There are lots of baking pans in the market of various sizes and shapes. Pans are widely used for baking various products. When comes to sizes we can use different sizes only when the quantity is being considered.
When thinking about the size difference, we may think 8×8 and 9×9 are not having vast differences in size and can be used as a substitute for each other.
It is just that the 9X9 pan will contain 25% more than 8X8. There are a lot of things to be considered when using a pan, regardless of the size of the pan. The temperature and bake time are the most important factors to be considered here.
Considerable changes between two pans:
When the pan size is larger, comparatively more surface area is exposed, which actually makes a vast difference to the taste of food.
Even the cooking time also gets hampered because of the higher surface area. Evaporation of liquid from the cooked food will be higher in the case of a 9X9 pan, because of the higher surface area.
When compared to the 8X8 pan, the 9X9 pan decreases the bake time by 25% at the same temperature. 8X8 pan has a lesser exposed surface area and therefore, it takes higher cooking time and also contains a lesser amount of food in it.
Quantity of food cooked:
Baking the same quantity of food may not make a vast difference, whether it is an 8X8 pan or 9X9 pan. But when a little larger quantity of food needs to be cooked, we may choose 9X9 over an 8X8 pan.
Let us say, a customer reaches out to a baker asking about making a customized cake that should be larger than 8X8. But he does not have a budget for a 9X13 pan, then the only option would be a 9X9 pan to grab the deal with that customer.
Although considering a high quantity of food, 9X9 will contain more food and that extra food will utilize more raw material. Along with the raw material, extra heat will consume more electricity and consume more time as well.
Therefore, the cost of the cake eventually increases if 9X9 is used for baking. But when we use the same quantity of raw material for baking cake in a 9×9 pan as used in an 8×8 pan, the thickness of the cake baked in the pan will certainly reduce.
Quality of the food cooked:
A cake baked in a pan always has three portions, one is the upper portion exposed to air, the second is the middle portion which is the softest part of the cake and the last one is the base which is directly in touch with the pan.
Let’s say, we are baking the same quantity of cake in both 8×8 pan and 9×9 pan, at the same temperature and up to the same time. The cake cooked in a 9X9 pan will be different in taste and it will have the very less soft part that people usually like to it.
Because, of the highly exposed area, the top part of the cake will be harder in 9×9. And because of the high base area as well, the bottom part of the cake will become more brownish or burnt.
So, we should always take care of the heat and time of cooking when a less quantity of cake is baked in a 9X9 pan so that the quality of the food is never compromised.
Although 9X9 pan is mostly considered for cooking comparatively larger amounts of food heat applied for cooking and time for cooking should always be considered to maintain the taste of food. If the same quantity of food is considered, 8X8 is always better than 9X9 pan because as much as the time required for cooking the food becomes tastier.
When Mom’s recipe is considered, Mom always suggests to keep stirring at low flame and that’s what makes the food better. If a 9X9 pan is considered for stirring a longer time then all the moisture will evaporate and foods may turn not juicy.
Affect on cooking time:
When cooking time is considered, 9X9 pan takes lesser time to cook compared to 8X8 pan. The higher surface area of the pan base will make the foods get more exposed to the heat in the case 9X9 pan, therefore foods will cook faster.
Although food will cook faster in a 9X9 pan the taste may not be that good because slow cooking always brings better taste to the food. If the cake is baked in an 8X8 pan and 9X9 pan, 9X9 pancakes will be crisper and harder in taste because of more evaporation of liquid from the surface.
If we are cooking some food on a gas stove in a 9X9 pan there may be the possibility that the outer area of the food to be cooked, may not get proper heat as well.
Also, there is a high chance that food might get burnt faster when cooked 9X9 pan, as we have reduced cooking time because of more surface area. So we have to be very mindful about what we are cooking and how much time we are spending cooking a particular food.
Cooking food is an art. At times people may make the most difficult food look very easy and tasty, regardless of whatever the pan the size the person is using.
A person might be able to cook a better food in an 8X8 pan compared to a 9X9 pan, at a provided time and heat. Although we know that 9X9 has a higher surface area and gets the moisture to evaporate from food faster but it has disadvantages as well, which we have covered in previous paragraphs.
Using 8X8 is a more convenient and widely used pan than a 9X9 pan because it provides an even amount of surface area as well as base, required for making a perfect food or baking a perfect cake.
If a real thumb rule is to be used for using a pan, it can be said that with the increase per square inch of the pan, the heat required and time required to cook decreases by 25%, considering an equal amount of food is cooked.
The use of 8X8 is better when baking of cake is considered but 9X9 can reduce time to some extent and make the cake crispy, so it fully depends on the cook master what purpose he wants to use it for.