Most helpful critical review
143 of 163 people found the following review helpful
Very hard to tell if batter is evenly leveled and hard to put batter in pan
on April 22, 2008
I read lots and lots of reviews before buying this pan (including many websites other than Amazon.com). For the price of this pan, I wanted to be sure it was something I was going to like before ordering.
I have only tried it twice -- the 1st time with a Betty Crocker Traditional/Original Brownie mix and the 2nd time using a Betty Crocker Chocolate Chunk Brownie mix. The first time, I found it a little difficult to pour the batter into the channels of the pan without getting it onto other parts of the pan. The batter was thin enough that I thought I would be able to shake the pan and get it leveled out. I eyeballed it and, very carefully (so as not to get batter up the sides of the pan), moved some of the thicker areas of batter into the thinner areas. Although I thought I had it level, as it was baking and rising, I could see that I did not. When testing for doneness, I chose to bake long enough to get the thickest section done, with the end result being that the thinner sections were too dry. Even my husband, who thinks anything chocolate can't be bad, thought they were too dry. I removed them from the oven 2 minutes before the minimum baking time (per directions on brownie mix box).
The mix I used the 2nd time was far thicker than the Traditional mix, so everything that I found "a little difficult" before was 3 times more difficult. I worked and worked at getting it spread into all the channels, determined to get the batter level this time. I checked for doneness 6 minutes before the minimum recommended baking time, but they were not done until the exact minimum baking time (per box directions). This time they were not dry, but the thicker sections were too gooey and underdone for my taste.
After reading all the good reviews and ordering it, I had planned on buying 2 more later to give as gifts to my daughter and my daughter-in-law. Now that I have used the pan a couple times and am finding it difficult to level the batter, I have decided not to. I don't really want to give a gift that requires warning the recipients of the problems they are likely to have with it.
Right now, I DO think this pan bakes more evenly than traditional 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pans (I never use 13 x 9 pans for brownies), but spreading the batter evenly IS a pain. I don't understand why none of the other reviews mention the problem of getting the batter even.
I WILL say the quality/construction/material of this pan is excellent. I didn't grease the pan or use any cooking spray the 2nd time I used it, and the brownies still came out of the pan very easily--more easily than the other (greased) pans/baking dishes I used to use. Also, you would think this pan might be hard to wash with all the channels, but not so. It only takes about 15 seconds (no pre-soaking necessary) and it's completely clean.