If our main pick sells out, the Artisan Half Size Aluminum Baking Sheet is a decent runner-up. Like the Nordic Ware, it’s made of strong, uncoated 18-gauge aluminum that stands up to high heat.
In our tests it browned oven chips a little darker than the Nordic Ware, and it costs more than our main pick, a price bump with which we saw no increase in performance. In our testing, this two-handled sheet was easy to rotate in the oven, capable of baking cookies evenly, and simple to clean.
Made of 10-gauge aluminum, it’s even thicker than our main pick, which is necessary to keep it from warping without the structural support of rims. It isn’t as versatile as our main pick, because it can’t contain roasting vegetables or the juices from a sheet pan dinner.
A quality rimmed baking sheet doesn’t cost much, and it’s one of the most useful pans you can own. “If you go to a cookie party with home bakers, you’re going to get a lot of cookies that are burned on the bottom and underdone on top,” baker and cookbook author Alice Med rich told us, pointing to the prevalence of low- quality pans.
The rim keeps oils and juices from roasting meat or vegetables contained, and allows you to stir food around without having it slide off onto the bottom of your oven. Rimless sheets are made specifically for baking cookies and can make it easier to slide a batch directly onto a cooling rack.
Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required) also found that rimless sheets will bake your cookies a few minutes faster, because they allow for better air circulation. Although sheets also come in aluminized steel and even triply construction (an aluminum core sandwiched by stainless steel), bare aluminum conducts heat more efficiently, especially for baking ; it heats up quickly and evenly and will cool down quickly once you take it out of the oven.
Triply sheets are expensive, and may retain heat longer than bare aluminum ones, meaning you risk overtaking cookies after you’ve pulled them out of the oven. Our rimless cookie sheet pick is made of thicker 10-gauge aluminum, which helps it stay flat without the added structural support of rims.
If you do need a nonstick surface for, say, baking cookies, it’s much better to line your pan with a sheet of parchment paper. This method is not only foolproof, but it also makes cleanup nearly effortless and adds a little insulation to the sheets, which helps prevent burnt bottoms.
Standard sizes are most useful Although you’ll find plenty of rimmed “jelly roll” baking sheets at grocery and kitchen-supply stores, they’re often thin and wobbly. The best rimmed baking sheets are the aluminum half-sheet pans used in commercial kitchens and adopted by many home bakers and cooks.
Many rectangular cooling racks are also designed to fit snugly in a half-sheet pan, which is a great setup for roasting meat or glazing a bunt cake. Some baking sheets come with special features meant to promote even baking, but these often cost more and don’t make a huge difference for most tasks.
These pans can be good for baking delicate cookies such as meringue and tools, but for anything else they’re unnecessary. Without that coating, things like oven fries do inevitably stick to a baking sheet in spots (the same is true of all bare aluminum pans), and it’s a pain to scrub residue out of the ridges.
Photo: Michael HessionOver the years, we’ve run numerous tests on our baking sheets. For the most part, each test helped us evaluate one of two things: how durable a pan is, and how evenly it bakes.
To test the latter, we always bake cookies, because they require some precision and are quick to show hot spots. In 2013, we also baked sturdy slice-and-bake cookies and monitored for even browning on the tops and bottoms.
For each test, we baked one sheet pan at a time and placed it on the middle oven rack. Most manufacturers advise against putting bare aluminum pans in the dishwasher because doing so can tarnish the metal, so it’s important that they clean up relatively easily.
That said, we put our sheet pans in the dishwasher in the Wire cutter test kitchen, and although it has discolored them, it hasn’t affected their performance. Although you might find a comparable pan at a kitchen-supply store, the Nordic Ware is the best option that’s readily available online.
It also happens to be one of the most consistently inexpensive aluminum pans we’ve found in our years of research. The bottom of the pizza crust for our pissaladière also baked evenly with no noticeable dark or light spots.
Photo: Michael HessionThe Nordic Ware sheet also didn’t warp at high temperatures. And even after several years of use, all the Nordic Ware pans in our test kitchen still lie flat.
They’re good for little things like toasting nuts or baking a few pieces of fish, and they’re easier to wrap up and fit in your fridge. I found that a regular nylon scrub pad slightly scratched the surface of the aluminum.
