Special cooking silicone molds have become a real breakthrough, quickly gaining popularity along with glass and ceramic containers. They are used to make pastries, meatballs, pancakes, sweets and so on. However, not all silicone products are equally safe.
What are silicone molds?
For the first time, scientists were able to obtain silicone at the end of the 18th century, but it began to be actively used in medicine and industry in the middle of the 20th century. Later, an organosilicon oxygen-containing compound was used to make silicone molds for baking food and home freezing. New dishes quickly gained popularity among housewives for many positive qualities:
- Conscientious manufacturers use high-quality silicone, which is absolutely inert and does not chemically interact with food.
- Soft baking pans are very flexible and elastic. From them you can easily and quickly get cooked food. You can store such containers stacked in one pile or even bent or rolled up at your discretion, because the silicone will quickly take its original shape if necessary.
- A wide range of operating temperatures from -60 to +250°C allows you to cook different dishes in the oven and microwave oven, as well as in the freezer.
- Silicone has non-stick properties, therefore, following all the recommendations for use, it will be possible to cook in such forms without adding oil.
- Manufacturers produce flexible containers of various shapes and sizes, which gives housewives a wide scope for culinary imagination.
Are silicone bakeware harmful or not?
Since the use of silicone molds for the kitchen is relatively recent, there is a heated debate about the safety of such products around them. Experts explain that there are three types of silicone:
- Technical, the cheapest. In its production, harmful impurities are used that can harm human health.
- Medicalfrom which implants, lenses and other products are made. It is absolutely inert, odorless and colorless. Platinum is used in production, which leads to a high price of the material.
- food, which is an analogue of the medical. According to production standards, it does not use chemical compounds that can come into contact with food and evaporate when heated. Manufacturers can add non-aggressive dyes to give the product a presentation. High-quality food silicone is safe for humans.
Some unscrupulous manufacturers make silicone kitchen molds from low-quality technical raw materials that are potentially dangerous to humans. Recognizing such a fake is easy:
- When buying, you should pay attention to the price and place of purchase – cheap silicone is almost always of poor quality.
- You can identify technical raw materials by the strong smell emanating from the product and aggressive acid colors.
- You can also recognize a fake by the fold of the product. If a white stripe is visible, the dye was of poor quality.
- It will not be superfluous to check the certificates of conformity of the product indicated on the packaging. These may be abbreviations FDA or CE for imported products or specifications for domestic products.
Kitchen Silicone Molds
On the shelves of stores you can find silicone confectionery containers of various sizes and shapes. They differ in what dishes are intended for:
- There are forms that fit in a pan and allow you to fry cutlets, eggs or pancakes in the form of circles, stars, animals, and so on.
- Small round containers with smooth and ribbed edges are needed for baking muffins, muffins and cupcakes.
- Tall rectangular molds are suitable for making bread.
- Medium to large sized bowls are ideal for making biscuits and mousse cakes.
- There are special silicone molds for chocolate.
Silicone mold for cutlets and fritters
When you want to quickly prepare a beautiful breakfast, especially for children, you can use a special silicone mold for pancakes, pancakes or eggs. It is a circle that is placed in a pan. A variety of figures are carved in it, from simple circles to silhouettes of animals and fairy-tale characters. The finished mixture is poured into these recesses, does not spread over the pan and does not stick to the mold itself, so the output is beautiful products. It remains to decorate ready-made pancakes or pancakes and you can serve breakfast to the table.
Silicone molds for cupcakes
For quick baking of muffins, muffins and cakes, small silicone baking pans are suitable. They are also available in a variety of shapes with round or grooved edges. On sale you can find separate containers sold individually, or interconnected options. The configuration does not affect the quality of baking, you can choose any, based on personal preferences.
Silicone molds for chocolate
Many housewives try to pamper their home with high-quality and healthy desserts with beautiful decor. In this case, silicone molds for chocolate, jelly or caramel sweets will become faithful helpers. They are recesses connected in one container in the form of letters, animals and other forms. Such products are versatile, so they can also be used to create lollipops, ice or handmade soap.
