The baking sheet is the staple of any oven, whether for batches of cookies, jelly rolls or as a roasting pan for your meat and vegetables. Available as flat sheets or as a pan with rolled edges, having a good quality baking sheet makes the difference between burnt on food and easy cleaning.In this article we review a selection of baking sheets, including aluminum flat sheets which are perfect for cookies and aluminized steel jelly roll pans suitable for a wide variety of cooking tasks. As well as reviewing these, we look at some of the features of the best baking sheets, such as their color and their non-stick capability.
With its PFOA-free ceramic coating, the US-made OXO Good Grips non-stick pro cookie sheet is our best pick with its micro-texture surface for even baking.
The traditional US made Nordic Ware aluminum commercial baker’s half sheet is our budget pick with its reinforced rim for extra strength.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Baking Sheets
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1. OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Cookie Sheet
Made from heavy gauge aluminized steel with a PFOA free ceramic reinforced two layer non-stick coating, the OXO Good Grips non-stick pro cookie sheet is able to easily release food and protect against stains, scratches and corrosion. The inner has a micro-textured pattern to increase airflow and minimize surface contact for more even baking. This sheet can warp during cooking, but it will return to its correct shape on cooling.It has square rolled edges for easy gripping and is suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher, although the instructions state that this should be hand washed. Made in the US, this sheet measures 14.5" by 18.5" and this measurement is embossed into the sheet to make it easier for you to find the correct sheet or pan for your recipe.
2. Nordic Ware Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet
The US made Nordic Ware aluminum commercial baker’s half sheet measures approximately 17.9" by 12.9" and is made from pure aluminum for even baking and rust resistance with a reinforced encapsulated steel rim to prevent warping.This is also printed with a Nordic Ware logo on the base of the sheet, which can be difficult to clean, especially as this is suitable for hand washing only. The logo also means that the sheet is not completely smooth.
3. Vollrath 68085 Wear-Ever Cookie Sheet
Made from heavy gauge 3004 aluminum, the Vollrath 68085 Wear-Ever Cookie Sheet is suitable for commercial use as well as home use with its NSF certification. Able to heat quickly and evenly, it measures 17" by 14" and has two flat edges and two curved edges for easy gripping and sliding actions. Some users have noted that their cookies spread too much with this sheet. Made in the US, this sheet is hand wash only with a mild detergent.
4. Calphalon Non-Stick Baking Sheet
Measuring 12" by 17", the Calphalon non-stick baking sheet has a heavy gauge steel core to prevent warping and allow even heating. Its interior also has non-stick layers for durability and easy release. Although safe up to 500°F, some owners have reported that this sheet warps at lower temperatures in the oven, but then returns to shape as it cools.
This sheet has rolled edges on all four sides and is suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher, although when you remove it from the dishwasher you can find that water accumulates in the edge of the sheet. It also comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
5. Focus Foodservice Commercial Grade Aluminum Half Sheet Pan
The Focus Foodservice commercial 18 gauge aluminum pan (half sheet) has a reinforcing wire in its frame to give extra durability and strength. This 18" by 13" half sheet is made from 18 gauge 2003 aluminum and it has superior heat conduction and resistance to corrosion, although it will be more susceptible to scratches if you use a knife in the pan to cut or remove your baked goods. As this is aluminum, it is only suitable for washing by hand.
6. AirBake Non-Stick Cookie Sheet
The AirBake non-stick cookie sheet (14" by 16") is constructed of two heavyweight sheets of aluminum steel with air in between. This acts to keep the metal temperature lower where it touches the food. This allows for reduced burning risk and moister food. This sheet also has a non-stick layer to make it easier to release food.
Although this sheet is dishwasher safe you are advised not to use dishwasher detergent tabs due to the concentration of the cleaning agents. This sheet cannot be soaked and if water does get inside the layers through the small holes on the exterior of the sheet it can increase the risk of burning and you can only remove the water by baking in a low oven for 30 minutes or until the water is removed.
