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Baking sheets are multi-purpose items, used for everything from baking cookies to roasting wings.
Our top pick is the Nordic WareNaturals Half Sheet, made of uncoated aluminum.
It did not warp at high roasting temperatures, and was the easiest to use.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
Baking sheets are incredibly versatile pieces of cookware; they can be vessels for everything from one-pan meals and cookies to grandma-style pizza and loaded nachos.
A quality baking sheet doesn’t have hot spots, is easy to clean, keeps its shape, and evenly browns your food. Full-size sheet pans don’t fit in most home ovens, so a half sheet measuring 13 by 18 inches is the largest option appropriate for home cooks, according to Kristy Greenwood Bortz of Victory Love + Cookies. Check our FAQ section for a brief rundown of the four most common sheet pan types and their dimensions.
In this guide, we use the term “baking sheet” to refer to all of the products, while “cookie sheet” specifically means a flat pan with only one elevated edge. According to Beth and Maddie Barnett of Eat Me Cookies, cookie sheets’ unique structure allows you to slide baked goods on and off without having to lift them over a rim. That’s something to consider when choosing the best baking sheet for your particular needs.
In order to select our top three picks, we consulted food industry experts and ran each baking sheet through a series of tests. We baked butter cookies, roasted potatoes, and noted how each sheet handled being rotated in an oven. We also considered the sheets’ capacities and cooling times, as well as how difficult it was to scrub away burnt food.
Here are the 4 best baking sheets of 2021:
Best baking sheet overall: Nordic Ware Naturals Half SheetBest cookie sheet: WIlliams Sonoma Goldtouch Cookie SheetBest baking sheet for roasting: OXO Non-Stick Pro Half SheetBest quarter sheet: Nordicware Naturals Quarter Sheet
We baked a batch of roll-and-cut butter cookies on every sheet we tested, including the Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet, above. The half-moon shape made it easy to evaluate spread and color.
The Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet delivers an even bake, wipes clean easily, and food slides off with little effort.
Size: 17 1/4″ x 12 1/4″ x 0.9″ deepCoating: UncoatedMaterial: AluminumPFOA free: Yes
Pros: Conducts heat evenly, cookies release easily
Cons: Shows wear and tear after first use
The Nordic Ware Naturals half sheet is our top pick because it’s simple, effective, and affordable. When I roasted potatoes on this sheet, a coat of olive oil prevented most of the sticking, and any burnt pieces were easily scrubbed off with a scouring pad. In our bake test, the uncoated aluminum sheet baked the butter cookies in the time suggested by the recipe, as opposed to the nonstick sheets, which baked cookies faster than expected. Though there was slight resistance, the cookies came off without breaking.
As someone who uses a baking sheet on an almost daily basis, it’s important that I don’t have to take my sheet’s limitations into account before I bake. It can be frustrating if you have to remember to position your cauliflower away from your baking sheet’s warped spot, or risk charring the bottoms of your cookies if you don’t take them out five minutes early. Using the Nordic Ware sheet requires little thought; it bakes evenly and keeps its shape.
Here I should mention that this sheet will show wear and tear after the first use. I’ve already noticed scratches and slight discoloration from acidic foods, but the decline in appearance has had no effect on its performance.
Naturals Half Sheet (button)
The best cookie sheet
The butter cookies came out crisp, but not burnt, on the Williams Sonoma Cookie Sheet.
The Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Cookie Sheet‘s excellent heat conductivity and flat edges work to prevent underdone or broken cookies.
Size: 17″ x 12 1/4″ x 1″ deepCoating: Goldtouch (Williams Sonoma proprietary nonstick coating)Material: Aluminized steelPFOA free: Yes
Pros: Sturdy, even browning, easy to maneuver
Cons: Requires adjusted baking time or temperature
Cookie sheets can feel flimsy because they don’t have the structure of wire-reinforced rims. The Goldtouch Pro sheet felt sturdy, and when I held it using the one raised edge, I didn’t feel like it was going to tip out of my hands. When rotating it in the oven, I could lift the sheet with two hands on one of the rimless edges.
In my experience with this pan, it bakes evenly browned cookies faster than usual. Since originally testing the Goldtouch Pro, I have used it to bake meringues and macaroons. With those recipes that tend to be low and slow bakes, there was no change in baking time and the cookie bottoms were golden and crisp.
