Bakeware clutter

After all these years working as a professional recipe developer, I’ve acquired one of almost every kind of pan. They take up a lot of space and always seem to need to be restacked or organized in some way. Yet, every once in a while I find a recipe that calls for a shape or size I don’t have on my shelf. (Hard to believe when you see these stacks of pans, I know. Even harder to believe when I tell you that I have a shelf half that size again with glass baking dishes on it.)

The good news is that if you paid attention in grade six math class, then you can usually solve most pan problems. Think about it. If you have a 7 x 11-inch pan you can substitute a 9-inch square pan of similar depth. Or, you could use a 10-inch round pan. Confused?

It all comes down to area. A 9-inch square pan is 81 square inches (9×9=81) which is only slightly larger than 77 inches (7 x 11 = 77) which is the area of a 7 x 11 pan. Likewise, 78.5 square inches is the area of a 10-inch round pan (remember πr2? 3.14 x 5 x 5 = 78.5).

So, next time you feel the impulse to pass up on a recipe because you don’t have the correct baking pan, do a little ciphering. Unless the recipe is an angel food cake – which does need a specific pan shape to succeed – you may be able to make that cake after all.

How many different baking pans do you have? Do you find them hard to keep organized?


16 Responses to Bakeware clutter

  1. ash says:

    wow that is a lot of bakeware! i’ve got a few but nothing like that! and organized? they all get thrown on the same shelf 🙂 i wish i had a larger cabinets!

  2. Miss Ifi says:

    I wish I had all of your bakeware cause they all look sooo lovely (it is probably awful for space.. but I love bakeware!! )
    I usually have to make do with what I have when I just moved to my apartment I only had a pie pan and a 9in spring form after a while I realized that I usually cut recipes in half so I got a 6in spring form and just last month I had to get an 8in to make an specific cake for my friend’s birthday (best size for transportation and everything) . And that is all… 3 springforms and a pie one … whenever it calls for cake pans I either dump all the batter into my 9in and I adjust temperature and cooking time *blush*
    still.. LOVE YOUR PANS!

  3. Kitt says:

    Nice collection! I have one each of all the basic sizes, and happily enough cabinet space to accommodate them. In my old house I had extra shelves in the basement to hold all the kitchen overflow. That was tiny, tiny kitchen.

  4. Natashya says:

    Shh. Don’t tell my husband about the math.
    I love to have the excuse to shop for a new pan. Believe it or not, I have even more. And I am not a professional like you. Shameful I know, but fun!
    I admire how organized your shelves are. Only my prized Nordic Ware are in the kitchen, the rest are in a room in the basement, overflowing the shelves hubby built for them.

  5. Great tip. I have a tiny kitchen and limited storage space, so I’m very few pans. I rely on a conversion chart, but it’s as limited as my cupboards. I’ll remember to pull out the calculator the next time I don’t have the right sized pan (I don’t trust my math skills!)

  6. Cheryl says:

    You’re a genius. I never really thought of applying math in this way, but it makes perfect sense.

    I have a lot of bakeware, too, and much of it I only use once a year (popover pans) or even never (charlotte mold — from my mother-in-law). Who makes charlottes anyway?

  7. Rosa says:

    I’d love to have so many different pans! Here, there are no real baking-oriented stores… You find what you can. I have quite a few pans, though (some brought from the US by friends). It is really difficult to store them in my tiny kitchen…



  8. As a non-baker – I have like two pans…but they’re for cornbread.


  9. Babette says:

    Dana, Thanks for commenting…of course I had to follow back and landed on you–the page I bookmarked a few days ago when I stumbled upon you…Ah, serendipity. Love your blog right back…But NO. No MATH. Oh, okay. I admit it. I do math all the time when I do recipes. But just don’t tell anyone. I like the open shelving that means you can see at a glance…


  10. danamccauley says:

    Babette, your secret math practices are safe with me. I can’t speak for the rest of the readers, though!

    Natashya, my lips are sealed on your account as well. All info to your hubby will be given out on a need to know basis only.

  11. How can you take a picture of a bunch of pans and make it look so GOOD? My clutter is just clutter.

  12. Christine says:

    I wish I had the space that you have! Open a cabinet in my house and everything tumbles out. I thought that I had my fair share of pans but you definitely win!

  13. danamccauley says:

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that this shelf isn’t at my house. It’s at my test kitchen. At home I keep a few basic pans and then cart stuff home and back that I need to use for a particular cake, pie, etc..

    Having so much stuff is one of the reasons I had to move my biz out of the house. Basically we were living with my things. Now, our house is much more about the people than about my bakeware, pots, pans, multiple slow cookers, etc…

  14. I wish I had a cupboard like that for bakeware, wow! I have mine in the pantry, in kitchen cupboards and even in the garden shed would you believe, but, I know where each piece is and I suppose that’s not so bad really.

  15. danamccauley says:

    In the garden shed! Now, that is a new one.

  16. Diana says:

    I particularly like this post because of how quirky and practical it is, both the picture and the words. As a foodie, I consider my chamber of equipment to be my pride, no matter how clutterred it is. The math is just excellent, just something so useful, but rarely thought about.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: