The 5 Most Recommended Sheet Pans

Published on 10/16/2023 · 9 min readLooking to level up your cooking skills? Explore the top-rated sheet pans that will help you step up your baking and roasting game with all sorts of new recipes!
Jane M., Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Jane M.

Photo by LightField Studios

Time to get some new baking sheet pans? While the diverse options from Nordic Ware often top the lists in roundups (and rightfully so), other choices abound that are also worth considering. In this article, we’ll go through key features to consider when purchasing a baking sheet pan, along with five recommendations for baking sheets that will leave your inner Cookie Monster (and chef!) smiling. When considering buying a baking sheet pan, think of your budget and oven quirks: your preferences for cleaning and storing and the kinds of recipes you tend to cook and bake. It’s also important to think about brands that you consider synonymous with quality, durability, and reputation. Regardless of your pan, remember not to use metal tools or sharp objects that can scratch a baking sheet and void a warranty.

Baking Sheet Basics

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What You Can Use Baking Sheets For

“Baking sheet,” “cookie sheet,” and “half sheet” all might be used interchangeably to refer to the same thing: a flat, rectangular metal sheet used for baking, roasting, crisping, and drying. You may also come across the name “jelly roll pan.” The main distinction between traditional so-called “cookie sheets” and baking sheets is that cookie sheets typically don’t have rolled edges or rims. In general, baking sheet rims are an inch high, but manufacturers vary the styles, some with reinforced rims and different types of handles.

In addition to cooking, these metal sheets also work well as trays for organizing things to carry out to the grill or for mise en place – that is, getting all ingredients and tools gathered, measured out, and ready in order to tackle a recipe with ease.

Coating

Baking sheets come with or without non-stick coatings, and they’re made out of different metals, such as aluminum, carbon steel, or stainless steel. They’re generally a standard silver or gray, but a few brands also offer different colors. For example, Wilton offers a Diamond-Infused Non-Stick Baking Sheet in Navy Blue. Darker-toned sheets tend to cook faster, so when using them, keep an eye on the cooking time and temperature to make adjustments.

Texture

One other feature to consider is texture. For example, Nordic Ware says the grid design on its Prism baking sheets “adds durability and provides exceptional release while also improving air flow.”

Size

Sizes tend to be standard, but some baking sheets adjust the sizing. A standard full-size sheet is 18-inches by 26-inches, and half-sheets are just that—half the size at 18-inches by 13-inches. The larger baking sheets are often associated with commercial kitchens that have ovens big enough to fit them.

Features to Consider

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Size

Does the baking sheet fit into your oven? Is it large enough for the food you want to cook or the amount of baked items in your recipe? Can you easily store the baking sheet in the drawer underneath the oven or in your cabinets? Remember that metal sheets can get scratched or scored.

Heat Tolerance

Check the manufacturers’ specs. We’ve all made the mistake of buying inferior, thin baking sheets that warp, causing food to slide and cook unevenly. Thin metal can result in cookies that burn on the bottom or at the edges, while the center is gooey. If the sheet is intended for high-heat roasting and broiling either meat or veggies, make sure it supports temperatures above 400°F.

Cleanup

Some baking sheets fare better with hand-washing than the dishwasher, but no baking sheet should be subjected to abrasive cleaners or scouring. Gentle soap, baking soda, and vinegar can work wonders. Over time, most baking sheets tend to get some discoloration and burnt-on stains. Non-stick sheet pans, in particular, can erode over time after repeated poundings in the dishwasher.

Read the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. For example, I often double-line a baking sheet with foil when I cook bacon (my favorite way to cook it, which leaves it evenly crisped). Make sure the foil is folded over the edges. After the grease solidifies, roll up the foil, and voilà, the pan is clean.

Parchment Paper, Foil, or Mats

Lining a baking sheet with parchment paper is another great option, depending on the recipe, and it can go into the compost rather than being discarded. Some bakers also swear by silicone baking mats (while others, conversely, advise staying away from them).

Lining a baking sheet with foil, parchment, or a baking mat can help extend their use and assist in the cleanup, but remember, each material works differently. I once used parchment paper instead of foil when roasting sausages, peppers, and onions in a friend’s electric oven. The sausages were extremely greasy, the parchment edges burned, things didn’t cook evenly, and the liquid in the pan smoked so much that the smoke alarm went off. Oops! I don’t recommend that scenario.

Beware that depending on the metal and coating, acidic foods can be reactive, which can impact the flavor of the dish, as well as stain the baking sheet.

Price & Warranty

Baking sheets are a must-have for any kitchen. They typically range from a low of about $20 to a high of more than $100. That means there is one that can fit your budget. Consider desired price points, what kind of regular baking and cooking will be done, and the features that are important to you to help determine the right option.

5 Recommendations for Baking Sheet Pans

1. Best Investment for the Serious Cook: Hestan Provisions OvenBond Half Sheet Pan

The kitchen is finally being renovated, and it’s high time to upgrade to higher-quality bakeware, too. The Hestan Provisions OvenBond Half Sheet Pan is safe for any oven, including induction ovens, and it tolerates broiling. It’s PTFE-free, meeting safety guidelines for nontoxic cooking. It’s also dishwasher-safe.