7. Chicago Metallic 16150 Professional Non-Stick Baking Sheet
Measuring 15.5" by 10.5", the Chicago Metallic 16150 professional non-stick baking sheet is made of aluminized steel for even heating. It is also reinforced with a wire frame for durability. A multipurpose sheet with rolled edges, this is ideal for cookies, bars, roast vegetables and jelly rolls.
Oven safe up to 450°F, it has a non-stick surface for easy food release and cleaning. This sheet is dishwasher safe, although the manufacturer recommends that you do wash by hand to prolong its life and some owners have experienced damage to the non-stick coating when they have placed this sheet in the dishwasher. It may also be prone to rusting as the non-stick wears down.
8. Farberware purECOok Hybrid Ceramic Non-Stick Baking Pan (Aqua)
Free from PFOA and PTFE, the Faberware purECOok hybrid ceramic non-stick baking pan (aqua) measures 10" by 15". Made from steel and containing a textured interior for greater stability, it is oven safe up to 500°F and has a rolled rim and wide handles for easy gripping.
Although this is a non-stick pan, a number of owners have experienced its non-stick capabilities quickly reducing with use, which then makes it difficult to clean. This pan may also warp when in use but usual goes back into shape on cooling.
9. Norpro Non-Stick Cookie Sheet
Containing raised edges, the Norpro non-stick cookie sheet measures 10" by 15" and has a non-stick surface for easy food release and cleaning. Although this is a smooth sheet, it does have a shallow trough at the edge of the pan which can make it more difficult to release jelly roll. Depending on your recipe, it may not be quite deep enough for jelly roll as it is only 0.75" depth. This edged pan also contains two handles for easy gripping. Hand washing only is recommended and like many sheets it can warp in the oven but will usually return to shape as it begins to cool.
10. Artisan Professional Aluminum Baking Sheet
Made from 18 gauge commercial grade aluminum, the Artisan Professional aluminum baking sheet measures 18" by 13.5" and is corrosion resistant. Made in the US, this sheet also has a reinforced frame to prevent the sheet from warping. This is an edged sheet, making it suitable for a variety of uses, although this can only be washed by hand. As a softer metal, there is a chance that you may receive this sheet with some minor scratches or dents, so you may want to check it thoroughly on arrival.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Baking Sheet
The baking sheet is sometimes known as a half sheet pan, or even jelly roll pan, and tends to measure around 13" by 18" and will have sides of around one inch deep. These pans often take a standard wire rack for cooking meats on.
Because the baking sheet has sides, or rolled edges, it is a lot more versatile in the kitchen as you can roast vegetables in it, bake jelly roll and so much more. A quarter sheet pan is ideal for smaller baking tasks and will often fit in a toaster oven.
A cookie sheet, or flat baking sheet, is ideal for cookies, or even for serving cakes on, but its lack of edges limits its uses for general cooking purposes. The lack of sides does however allow air to circulate around cookies. When buying a cookie sheet, look for one with one or two curved edges to make it easier to take out of the oven.
For baking, having a minimum of two sheets of different sizes, is usually helpful. Depending on the size of your oven, you may even be able to fit two sheets on the same shelf for more economical baking.
When you are baking, always try to match the sheet to the recipe as this can make a difference to how well your baked goods turn out. If you do use a glass sheet, cooking temperature usually needs reducing by 25°F.
Features to Consider on Baking Sheets
Handles on the side of the sheet are something to look for as these make it easier to grip the pan with oven mitts.
Ridges or patterning on the inner base can help air to circulate and may help stop food sticking, although depending on what you are baking, these ridges may not give a suitable outer surface to your baked goods.
An insulated baking sheet is usually two sheets of metal with an air layer in between. This can be useful if you regularly bake delicate cookies such as tuiles or meringue as it allows them to cook slower and prevents burning. For general baking, this type of sheet is not really necessary.
