of the pan, you know things can go south fast if your loaf sticks to the pan. However, you can still prevent this fate even when using an unfinished metal pan by properly greasing it so it doesn't stick.

If you like a crusty loaf, cast iron loaf pans are for you. They heat very evenly, resulting in a golden-brown crust with well-defined edges. Keep in mind with cast iron, you'll need to season it regularly to maintain an easy-release surface and prevent rusting. And, they're really heavy.

Glass loaf pans are great if you want to be able to see how the sides and bottoms of your loaf are coming along. However, glass doesn't have the conduction abilities of metal pans, meaning you may need to adjust the baking time. Baked goods also have a tendency to stick to glass a little more if not properly greased. But the good news when it comes to glass is you can always just toss it in the dishwasher when you're done without fear of its long term durability being affected in any way.

A major part of the appeal of ceramic loaf pans is their presentation. They can go from oven to countertop to table, looking beautiful all the while. And like glass, they're usually dishwasher safe. But also like glass, they're not the most nonstick option. Similar to cast iron, ceramic loaf pans can give you those crispy, golden-brown corners that are so desired.

Corners

While rounded corners make it easier to release the loaf, some people prefer the professional look of the sharp, right-angle corners. Oftentimes metal pans will have the sharper corners, while glass, ceramic, and cast iron tend to be more rounded. It all comes down to personal preference at the end of the day.

Size

All loaf pans are the same size, right? Not quite. There are two standard loaf pan sizes: 9-inches by 5-inches, and 8.5-inches by 4.5-inches. That doesn't sound like much difference, but according to King Arthur, that translates to a 15 percent difference in capacity. You're more likely to get a higher, dome-like rise from a smaller size pan. But as a general rule of thumb, a pan at full capacity will be about ⅔ the way full of batter.

You'll also find loaf pans for mini loaves in this review. These make an excellent alternative to slicing up a larger loaf if you're gifting or serving to a crowd.

Versatility

Some loaf pans are freezer-safe, and some even come with lids. This can come in handy if you're one to bake in bulk and freeze your loaves for later enjoyment.

Now that you've had the "loaf" down, check out our picks for the best loaf pans to buy now.

The Best Loaf Pans of 2022

Best Overall: Great Jones Breadwinner

two blue loaf pans
Great Jones

We ranked this pan best overall because it bakes a great banana bread, is easy to clean (it's dishwasher-safe), and comes in two different vibrant colors, making it an equally nice serving piece for brunch or dessert. It is built with an aluminized steel core and a nontoxic ceramic coating, which poses a couple of advantages: You get an easy-to-clean, nonstick surface without sacrificing durability or heat retention, unlike ceramic pans that often come with a pretty glazed finish but are prone to cracking. The bottom has a wavy, corrugated design so your baked goods slide right out.

The banana bread from these pans came out with a nice rise. The sides were brown, but not burnt. The only downfall is that you have to buy the pans in a pack of two, making it on the pricier side. However, it's worth grabbing a friend to split the set—or just plan to make two loaves from now on.

Buy it: 2 for $65; greatjonesgoods.com

Best Budget: USA Pan Nonstick Loaf Pan

ridged aluminum loaf pan on marble countertop
Williams Sonoma

This aluminized steel pan looks somewhat industrial but is built to last. "At less than $20 it's a no-brainer if you want a sturdy, easy loaf pan and don't mind the aesthetic," says Samantha.

The banana bread cooked very evenly, with brown edges that weren't burnt. It released from the pan with ease, leaving minimal marks. The corrugated surface (the ridged lines) are meant to help with release and air flow, but don't worry, they didn't leave marks on the loaf. It's super simple to clean out, which is good because it's not meant for the dishwasher.

Buy it: $18; amazon.com, williams-sonoma.com, or crateandbarrel.com

Most Versatile: OXO Glass Loaf Pan

glass oxo loaf pan with blue lid
Amazon

The OXO glass pan is definitely the most versatile that we tested. "It comes with a lid and is made to go in the oven, freezer, and tabletop, which is great for leftovers," says Samantha.

The pan is wider than many that we tested, and our first batch was brown on the exterior but undercooked in the middle. We re-tested and the second batch came out perfectly. "The nice thing about glass is that you can see the edges browning and assure that they aren't burnt before you finish in the oven." Glass is fragile, and this loaf pan is a bit wider, so keep that in mind if you are short on storage.

Buy it: $13; amazon.com, bedbathandbeyond.com, or walmart.com

Best Nonstick: Rachael Ray Yum-o! Non-Stick Oven Lovin' Loaf Pan

nonstick loaf pan with orange grippers
Amazon

If nonstick tops your list of important qualities in a pan, this is a good pick. We liked the rubberized handles for easy oven removal and it did its job as a nonstick pan with the easiest release out of all of those tested. However, the banana bread did burn a bit around the edges.