Silicone molds for mousse cakes
The preparation of such desserts for many housewives looks like a very complicated and troublesome process. Indeed, to create them, you need a certain amount of time, high-quality products and convenient utensils. A silicone baking dish will come in handy here. In it, you can both bake a biscuit of the desired shape for a future cake, and cool the mousse part, which is very convenient to remove from silicone without damaging the fragile texture.
How to choose silicone molds?
In order for food to cook quickly and be healthy, without harmful chemical impurities, you need to choose the right silicone mold:
- First, you should pay attention to the thickness of the walls – the larger it is, the better. Thin walls indicate a low quality product.
- The smell from the purchase was mentioned above – it should not be at all.
- The color of the product should be uniform, not too bright. White stripes are not allowed anywhere on the bend.
- On the label or in the instructions for a quality product, certificates of conformity must be indicated, recommendations are given on the preferred temperature regime and tips on care and storage.
- The recognized leaders are German and American-made silicone kitchen molds, for example, Regent Inox and Tupperware. Their cost is relatively high.
Detachable silicone baking mold
One-piece silicone molds are convenient in that it is very easy to get the finished dish out of them by slightly bending the edge and pressing on the bottom. This can only be done after the product has cooled down. In order not to wait for the temperature to drop, you can purchase a special detachable silicone container, which differs from the usual one by the presence of a special lock on the case. By opening the connection, cooked food can be easily transferred to a plate or dish. Such containers are also relevant for the preparation of fragile mousse desserts.
How to use silicone baking mold?
Unlike ceramic and glassware, silicone has a relatively short service life of about five years. In order for the product to cope with the functions assigned to it all this time, it is important to use it correctly:
- Before the first use, wash the purchase well from dust with a soft sponge and gentle dishwashing detergent.
- Silicone is declared as a non-stick material, many housewives are worried about whether it is necessary to lubricate the silicone mold before baking. The instructions for the products indicate that before the first use, it is necessary to evenly distribute the odorless vegetable oil over the walls with a brush and let the product stand for 10-15 minutes. Thus, the non-stick coating is activated.
- Food is prepared in silicone faster than in dishes made of other materials by about 15-20%.
- After cooking, the form must be washed with warm water without the use of household chemicals. If you had to wash with a product, next time you will have to lubricate the walls with oil again.
- Do not rub silicone kitchen molds with hard sponges or use sharp objects. The material is easily cut, torn and deformed.
How to put a silicone mold in the oven?
A significant disadvantage of silicone molds is that they cannot be used on an open fire. It is not recommended to place them in the oven so that the walls of the container are in contact with the surfaces of the oven. Another important nuance is the flexibility of products. If the mold filled with dough is placed on the wire rack, it may bend and the dough will leak out. Use special stands, a baking sheet or a frying pan with high sides of a suitable diameter.
How to clean a silicone mold?
Silicone cookware requires careful care, so traditional cleaning methods are unacceptable for it:
- It is better to wash all food residues immediately after use under running water with a soft sponge or cloth.
- If stains from berries or fat remain, you can soak the containers in warm water with the addition of a sachet of citric acid for 15 minutes. Then rinse again under running water.
- When it was not possible to immediately wash the dishes, and the stains dried up, you can add 1 tbsp to a basin of warm water. a spoonful of 9% vinegar and the same amount of baking soda. Silicone kitchen utensils after such a soak will look like new.
How to make a silicone mold?
If you want to create unique and inimitable culinary masterpieces, then you can make silicone food molds yourself. This will require:
- cardboard for boxing;
- glue gun or superglue;
- model of the desired shape;
- food grade silicone paste
- spatula for leveling;
- work gloves.
- Glue the desired figure onto the cardboard with glue or plasticine.
- Create bumpers around by sealing them tightly with glue.
- Determine and mark the minimum fill level.
- Prepare the compound – mix the silicone paste with the hardener and dye.
- Gently pour the mixture into the prepared pan, starting at the corners.
- Level the top layer if necessary.
- Wait for complete drying, disassemble the box and remove the mold.