What Is A Baking Sheet?

When it comes to baking, there are various forms of cookware you can use, which can determine the outcome of the recipe.

For instance, some baking sheets can offer poor conduction, while others give the food a metallic taste.

However, this does not mean that you should spend a fortune on bakeware, as you should endeavor to use baking sheets that are compatible with what you want to make.

In most cases, when a recipe calls for a specific type of bakeware, it means that you should use it.

Because of this, learning the differences between various baking sheets can make it easier to gain a culinary advantage.

In the article below, we will teach you the differences between various types of baking sheets and the recipes they should be used for.

Baking Pans & Cookie Sheets

While many people will refer to their cookie sheet as a baking pan, there is actually a key difference between the two utensils.

Whereas baking pans feature raised edges, cookie sheets do not. Instead, the latter item provides a much wider surface area, which makes it easier to bake large batches of cookies.

However, this does not mean that cookie sheets are free from criticism, as the flat edges mean they are unsuitable for cooking other foods.

This is because cookie sheets allow fat and oil to run off the pan, which could be a potential fire hazard.

Cookie sheets are made this way for various reasons, with the most prominent being easier grip and access to the cookies.

Aluminum Cookie Sheets & Aluminum Baking Sheets

Aluminum bakeware has gained a reputation for its durable designs and affordable price, which has made it a popular choice in kitchens across the world.

Because of this, aluminum bakeware is also extremely easy to clean and can conduct heat quickly and evenly. However, there are some downsides to aluminum products.

For instance, the metal itself can react to acidic foods, which include tomatoes and other fruits. Because of this, the food can take on a metallic taste, while more delicate foods are known to pale in color.

To combat this, you will need to use aluminum baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, as this will stop the aftertaste from reaching the food.

Another common criticism of aluminum baking sheets is their tendency to warp in the oven, which is often found in cheap cookware.

To prevent warping, you will need to heat the sheet pan gradually instead of all at once.

Heavy Aluminum Sheet Pans & Professional Cookie Sheets

In most circumstances, heavy aluminum sheet pans will cost between 11-15 dollars and can be used to cook a variety of different foods from cookies and pastries to cuts of meat and vegetables.

In contrast to this, professional cookie sheets will often cost around $20 and are ideal for cooking large batches of cookies.

However, these baking sheets are also made from heavy-duty aluminum and will need parchment paper or aluminum foil to stop the cookies from sticking to the sheet pan.

Half Sheet Pans & Quarter Sheet Pans

While sheet pans can be made from a range of materials, they often come in three basic models: full sheet pans, half-sheet pans, and quarter sheet pans.

In most cases, a half-sheet pan will measure 13 by 18 inches – which is the ideal size for most ovens, as it allows enough space for the air to circulate and cook the food.

In contrast, you can also purchase quarter sheet pans, which are available in smaller sizes and feature raised sides.

Because of their compact design, these sheets are often used for smaller foods, such as breadcrumbs, nuts, and coconut.

Nonstick Cookie Sheets

Nonstick cookie sheets are darker-colored baking sheets that are able to bake cookies at a much faster rate than their aluminum counterparts.

Beyond this, nonstick cookware also features a nonstick coating, which makes it easier to clean after use.

However, it’s important to note that these cookie sheets can vary greatly in quality, with most nonstick surfaces needing to be replaced once the coating wears off.

Rimmed Baking Sheets

Otherwise known as a jelly roll pan, rimmed baking sheets are essentially baking pans with raised edges. which can be used to make a myriad of sweet treats.

This can include anything from bar cookies and short bread to sheet cakes and the titular jelly roll.

In most cases, we would advise purchasing a rimmed baking sheet that has been made from heavy-duty aluminum, as these hot pans offer better conduction to make various baked goods.

Beyond this, rimmed baking sheets can also be used to make savory dishes, as the raised sides make the pan perfect for roasting meat.

French Black Steel Sheet Pans

While these metal sheets are now considered rare, they are still used by some of the greatest chefs in the world.

However, it’s important to note that these sheet pans will need to be seasoned with kosher salt after every use, as this helps to prevent erosion.

The black steel also needs to be kept away from water, as this could make the metal sheet pan rust over time.

Since the pans are made from heavy-duty metal, they are able to conduct high heat very well, which makes them great for browning various foods.

The stellar conduction also eliminates unwanted hot spots and uneven cooking time.

We would recommend using these pans for puff pastry and other baked goods. However, they can often be hard to find by most home cooks.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many types of bakeware available in the world, with each one promising a new skill that can make baking and cooking easier.

Whether that be elevated edges or the ability to withstand runny batters, there’s a baking sheet for everyone, all you have to do is find the one you want.

Picture of Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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