The metal is also soft enough that utensils could scratch the surface a bit, but that’s the case with all the pans we tested. The surface of the Nordic Ware pan quickly accumulates light scratches, but these don’t affect its performance at all.
Also remember that if you throw the Nordic Ware pan in the dishwasher, it will turn dull and tarnished. That won’t affect its performance, but if you want to keep the pan gleaming you should wash it by hand or line it with foil before roasting vegetables.
After years of heavy use both at home and in Wire cutter’s test kitchen, all our Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet pans still perform really well. If our main pick is unavailable, the Artisan Half Size Aluminum Baking Sheet is a great alternative.
It was one of several aluminum sheet pans we tested that baked about on a par with the Nordic Ware, and of those, it tends to be the closest in price to our top pick. Like the Nordic Ware, it baked cookies evenly to a nice golden brown, and never warped in our battery of high -heat tests.
We did, however, hear some crackling sounds when this pan was hot and sitting outside the oven, suggesting that it moves slightly as it adjusts to the temperature change. Photo: Michael Sessions it turns out, Tolerate (another top maker of sheet pans) owns Artisan.
We’ve run our aluminum sheets through the dishwasher without any effect on their performance, but the detergent and heat do tend to discolor the metal. Baking on a layer of parchment will keep your pans spotless and create a nonstick surface (as well as a small amount of insulation) for your cookies.
It tends to be a little more expensive than our picks, however, and we also noticed that most of the negative reviews on Amazon complained of pans arriving dented. It was tough to clean all the stuck-on bits of potato off of the Nordic Ware Prism’s ridged surface.
Photo: Michael Session 2018 we tested the Nordic Ware Prism Half Sheet to see how its ridged surface compared with the smooth aluminum bottom of our top pick Nordic Ware pan. Unfortunately, they both also have a nonstick coating, which is fine for cake pans but not great for baking sheets (which need to withstand higher temperatures and more frequent abuse from spatulas).
We featured the Members Mark Half Size Aluminum Sheet Pan from Sam’s Club as our runner-up in our 2013 guide. In our tests, it baked cookies (and everything else) as well as the Nordic Ware, and you get two for the price of one of our main pick.
The pan did buckle in high heat, which isn’t a big deal if you use it only for making cookies. Surprisingly, this pan warped slightly while baking our honey Florentine, when the oven was set at only 375 °F.
We were also not clear on if the bright (albeit attractive) turquoise finish (it also comes in red) would chip over the long term. Marguerite Preston is a senior editor covering kitchen gear and appliances at Wire cutter, and has written guides to baking equipment, meal kit delivery services, and more.
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But sometimes your pans can get stained, scratched, warped, or worn out, or you realize that you simply don’t have enough of them. We believe the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet is the very best for baking cookies, for most people.
It’s made from natural aluminum, which tells us it’s durable and not coated with any toxins, but it will still hold up well in hot environments. Based on our in-house testing, it can hold about 20 round treats at once, if you use about a tablespoon of dough per cookie, made from a batter that doesn’t spread significantly during baking.
But if you’re looking for pans that come conveniently packaged as a set, keep reading for some of our favorites. It’s also made in the USA and is priced rather low, so even the most budget conscious shoppers can surely justify this purchase.
It does well at your average 350 °F, but has been shown to hold up nicely at higher temperatures upwards of 500 °F as well, which is perfect for roasting sweet, caramelized vegetables or making pizza. Fits in standard ovens, holds a large amount of baked goods, and allows room for heat circulation.
Made to last, free of toxins, and won’t warp due to high temperatures. If you’re looking for a high quality sheet that’s built to last, this Nordic Ware pan is a good option for most bakers.
You do have to hand wash this product, but I haven’t found any high quality pans that you can put in the dishwasher without compromising the quality. If you’re looking for a good pan for baking delicious goodies for years to come, I’m confident you’ll be very happy with this product.
Another perk of going with a standard size is that precut parchment paper is a perfect fit, with no trimming required. Smaller sized sheets also work, it will just take longer to get through your dough if you are baking in batches.
