A good quality baking sheet is essential for baking cookies or making one-pan meals. Look for sheets that conduct heat evenly and are lightweight to prevent burns.
Insulated cookie sheets have air sandwiched between two metal layers and are best reserved for delicate cookies like meringues and lace cookies because they bake more slowly and don’t brown much.
Often, the workhorses of the kitchen, rimmed cookie sheets like this one from Nordic Ware, are versatile enough to handle various tasks. They’re sturdy, heat up quickly and evenly without warping, allow for even baking, and are easy to clean.
A full-size rimmed sheet is also useful for roasting vegetables, holding breaded cutlets before frying, and cooking granola. The sides help contain spills and food and make it easier to grab a hot pan when lifting it in and out of the oven, says baking expert Dorothy Kern.
Rimless cookie sheets have no rims, though they may have a slight lip to act as a handle. These pans are fine for baking cookies but are impractical when cooking anything that produces juice, such as chicken or vegetables. They’re also more prone to warping with temperature changes and don’t offer the even baking that a rimmed pan provides. The best rimless baking sheets will have reinforced rolled edges, which helps prevent them from warping and bending with extreme temperatures.
A rimless cookie sheet is flat and designed to slide cookies off the pan without damaging them. It can also be used for other items like puff pastries. This Baker’s Mark half-size 12 gauge 14″ x 17″ rimless aluminum cookie sheet is an essential pan in any commercial establishment.
Rimless baking sheets can also provide more surface area to space out your cookies so that they bake in their natural shape instead of becoming conjoined. This can help them bake evenly and crisp up at the same time. Choose a rimless sheet made from durable material, such as aluminum or stainless steel. These materials are excellent conductors of heat and can help your baked goods brown more evenly.
A nonstick cookie sheet is an essential addition to your kitchen. It keeps cookies from sticking to the pan and makes it easy to slide them onto a rack en masse. The coating is durable and made from non-toxic materials, which means you can use it with metal utensils without fear of harmful fumes or burns.
These cookie sheets have an indented handle that acts as a grip. They’re great for baking small pastries, galettes, and bread. They’re also suitable for savory foods, like roasted vegetables or chicken, because the rolled edges contain juices.
Traditional bakers prefer light-colored uncoated aluminum sheets because they conduct heat evenly and don’t twist and warp as easily as aluminized steel or stainless steel. It’s a budget-friendly option that’s long-lasting and easy to clean.
While they look similar, a cookie sheet differs from a baking sheet. Classic cookie sheets are flat with one rolled edge, allowing hot air to circulate your baked goods to prevent burning and over-baking. The best cookie sheets are also light in color to heat up quickly and cool down more easily after removing your cookies from the oven.
An insulated baking sheet is a wise investment for bakers prone to burnt cookies. These sheets, often made of natural aluminum, have a cushion of air between two layers to protect against over-baked or blackened cookies and even out heat in uneven home ovens. They’re a great option for those frustrated with consistently burnt batches and can’t seem to get it right, whether their oven is temperamental or their recipes aren’t quite on point. However, insulated cookie sheets take longer to heat up and bake, so you may have to wait for your cookies to be cooked before pulling them out of the oven.