Silicone pans have become popular additions to many kitchens in recent years. They are flexible and heat-resistant, easy to wash, and can be used in the microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and freezer with ease. They also come in a variety of fun, vibrant colors. Yet, while silicone pans claim to be nonstick, this does not necessarily mean that they do not have to be greased.

To Grease or Not to Grease?

Many silicone pans claim to be nonstick, but the best way to describe them is stick-resistant. If not greased, there is no guarantee that sticking will not occur with a silicone pan. In 2007, Michael Karyo, owner of silicone cookware manufacturer SiliconeZone, told the New York Times, “If any silicone manufacturer says you never have to grease a pan, no matter, they are not telling you the truth.” Thus, your best bet when using a silicone pan is to grease it lightly, and always grease when a recipe calls for doing so.

What Sticks?

Baked goods that are lower in fat content or lighter in weight tend to stick to silicone pans more than baked goods that are higher in fat and more dense. So, cookies are less likely to stick to silicone bakeware than cakes and muffins. Think of it this way: if it’s more likely to crumble, it’s also more likely to stick. Ridges in silicone bakeware, like those found in a bundt cake pake, also increase the chances of sticking, as bits and pieces get stuck in the grooves.

How to Grease

The best way to grease a silicone pan is to rub the interior lightly with vegetable oil or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray. These options work better than rubbing the pan with butter or margarine, as these are both difficult to roll on to a silicone pan evenly. Be careful not to over-grease the pan, however, as doing so may give the pan a sticky residue that does not come when washed.