What Kind of Baking Sheet Do I Need?

Author: Chef Sydney

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What are Baking Sheets?

A baking sheet is a flat, oven-safe, rectangular sheet of metal used in baking.  A baking sheet is sometimes called a sheet pan.  Baking sheets are typically made of aluminum and come in several different sizes.  The standard baking sheet for use at home is 9 x 13in and is called a quarter sheet.  Other sizes for baking sheets include eighth, half, three quarter, and full size.  The eighth sheet is 9.5 x 6.5in, the half sheet is 18 x 13in, the three quarter sheet is 21 x 15in, and the full-size baking sheet is 26 x 18in.  Baking sheets usually have a rim around the edges of the sheet to prevent spills or overflows.

What are Baking Sheets Used For?

Baking sheets are used for baking a variety of foods.  A popular use for baking sheets is for making cookies!  Baking sheets are also used for baking pastries, pizzas, and dinner rolls and certain other breads.

Freshly baked sweet potato fries lined  on a baking sheet
Freshly baked sweet potato fries lined on a baking sheet.

What are the Different Types of Baking Sheets?

  • Aluminum
  • Nonstick
  • Insulated
  • Stainless Steel
  • Light or Dark Colored

Aluminum: Aluminum is the most common type of baking sheet.  Aluminum baking sheets cook food more evenly.  This type of sheet is strong and usually lasts for a long time.  Aluminum baking sheets can be made of thinner or thicker aluminum.  Thicker aluminum holds heat better than thinner aluminum, which means that the sheet will keep food warmer for longer.

Nonstick: Some baking sheets are nonstick, which means that the food on the pan will come off easily after it’s finished cooking.  Nonstick baking sheets bake foods faster and crispier.  The nonstick finish will eventually wear off, so the pan will need to be replaced.

Insulated: Insulated baking sheets have a layer of air between two sheets of metal.  Insulated baking sheets are better for foods that should not brown on the bottom because these sheets cook slower.  Sugar cookies are best baked on an insulated baking sheet.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel baking sheets are strong and can last for a long time.  Black steel baking sheets are also long-lasting but require extra work to keep them strong.  Black steel baking sheets have to be seasoned with salt after every use and have to be thoroughly dried once washed.  These baking sheets bake evenly but might cook food too quickly because of the dark color of the pan.

Light and Dark Colored: There are also light or dark-colored baking sheets.  Darker baking sheets typically brown food faster, which can cause food to burn.  Darker baking sheets are better for making crispier cookies.  Lighter baking sheets are better for foods that need to bake until golden-brown, like sugar cookies.

Recipes Using Baking Sheets

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Treat yourself to a twist on a classic! Toss sliced sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake. Learn more about other ways to enjoy sweet potatoes.

Roasted Hazelnuts

Make your own roasted hazelnuts at home! Lay hazelnuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Let hazelnuts cool completely. You can remove the outer skin with a clean kitchen towel. Learn more about ways to use your freshly roasted hazelnuts.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cashews

Add new flavor and texture to your classic chocolate chip cookies recipe with cashews! Prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough and add in 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped cashews. Spoon dough onto a baking sheet and bake.

Herb Roasted Chicken

Chicken pairs well with either fresh or dry herbs. Place chicken on a baking sheet. Top with salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and garlic then bake until cooked.

Roasted Artichoke Hearts

Enjoy roasted artichoke hearts as a tasty side dish to complete a meal. Toss artichoke hearts with salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown.

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