Baking Sheet Color
A dull finish can help even browning. If you bake lighter cookies such as shortbread, then a light-colored shiny cookie pan will slow down heat conduction and increase heat reflection - giving you lighter cookie bottoms.
A dark colored pan absorbs more heat which can mean that cookies may overcook. If you reduce heat and cooking time by around 25%, this tends to reduce the risk of a dark pan overcooking.
Because many non-stick pans are darker colored, they will bake faster than a standard aluminum sheet, giving crunchy and darker cookies.
Non-Stick is Not Always Necessary
Many sheets available are single ply metal without non-stick finish. The main disadvantage with using any bakeware without non-stick is that it does not release food easily. These types of sheets will always need greasing well before use.
If you use parchment paper when you bake, then the non-stick is not always necessary. A silicone liner is also ideal to create a non-stick surface on a sheet, and of course, silicone is easy to clean in the dishwasher. Silicone can change cooking, such as by not allowing the dough to spread as much, so be prepared to modify your preparation slightly.
Manufacturers may give specific instructions for greasing or flouring and may say whether you should use parchment sheet or waxed paper. Otherwise, you can grease with a thin layer of softened butter or shortening, or even use a non-stick cooking spray. If you are lining with paper, then you will still usually need to grease before adding a sheet.
Non-stick finishes can start to break down at higher temperatures, so if you want a sheet to use for higher heat cooking, then non-stick may not always be the best option. If you do want non-stick, then look for one that will take the higher temperatures. Non-stick coatings can also be more susceptible to scratches which means they do start to break down with use.
Aluminum and Heat Conduction
Pure aluminum will conduct more heat effectively than aluminized steel or tri-ply; warming up quickly and evenly and then cooling quickly when out of the oven. Steel can heat unevenly which may cause hot spots on the sheet. If you are looking at aluminum, then the smaller the gauge means a thicker sheet - a 12 gauge is thicker than 18 gauge.
Cleaning Baking Sheets
If you do line your baking sheets, there is less risk of ending up with burnt on grease and food. After every day use, follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning. Some non-stick sheets will be suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher, otherwise, when the sheet is cool, wash it in warm soapy water and use a nylon scrubber for any stubborn stains. If stains cannot be removed through normal washing, then you may want to cover the sheet with wet paper towels and leave them on for an hour.
Always dry your sheet straight after washing, and if it has been through the dishwasher then take it out and dry it by hand once the cycle is finished.
There are a number of specific cleaning solutions for certain types of sheet, such as baking soda and vinegar, or ammonia for aluminum, but if you have baking sheets made from different materials, then baking soda and water is suitable for stain removal on all types of sheet, whether non-stick, aluminum or aluminized steel.
You will need to make a paste with baking soda and warm water and cover your sheet with the paste. Leave for around 30 minutes then gently scrub with a nylon scrubber until stains are removed. You can then wash well and dry.
For baked on grease, you can place a rolled edge aluminum or aluminized steel sheet on the stovetop with some water and a few drops of dish detergent in it. Allow it to come to a gentle boil and leave it for around five minutes. Once the sheet is cold, you can use steel wool to remove any greasy residue. There is a risk that the steel wool may cause some surface scratches, so do take this into account if you choose to clean it this way.
For a non-stick sheet, you can sprinkle baking soda on it and then pour some vinegar over the top. This will begin to fizz. Leave it for around 30 minutes, then use a nylon scrubber to gently remove any grease stains. It can then just be washed thoroughly and left to dry.
In this article we have looked at some of the main types of baking sheet, including aluminum and aluminized steel, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of non-stick and why the color of a pan can affect the color of your cookies. We also trust that our handy hints will come in useful next time you are faced with cleaning a sheet full of burnt on food and grease.Whatever you use baking sheets for, choosing the best baking sheets will help ensure your cookies bake to the color that you want them and that your roast vegetables are able to slide right out of the pan.