What are the benefits of using silicone molds?
Hot and cold uses. The versatility of
silicone molds allows you to use them for both cold meals (like sweet jelly,
wipes, aspic, meat jelly, as well as ice) and for baking gastronomic
delights (like quiches, flans, etc.).
Faster. The baking process in shallow
molds is much faster, saving you time and energy.
Non stick. And their greatest advantage
is that food does not stick to them, making un-molding virtually effortless.
Less fat. You can use less fat in your
recipes, due to its non-stick properties, and you only need to grease a mold
the first time you use it for baking.
Sweeter. You can make things sweeter, as
the use of added sugar will not cause your baked goods to stick.
Easy clean. Molds easily wipe-clean,
saving you time and detergents.
Durable. Silicone molds are durable,
able to withstand more than 3000 uses in the oven.
Heat resistant. Heat-resistance is to
Food approved. Soft silicone molds are
permissible in commercial and industrial food applications.
Oven safe. Silicone molds can be used in
both conventional and microwave ovens.
Freezer safe. Freeze food and beverages
in the molds.
Shock proof. They can go from the
freezer right into the oven, and vice versa.
Use and Care:
Before the first time you use a silicone mold:
- Wash the mold in soapy water or in the dishwasher
- Grease the inside of the mold with a little oil or
melted butter. (No need to grease the mold after its first use.)
Oven rack or tray:
- Larger molds should be placed right on the oven racks
(not on a tray or cookie sheet) to allow better circulation of heat around
- Small molds may be placed on a baking sheet (tray or
cookie sheet) for stability.
- Wooden, plastic or Teflon-coated tools without sharp
- Cooking temperatures are exactly the same as those
used for traditional metal molds.
- Shallower molds will bake faster than larger molds,
so check frequently for doneness on first use.
- Shallow molds, the most commonly available, work
best, as silicone does not distribute heat evenly.
- In a convection oven, place on a rack at mid-height
in the oven
- In a traditional oven, place molds on the lowest
- Keep the oven temperature below 525°F.
- Foods that are baked in these molds usually come out
with shiny surfaces.
- Rinse molds with warm water and a soft sponge between
batches and after use.
- If needed, sponge clean with some liquid detergent,
then rinse thoroughly.
- After washing and before refilling with another
batch, allow the bakeware to dry in the oven at 325°F (150°C) for 2-3
- Never put an empty mold into the oven; if there's not
enough pastry to fill the last few cavities, pour a little flour into the
empty cavities it order to protect them.
- Never use silicone molds under the broiler.
- Never use sharp tools when turning over or removing
baked items in the molds.
- Never cut in the molds.
- Never use metal brushes or abrasives to clean your
What is silicone?
Simply put, Polysiloxane, (the proper name for Silicones), are stable
synthetic compounds (polymers), with lubricating properties that mimic
organic, carbon based compounds, such as petroleum, animal fats and
Silicone is a term much like "plastic" - it covers a rather wide range of
materials and properties. The chemistry of a particular polymer determines
its characteristics, from hard and brittle varnishes, to soft and flexible
rubbers. The initial work on polysiloxane chemistry dates back almost 60
years and it continues today.
Silicones are used for a lot of things. They can be elastomers and
lubricating oils. The caulking in your bathroom is probably made of a
silicone. Among other things, silicones are also used to make the heat
resistant tiles on the bottom of the space shuttle, breast and other
implants, and hair conditioners that don't cause buildup.
Dictionary.com defines Silicone as:
" 1) Any of a group of semi-inorganic polymers based on the structural unit
R2SiO, where R is an organic group, characterized by wide-range thermal
stability, high lubricity, extreme water repellence, and physiological
inertness and used in adhesives, lubricants, protective coatings, paints,
electrical insulation, synthetic rubber, and prosthetic replacements for
" 2) Any of a large class of siloxanes that are unusually stable over a wide
range of temperatures; used in lubricants and adhesives and coatings and
synthetic rubber and electrical insulation [syn: silicone polymer]"
Silicone is different from Silicon and Silica, though it
contains a relatively high proportion of silicon. Silicon, which is
found in rocks and sand, is the second most common element in the crust of
our earth. It is not found in its elemental form, but occurs mainly as
oxides and silicates. Silica is a three dimensional network of
silicon dioxide, most commonly encountered as sand. Silica exists in
crystalline and amorphous forms, is chemically resistant at ordinary
temperatures, and can undergo a variety of transformations at high
temperatures (greater than 500°C, 950°F) and pressures.
The basic difference between silicone polymers and "organic" polymers is in
the molecular make-up. Silicone or Dimethyl Polysiloxane, is made up of
silicone/oxygen linkages, the same found in high temperature materials such
as quartz, glass, and sand. Natural rubber, or organic polymers, are made up
of carbon/carbon linkages.
Through altering the chemical make-up of the silicones by adding phenyls,
vinyls, and flourines, significant variations in physical properties can be
achieved. Thus, molds from different manufacturers can vary in their quality
and subsequent results.
Silicone is generally attacked by most concentrated solvents, oils,
concentrated acids and diluted sodium hydroxide. It is a material of high
chemical inertness, resistant to environmental impact (oxygen, ozone, water
and light) and various liquid detergents, usable both in high (260°C, 525°F)
and low (-70°C, -185°F) temperature.
Silicone is regulated for use with food under US Food & Drug Administration
Title 21 Part 177 Section 2600 (Cite: 21CFR177.2600).
The regulation establishes the safety of silicones under ASTM Standard D1418-81,
which regulates the manufacture of silicones.
ASTM International (originally known as the American Society for Testing
and Materials) is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations
in the world-a trusted source for technical standards for materials, products,
systems, and services.
Lekue, using Platinum as a catalyst:
#6,197,359 (Mar 06, 2001)
Others, using Peroxide as a catalyst:
#7,105,193 (Sep 12, 2006)