There was no resistance between the butter cookies and the surface of the sheet. I could pick them up with my hands and didn’t even need a spatula. The sheet didn’t warp in an oven heated to 400 degrees and cooled down quickly.
Goldtouch Pro Cookie Sheet (button)
The best baking sheet for roasting
Even the burnt onion pieces came off the OXO baking sheet easily with soap and a little scrubbing.
Oil and burnt food slide off the OXO Good Grips Half Sheet with ease, making it perfect for roasting vegetables, meat, and more.
Size: 18″ x 13″ x 1″Coating: NonstickMaterial: Aluminized steelPFOA free: Yes
Pros: Easy to clean, texture does not transfer to food, sturdy
Cons: Speeds up bake time, can’t clean it with steel wool
One of the OXO Half Sheet‘s main selling points is its textured diamond pattern, which is designed to limit direct food-to-sheet contact and thus increase airflow. While I didn’t see evidence of those benefits on the cookies I made, the pattern seemed to be a plus for roasting potatoes.
I found that the burnt bits of potato and oil came off the OXO sheet much easier and with less scrubbing than the smooth sheets. And, the sheet is sturdy and balanced, so walking from the counter to the oven with a full, heavy pan of vegetables was easy.
As with the other nonstick sheets I tested, the butter cookies baked in a shorter amount of time than the recipe indicated. While I expected the diamond texture to imprint on the cookies, that wasn’t the case.
Good Grips Half Sheet (button)
The best quarter sheet pan
Just like its half sheet cousin, the Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet Pan is affordable and easy to use.
Size: 9″ x 13″ x 1″Coating: UncoatedMaterial: AluminumPFOA free: Yes
Made of uncoated aluminum with a reinforced steel rim, it never warped and is the most lightweight quarter pan I tested. However, it is prone to scratching — I scratched the bottom of the sheet just by rotating it on the oven shelves.
The other sheets produced a darker brown base, but the cookies on the Nordic Ware took on a honey brown color on the top and bottom. This coloring shows an even and rapid heat distribution. Of the three quarter sheets we tested, only the Nordic Ware crisped the potatoes on both sides, also demonstrating the speed of heating.
This quarter sheet pan may fit in some convection toaster ovens, but only if the interior is wider than 13 inches.
Naturals Quarter Sheet (button)
What else we tested
We roasted potatoes coated in olive and salt on all rimmed baking sheets.
NUCU Gold-Coated Aluminum Cookie Sheet ($40): The NUCU cookie sheet baked cookies faster than any other sheet we tested, requiring even more significant adjustments to time and temperature.
Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Half Sheet ($32.95): The Goldtouch Half Sheet baked cookies faster than the Nordic Ware and was slightly more difficult to clean than the OXO.
Great Jones Holy Sheet ($40): This brand is known for having accessible, high-end cookware. However, this sheet pan hasn’t held up under heavy use from other Insider testers — the ceramic nonstick coating is easily damaged.
King Arthur Baking Company Quarter Sheet Pan ($19.95): This pan is made by USA Pans exclusively for King Arthur Baking; it is smooth, but has the same nonstick coating and coloring as the USA Pan. The two quarter pans performed almost identically in terms of browning the cookies in the recommended bake time. I rank the King Arthur Baking pan higher — though it took longer than the Nordic Ware, the potatoes did eventually take on a golden brown color.
USA Pan Warp Resistant Nonstick Quarter Sheet Pan ($16.95): Like our best pan for roasting, the USA Quarter Sheet Pan has a ridged surface. I did not spot any difference in performance between the textured and smooth sheet pans. This pan performed well, evenly browning the cookies in the recipes recommended time. However, the potatoes did not crisp.
Crate & Barrel Slate Blue Half Sheet Pan ($16.95): Similar to the gold sheets we tested previously, the slate blue pan did bake the cookies faster than uncoated, silver pans. However, it was a slight difference and the cookies did not burn. The pan cleaned easily and showed only minor scratches. Overall, this is a well constructed baking sheet for those who want extra color in their kitchen.
