Why You Should Always Bake Brownies In An Aluminum Pan

You've carefully measured out all the ingredients, have even taken the extra time to sift the cocoa powder, and whisked until your batter was perfect. You might have thought there was no room for failure between this point and putting the brownies in the oven, but there's actually one final step you should always be mindful of.

According to Real Simple, if you simply choose the wrong type of pan to pour your batter into, you can easily ruin your otherwise perfect brownies. For the best possible results, you'll want to use an aluminum pan. Any lightweight, reflective metal can work too, but dark metal should definitely be avoided. As the publication explains, you want to use a material that heats evenly, and aluminum is just that. Dark metal cooks too fast and while that's ideal for baked goods, where you want a crispy crust, cookbook author Lauren Chattman told POPSUGAR Food it results in brownies that are fudgy in the middle but hard around the edges.

Aluminum foil isn't a substitute for an aluminum pan

As baking expert Alice Medrich shared with Food52, lining a baking pan with aluminum foil has many advantages for brownies, from an easier cleanup to not having to grease the pan. Unfortunately, even heating isn't one of them. If you don't have any aluminum or lightly colored metal pans to use, you're better off just using a ceramic or glass one, Lauren Chattman told POPSUGAR Food. Ceramic absorbs heat a lot slower than aluminum does, so your brownies will be lighter in color, but you won't have to worry about them overcooking. In order to bake your brownies in glass, you'll need to set the oven temperature 25 degrees lower than what the recipe calls for and bake them for the same amount of time.

You'll have to be a bit more judicious if you're using a non-aluminum pan, but that's where the toothpick test can come in handy. Real Simple suggests testing your brownies earlier than you normally would, then taking them out of the oven a bit prematurely because they'll continue baking in the pan. If at all possible though, always use an aluminum pan.