Why You Should Use A Bread Loaf Pan For Marinating

Beyond baking up a fragrant loaf of banana, pumpkin, or zucchini bread, there are lots of other uses for the handy loaf pan in your kitchen. Cooking for yourself or a small group? The size of your loaf pan makes it perfect for cutting your favorite lasagna recipe or layered casserole dish in half to feed one or two people. And, don't forget the other loaf in your life: meatloaf. If you've always been a freeform meatloaf kind of cook, try it in your loaf pan for a change of pace.

Frozen desserts also serve up nicely out of a loaf pan. Whether it's homemade ice cream or a nice granita, scooping icy treats from a loaf pan is a breeze due to the elongated shape. They can also be used for making smaller batches of other desserts, like brownies or bar cookies. Homemade granola bars are another option. A loaf pan lined with parchment can make the perfect vessel when lifting out a batch of no-bake bars for slicing.

You can use any type of loaf pan, including metal, ceramic, and glass, for all these ideas. When it comes to marinating meat in a loaf pan, though (Yes, you can do that!), it's wise to stick to your glass version.

A loaf pan allows your meat to soak up all that marinade

Whether you're dusting off your trusty grill pan or firing up the barbie, marinades can add a burst of flavor to proteins like chicken, pork, and even tofu before you cook them. Marinades also help to tenderize cuts of beef, like flank steak and tri-tip, while they're being flavored. But did you know one of the best ways to the maximize the marinating process is to use a glass loaf pan?

Because loaf pans are deep and have a smaller surface area, the main advantage is that your food stays submerged, so all sides are getting a savory bath at the same time, explains Allrecipes. Simply lay the meat in your glass loaf pan and pour your favorite marinade over it. Toss the meat with tongs, if needed, to make sure it's completely coated. Finally, cover the pan with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge from several hours to overnight, depending on your recipe. 

Why do you need a glass loaf pan for this purpose? Because marinades are acidic, containing ingredients like vinegar, citrus juice, and buttermilk, a potentially unsafe chemical reaction can occur if you use a metal pan, explains food scientist Jessica Gavin. For this reason, avoid aluminum pans and foil when marinating, as well as glazed pottery loaf pans since ceramic glazes contain aluminum oxide.