There are other pans out there that are superior, but if you want to be able to wipe your pan clean with minimal effort, this pan will do the trick. "And you can't beat the price," says Samantha.

Buy it: $12; amazon.com or macys.com

Best for Serving: Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Loaf Pan

le creuset enameled cast iron loaf pan in red
Williams Sonoma

Le Creuset always makes products that are both stunning on your countertop and productive in the kitchen. As to be expected from this brand, the price is on the high end of the spectrum at $50 for one loaf pan. "This is truly a centerpiece for any brunch table with the beautiful hues on this stoneware," says Samantha. The pan produced a beautiful banana bread that was ready to put on the table.

Plus, it's microwave, broiler, and freezer safe, making it an extremely versatile option. Although it's sturdy and chip resistant, it is a more delicate material than aluminum, so handle and store with care. It was a little more difficult to release and clean than some of the others, but a little scrubbing with dish soap had the pan clean in no time.

Buy it: $50; williams-sonoma.com, lecreuset.com, or bedbathandbeyond.com

Best Cast Iron: Lodge Loaf Pan

cast iron loaf pan with bread inside on table with dish cloth
Target

If you gravitate towards the ends of a banana bread loaf, this is the pan for you. "The cast iron loaf pan created crispy edges that none of the other loaf pans could emulate," says Samantha. The release was a bit more difficult and there was a slight amount of sticking to the edges that was harder to clean off.

As with all cast iron it's not dishwasher-friendly and you have to be careful with water. "I left mine on the counter and it got slightly wet, leaving a rust stain," says Samantha. It's also a heavier pan than many of the others so keep that in mind when considering how you plan to store it.

Buy it: $20; target.com

Best for Mini Loafs: Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Mini Loaf Pan

nonstick mini loaf pan
Amazon

"There is something so fun about mini anything," says Samantha. This pan creates the perfect mini loaves for gifting or taking on the go. They slide right out of their molds, and it's very easy to clean the minimal residue on the pan. Keep in mind that these cook at a much faster speed than a full loaf (around 30 to 40 minutes). The size is a little clunky to store as it juts out more than a cookie sheet, but if you are into small stuff, for $12, you really can't go wrong.

Buy it: $12; amazon.com or walmart.com

Best for Serious Bakers: Silpat Nonstick Silicone Mini Loaf Pan

mini loafs in silpat mold
Williams Sonoma

We also adored this mini loaf pan that produces slightly bigger loaves than the Wilton, but its price tag is fairly steep for the average baker. However, if you are using this silicone pan often (you must lay it on top of a regular cookie sheet), it's easy to store and makes beautiful loaves. We could see this as a great addition for anyone who loves making loaves for every occasion or for a professional baker. Silpat is very high quality and the release was easy, as was cleanup.

Buy it: $60; amazon.com, williams-sonoma.com, or crateandbarrel.com

Other Loaf Pans We Tested

Chicago Metallic Commercial II Uncoated 1-Pound Loaf Pan

aluminum loaf pan
Amazon

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this pan, and the price makes it a true steal. However, we didn't like it as much as its most similar counterpart, the USA Pan loaf pan. It's made out of a similar material but without the corrugated surface for airflow and easy release, and without the silicone coating. This cooked a nice loaf but it's pretty basic when it comes to loaf pans. If that's what you are looking for, it'll serve you well.

Buy it: $11; amazon.com, walmart.com, or bedbathandbeyond.com

SILIVO Bread Loaf Pan

red silicone loaf pan
Amazon

This pan has a super easy release because the silicone was so flexible, and it was very easy to clean (and dishwasher-safe!). "Unfortunately, that same flexibility caused the pan to lose shape while it cooked," says Samantha. Although it did cook thoroughly, the batter caused the pan to bulge outwards in the middle which resulted in a slightly odd-shaped (albeit delicious) loaf. But it is super easy to store as it's so malleable.

Buy it: $8; amazon.com

How We Tested Each Loaf Pan

To test each loaf pan, Allrecipes product tester Samantha Lande baked enough of Janet's Rich Banana Bread to feed an army. For each loaf pan, she paid special attention to the following factors:

  • Performance: How evenly does it cook? Do the edges get really dark? Does the top? Is it mushy in the middle but well done on the sides?
  • Easy Release: How easy is it to remove the loaf from the pan? Does it slide out easily? Leave part of the bread stuck to the sides?
  • Look and Feel: How does the material hold up? Is it easy to store in the container/can you travel with it? Is the pan presentable enough to serve with?
  • Cleanup: How easy does it clean? Is it dishwasher-safe? Does it return to good condition or are there permanent marks left behind?

Related:

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love