The good thing about using this style is you don’t have to worry about oiling your pan or using parchment paper, and food comes off very easily without it. Baking mats like these can be used thousands of times before you’ll need to replace them, and they make cleanup a breeze.
This process happens relatively quickly, and the rapid heat loss helps to prevent scorching. But we have received a lot of questions about it from readers, and we wanted to make sure we included it in our review.
Chromium is known for its ability to resist rust, and nickel provides a shiny silver appearance. Thinner, cheaper versions of carbon steel pans can exhibit hot spots, and they don’t spread thermal energy very well from the source point.
These thinner versions work much better in convection ovens where the majority of the thermal energy is carried by the air, rather than radiating from electrified points. For pizzas and breads, you want a baking surface that can store and radiate thermal energy no matter what is placed on top of it.
Cast iron is the ideal choice for this, due to its ability to store heat energy, and this is why thicker examples are sometimes used in place of baking or pizza stones. These pans are safe to use at high temperatures, and they’re free of the chemicals that you’ll find in other types of nonstick coatings.
Insulated These usually have a bit of a lip and are designed to achieve even cooking on the top, bottom, sides, and center. They should be hand washed and air dried completely to avoid any water damage.
A rim can actually block the circulation of hot air in your oven, preventing cookies from baking evenly. Not only can they work well for producing delicious baked goods, they can also serve double duty as a roasting pan in some instances.
These can be used to bake veggies or other foods that give off liquids without having to worry about the mess dripping all over the bottom of your oven. When using this style, I have found that as long as I have enough work space in the pan, I don’t mind the rim.
A rimmed baking pan with a silicone and fiberglass mat to prevent sticking. I will say that these tend to be thicker, they are often made from aluminum, and they don’t bend or warp at high temperatures. You can easily chop your broccoli or carrots and potatoes, put them in the pan, toss them with oil and fresh herbs, and bake.
You won’t have to worry about any of the veggies spilling out, and this type of pan is easy to put into and take out of the oven. Non-Rimmed It’s easy to remove delicate foods from these, as you can just slide your baked goods off the sheet and onto a cooling rack or serving platter.
Both styles can work really well, and neither is necessarily a deal breaker for making a good recipe. On the flip side, this is usually not the best for making sweet treats, unless you’re preparing a rustic galette or a pizza.
If you’d like to see some more options for this kitchen staple, we’ve gathered a list of picks that stood out to us, to help you in your comparison shopping. If you’re in need of multiple pans, this might be the product for you, since it comes as a set of small, medium, and large for a total of three.
All are made of steel, and they are nonstick with a bronze-toned coating to provide even baking and browning, and a nice rim. Overall reviews are positive, and happy customers are pleased with their durability as well as the ease of stick-free cooking.
If you treat your cooking equipment with care, and you appreciate the versatility of different size options, this might be a wonderful set for you. These pans have a shallow moat around the flat surface inside, to catch the liquid runoff from juicy foods.
Rimmed edges keep baked goods in place with no risk of drips. And if you’re in need of just a single pan, say, one that measures 10 by 15 inches from the same Freeware line in a pretty rose gold color, one of those is available as well.
This 3-piece set comes with small, medium, and large baking pans as well, all of which are made from durable carbon steel that resists warping. The pans have a long-lasting nonstick finish to provide excellent food release, making for easy cleanup.
I usually feel pretty confident buying products promoted by people who cook a lot. They’re rimmed with extra wide handles, making them very easy to pull out of a hot oven.
If you’re thinking about these pans but you’re not totally convinced, another nice thing about them is that a portion of the proceeds go to Yum-O!. Rachael’s nonprofit helps kids and parents to develop healthy relationships with food, which is something future generations really need.
As I’ve mentioned previously, rust-free stainless steel is an option for those who aren’t fans of baking on aluminum. Users do report the occurrence some sticking, so greasing these pans before use with nonstick oil spray or your choice of cooking lubricant is recommended.
Placing these pans under the broiler or cooking certain foods can lead to staining, but any unsightly marks can usually be scrubbed off with steel wool. Dishwasher safe A deep rim keeps foods and liquids where you want them.