This is a heavy-duty, durable baking sheet made of triple-bonded stainless steel with an aluminum core. This won’t run the risk of warping, and it’s thick enough to withstand broiling meat and heavier amounts of food. Be aware that it also means it’s heavy.

While this baking sheet is a financial investment at $130, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Use this for those regular, cozy roast Sunday dinners, as well as the delicious homemade chocolate-dipped crescent almond cookies the family asks for every holiday (and, well, anytime!).

Excited to make that first batch of classic Toll House cookies away from home? The Analon Advanced Bakeware Cookie Sheet with Silicone Grips is a great choice for the baker who’s just starting to experiment in their own kitchen. The handles are helpful for gripping, and the forgiving non-stick surface makes it easy to release cookies. Analon notes that this sheet’s medium tone in either bronze or gray also helps with even cooking. The $21.99 price fits the budget, and the smaller size will fit into smaller dishwashers and ovens.

Be aware: The chemicals used in non-stick coatings are hotly debated. Teflon and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) are rated safe for cooking, but problems happen when these materials break down. The chemical known as Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which was in Teflon prior to 2013, is no longer used and has been linked to certain health conditions.

While Analon notes that ceramic is the current coating of choice for environmental and safety factors, the company still advocates for traditional non-stick coatings’ durability. But it’s not designed for use at high temperatures. This isn’t the pan for crisping up oven-baked chicken wings, for example.

3. Best For The Practical Young Professional: Anolon Advanced Non-stick Bakeware and Cooling Rack Set

Ditto on the details above, with the practicality of buying two items at once rather than in separate purchases. The gray Anolon Advanced Non-stick Bakeware and Cooling Rack Set is an economical option at $39.99. The cooling rack is, of course, useful for giving those cookies at least a few minutes to cool off (if that’s even possible). It also comes in handy for other purposes, like drying fruit.

4. Best for The Busy Parent: Caraway’s Non-Stick Ceramic Large Baking Sheet

The weeknights feel like either a scramble or a shuffle getting everyone settled after work, sports, homework, and housework. That means the family is bordering on entering “hangry” territory, and a sheet pan dinner like honey-garlic chicken thighs and broccoli is a lifesaver.

Caraway’s Non-Stick Ceramic Large Baking Sheet will do the trick. At 18-inches by 13-inches, it’s the right size to fit a family meal for four. This baking sheet comes in different colors and has handles so it can go right to the table. Besides looking appealing, the ceramic surface means food won’t stick when serving and cleaning.

At $55, this baking sheet is more of a splurge than some of its metal counterparts, but it’s a worthwhile investment, not only for the non-stick benefits but also for the attention to health and safety in the ceramic coating.

5. Best For The Entertainer: USA Pan Extra Large Sheet Pan

When I worked at a kitchen store and cooking school that hosted both chef-presented demonstration classes as well as hands-on classes for home cooks, we primarily used the USA Pan Extra Large Sheet Pan, which lists for $27.99. We used it for large batches of just about everything, from roasted vegetables to a pan pizza. Whether quickly toasting baguette rounds for an appetizer or slow-cooking two large pork loins – and everything in between – these were workhorse pans that withstood all kinds of cooking, handling, and cleaning. On occasion, we just about fit one of these baking sheets into the freezer for fast setting of things like composed polenta rounds or chocolate-dipped strawberries.

USA Pan sheets are heavy-gauge aluminized steel with a patented non-stick silicone coating and a textured surface (they are oven-safe up to 450°F, so not for broiling). They have sturdy, reinforced rims, which are great for liquids or pan drippings. The 20.25-inch by 14.25-inch size of this sheet can accommodate larger batches of food (we typically served upwards of 20 people in classes).

USA Pan recommends using silicone baking mats and hand-washing these sheets. As noted previously, some home ovens may not be able to fit these larger-sized pans, but the size can make all the difference in more easily cooking for a larger group. They are big to handle, so be prepared with some muscle as well as oven mitts!

Find the Best Baking Sheet Pans for You

Photo by Hanna Tor

The good news is that these five options are representative of the wide array of baking sheets available on the market. Having a decent baking sheet is a staple for every kitchen, whether it’s primarily for baking or cooking.

Ideally, it’s great to have a few different sizes. Some vendors conveniently package a pair or a trio of sheets, such as Viking’s 3-piece Non-stick Baking Sheet Set, which includes a small (quarter-sheet pan), medium (half-sheet pan), and large (full-sheet pan) to accommodate a broad range of recipes and requirements.

Have questions about picking the best choice for your needs? Chat with a Curated Kitchen Expert for free, personalized advice.

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Hestan Provisions OvenBond Tri-ply Half Sheet Pan
$130.00
Anolon Advanced Bakeware Cookie Sheet with Silicone Grips
$16.99

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Caraway Baking Sheet · Large
$55.00
Viking Nonstick Baking Sheet Set · 0.8mm · 3 Piece Set
$99.99
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Viking Enameled Cast Iron Oval Roaster · 7-Quart
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