Silpat Nonstick Perforated Aluminum Baking Tray ($44.95): This was the darkest colored tray we have tested, and my fear of overcooking came true: within 10 minutes, two minutes faster than the average baking time, the cookies were burnt. Daker colored sheets are prone to this. Though a layer of parchment paper helps, you should still check your baked goods two to four minutes before the recipe says. We did not test the sheet with vegetables because it is perforated.
The cookies in the above photo were cooked at the same temperature for the same length of time, just on different sheets.
We consulted three experts on their professional experiences with different types of baking sheets: Kristy Greenwood Bortz, owner of Victory Love + Cookies, and Beth and Maddie Barnett, founders of Eat Me Cookies. Their input informed our own testing methodology and the answers to our FAQs.
For this guide, we tested six baking sheets, including two rimless cookie sheets. We used a holiday cookie recipe from King Arthur Baking Company.
Baking test: We baked 12 butter cookies on all test products, baking one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet once during baking. We evaluated the browning on the bottom of the cookies, comparing cookies on the edges of the sheets to the ones in the center. We did not use parchment paper.
Roasting test: We roasted potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to evaluate how much they stuck to the sheet. We also noted the sheet’s capacity, and how well it handled the weight of the potatoes.
Cleaning test: After baking, we washed the sheets according to manufacturer instructions. Dishwasher-safe sheets were washed in a dishwasher and then examined for surface damage. If a sheet was hand-wash only, it was cleaned with a non-abrasive sponge. We noted how difficult it was to scrub away burnt food by hand.
Ease of use: During baking, we noted how it felt to handle the sheets and how easy it was to rotate them in the oven. After baking, we noted how long it took before we could hold the sheet without a potholder.
What we’re testing next
USA Pan Warp-Resistant Nonstick Cookie Sheet ($25.99): We plan on testing more textured options for future updates, and are curious to try a textured cookie sheet. This one has a PTFE, PFOA, and BPA-free silicone based nonstick coating.
Farberware Insulated Nonstick Cookie Sheet ($14.99): This nonstick Farberware cookie sheet is light gray, and we want to compare it to the gold cookie sheets we tested to see if its lighter color slows the bake time.
We tested six sheets from four different brands and in two different styles.
What are the standard baking sheet sizes?
Full sheet: 26 by 18 with 1 inch high sidesHalf sheet: 18 by 13 with 1 inch high sidesQuarter sheet: 13 by 9 with 1 inch high sidesJelly roll tin: 15 by 10 with 1 inch high sides
What is the difference between a baking sheet and a cookie sheet?
In this guide, we use “baking sheet” as a general term for all sheet pans. “Cookie sheet” refers specifically to a flat, rimless sheet pan with one raised edge to hold it by. The structure of a cookie sheet allows you to slide cookies on and off without having to lift them over a rim, thus preserving their shape and structure.
All cookie sheets are baking sheets, but not all baking sheets are cookie sheets.
Does the color of the baking sheet matter?
Like all bakeware, a baking sheet’s color affects its heat retention. “Darker pans absorb heat and can cause the bottoms of cookies to burn,” said Maddie Barnett.
If you use your baking sheets often, you’ll learn how to adjust baking times and temperatures, but it may require some trial and error. Remember that you can bake an underdone cookie more, but an overbaked cookie can’t go back in time. “You can always pull a cookie a little early and then put it back in the oven to finish baking if you determine that the center is still raw,” said Greenwood Bortz.
PFOA and PTFE
If you’ve shopped for baking sheets online, you’ve probably noticed the acronyms PFOA and PTFE in product descriptions. Here’s what you need to know about each:
PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene, and is more commonly known by its brand name: Teflon. There have been concerns over the health effects of PTFE and PFOA, although studies have been mostly inconclusive.
PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, was originally used in the production of Teflon, which was invented in the 1970s. Most of the PFOA burns off during the manufacturing process, although trace elements remain in the cookware. These elements are then released if the cookware is overheated to temperatures of 570 degrees Fahrenheit or above. However, since 2010, the EPA has put programs and regulations in place to phase out the use of PFOAs in American manufacturing. The majority of cookware made in the United States since 2015 is PFOA-free, and so are all of our top picks.
International standards are not the same as American ones, so PFOA may still be used in products from other countries.
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