Some users recommend placing your pans in the oven while it preheats, so they can heat up gradually, reducing the tendency to bend. It’s dishwasher safe with an easy-release nonstick coating, and measures 17.25 by 11.25 inches with a rim around the edge, and slightly more extended handles on either of the shorter sides.
These handles even have holes conveniently placed in either end, if you prefer to hang your pans for storage. A limited 5-year warranty means you can rest assured that you probably won’t need to buy another pan for a while, but keep in mind that this product is prone to warping at high temperatures.
It has a small rim and a bit of an edge, making it easy to remove from the oven as well. If you don’t mind washing it by hand and keeping it away from sharp utensils, this pan could last you a very long time.
However, it doesn’t rank as high as the Nordic Ware, as some users found that it warped after a number of uses in a hot oven. If you’re more of a minimalist, a world traveler who keeps the majority of your kitchen gear in storage while you’re on the road, or an empty-nester looking to pare down your collection of belongings, the Anglo Advanced pan is a great option.
Comprised of sturdy 18/10 stainless steel with premium triply construction, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is made in the USA. Touted as being induction compatible and resistant to warping, this pan is safe for use in high oven temperatures up to 600 °F.
If you’re a holiday baking fanatic and a fan of the All-Clad brand, look no further than this sturdy, rimless option. Hand washing is recommended, and some users have reported that the pans scratch easily if scrubbed with abrasive materials.
Others report that this product stains easily, or they complain that whatever they are cooking slides right off when they don’t want it to. Unlike other products in the stainless category, happy customers did not report a tendency to warp with these pans.
A little easier on the wallet than other options, these stainless pans are reported to be truly warped resistant, which is a real treat. The rolled edge around the sides makes them easy to hold, and these are dishwasher safe.
The manufacturer notes, “If the baking sheet warps or bends during working, do not worry, because it will return to its normal shape when cooling.” Unfortunately, when cooking liquids pool in unintended places or cookies slide around and bake unevenly, “worry” is often taken to new heights more akin to anger and frustration.
A textured surface not only improves durability and makes these pans resistant to warping, it also allows for better airflow and even cooking of your baked goods. A rim with a gutter around the edge of the “quilted” cook surface catches liquids, and wide handles provide for easy insertion in and removal from the oven.
“Green” is in the name, and you know you can count on chemical-free cooking with this product that’s free of Pas, FOA, lead, or cadmium. Comprised of heavy-duty steel with a ceramic nonstick coating, these pans are easy to clean and oven safe up to 450 °F.
These pans are turquoise outside and white inside, and they measure 18.3 × 12.8 inches with a 1-inch rim around the edge. A selection of matching bakeware in a variety of options from muffin tins to cake pans is also available, if you want to round out your set.
The manufacturer recommends letting these pans cool completely before rinsing, and hand washing with a soft sponge. If you take good care of them, these pans will provide beauty and stick-free cooking for years to come.
Comprised of aluminum coated with a Ti-Cerama™ surface, titanium is combined with ceramic to create a durable and nonstick product. It’s thick with a sturdy rim so it won’t warp, even at high temperatures.
If you try this pan and you’re hooked, Gotham Steel offers a variety of matching cookware and bakeware in this line, so you can deck out your whole kitchen. The insulated nonstick cookie sheet from Clifton is made of heavy-gauge steel that heats evenly, and it’s warp resistant and safe to use at temperatures up to 500 °F.
In fact, Clifton describes the stick-free abilities of these pans as being two times better than that of their Classic Bakeware line. Dishwasher safe, this pan measures 14 by 16 inches with a slightly raised edge on two sides.
An interior layer of air provides protection from unwanted browning, so it’s the perfect option for those more delicate baked goods. Allow this pan to cool completely before washing, and avoid the use of cooking oil sprays as they may lead to unwanted buildup and decrease the effectiveness of the nonstick coating in the long run.
Superior nonstick coating, an improvement on Clifton’s Classic Bakeware line. Feel free to ask any additional questions you might have in the comments below, and be sure to let us know what pan you go with.
Allison M. Sadhu is a foodie from Philly who is based in Los Angeles, where she loves exploring the local restaurant scene with her best buds. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthier College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University.
When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) You’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, chilling in the garden, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a food-filled magazine at the beach.