How To Measure Any Cooking Or Baking Pan

You probably wonder why measuring pans are essential, but until you get a recipe that calls for a specific pan, you won’t know the importance of measuring them.

Imagine purchasing pans that do not hold enough food while cooking and keep spilling the food as soon as you stir or a pan so big that you can’t be able to bake something small for yourself.

Measuring your pans is vital because you get to know what you are working with, and that information can help you see what fits in the oven and which one doesn’t. This is a simple exercise, and in this article, we will look at different types of pans and how to measure them.

Measuring A Frying Pan

A Frying Pan

To measure a frying pan, grab a measuring tape and place the frying pan right side facing up on a flat surface. Stretch the measuring tape across the pan’s front side and check the measurement starting from the edge of the pan until the end of the pan.

Its longest dimension defines the overall size of any pan, and in the case of a frying pan, lip to lip is the widest dimension. When purchasing a frying pan, make sure to look at the company’s measurement definition, where they always mean the side to side dimension.

To be more precise, you can place the measuring tape from the top lip to the other side in a straight line. 

A Pie Pan

This is a dish used for cooking sweet or savory pies and is oven safe. Also referred to as pie plates or pie dishes, The pan is round and shallow compared to other pans. You measure them from inside rim to the other inside rim.

The width of the top and the width of the bottom will be different since it has sloped sides. Sizes mostly range from 20 to 30 cm wide and 3 to 5 cm tall.

Cake Pan

A Cake Pot

A round cake pan

The easiest way to measure the diameter of the inside of the pan is with a measuring tape. Measure from across the pan from inside lip to the other inside across the widest point.

If you decide to measure from the outside, you will get the wrong measurements. This is because thickness varies from one cake pan to another. Please take your measurements across the base inside the pan so that even when you are cutting out a parchment paper, it fits perfectly.

A square cake pan

These are perfect for making brownies and are categorized by the length of their sides. Like the round cake pans, the size on the base differs from the top. Measure the length of the pan from the inside lip to the other.

For the height, stand a ruler inside the pan and measure up to the lip. If the walls are slanted, use a measuring tape or if you use the ruler, stand it directly up.

Measuring the volume of the cake pans

Apart from the complicated math way of calculating it, you could fill the cake pan with water then pour that into a measuring jug. If, for example, you get a recipe and requires you to have a round cake pan, and you only have a square one, check the volumes and see if they match.

Another important reason for measuring the cake pans is to know how much batter to put in the pan. This is so that it does not overflow.

Some pan sizes you could compare with:

Round Pans

6×2 inches = 4 cups

8×2 inches = 6 cups

9×2 inches = 8 cups

Square pans

8×2 inches = 8cups

9×2 inches =10 cups

10×2 inches = 12 cups

Loaf Pan

When making bread, the wrong pan size can mess your loaf. Most notably, the pan volume. Loaf pans are usually rectangular, like with wide widths at the top. If you do not know your pan’s size, use the same old measuring tape and compare with our loaf pan size chart below:

Pan size by the batter volume

Five ¾ × 3 1/4 inches – 2 cups

Eight × 4 inches – 

4 cups

81/2 × 4 ½ inches – 6 cups

Nine × 5 inches – 

8 cups

When making bread, any small measurement hitch may make the bread flat. If the recipe you are falling does not specify, use the 8 ½ × 4 ½ inches one. Fill the pan until it fills two-thirds, then fill up the pan to give you that beautifully risen loaf.

Springform Pan

This is a round cake pa that has removable bottom and sides. The sides are held in place with an interlocking band that you can open and remove when your cake is made. It makes your work so easy when handling a hot cake straight from the oven.

The same way you measure the normal cake pans is the same way you measure the springform pans. They come in 4″, 6″, 8″. 9″ and 10″ sizes. They are purchased mostly as a set.

Shower Pan Size

Shower pans are waterproof barriers made of lead or vinyl shaped like a pan that serves to catch any water that slips through the tile and redirects it to the drain.

First, measure the pan’s sides using the tape measure extending it from the outer edge to the other. This is unlike the cooking pans that are measured from the inside lip. The depth is measured by getting the height of the sides with the measuring tape from the center till the bottom.

In conclusion, this is how to measure pans and determine their volumes:

  1. Measure them across the top, not the bottom unless you want the bottom one specifically when you want to place your parchment paper.
  2. Use a ruler or measuring tape from inside edge to the inside one to not include the thickness unless it is the shower pan.
  3. To measure the depth, place the tape on the counter and measure straight up from the bottom of the pan. If it happens to be slanted, still measure straight up.
  4. As for the volume, use water and pour it in the pan until it fills it and then pour in your measuring jug.