Tool of the Trade: Silpat
This nonstick baking mat is a favorite of home bakers—and for good reason.
Whether you're a crafter or a home cook, it often feels like there are so many tools you can purchase to help you get a job done. Which ones are really worth investing in? Our editors are here to help. From everyday essentials to more obscure must-haves that will take your practice to the next level, we're breaking it all down. Each week Tool of the Trade will highlight one must-have crafting or cooking item you need to know about.
Anything parchment paper can do, a Silpat can do better…again and again. Silpat™ is the brand name for the original nonstick silicone baking mat, and this durable, reusable nonstick silicone pan liner is a home bakers' must-have.
What Is It?
Leave it to the French to invent one of the ultimate baking accessories! Over 50 years ago, a baker named Guy Demarle created this pan liner made from layers of food-grade silicone and fiberglass in his quest to craft the world's best baguettes. His invention caught on in professional kitchens around the world and home bakers eventually got in on the secret, too.
How Is It Used?
Silpat is used to line and insulate pans for super-easy nonstick baking. Even the stickiest and the most delicate foods won't stick to a Silpat—there's no need to grease the pan. We love Silpat for baking any kind of cookies, from drop cookies (like chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter), sugar cookies, meringues, whoopie pies, biscotti, and macarons. Any baker will also tell you that a Silpat is essential for fragile and thin cookies like tuiles and fortune cookies.
A Silpat is also our favorite way to line a pan for baking pavlovas, puff pastry, cream puffs, galettes, cheese crisps, prosciutto crisps, and oven-dried tomatoes, as well as making all kinds of candies.
Why We Love It
Properly cared for, a Silpat will last (nearly) forever, turning any pan into a nonstick baking wonder. It can stand up to extreme temperatures, ranging from freezer to oven. Silpat now makes its baking mats in many sizes and shapes—including those that will fit half-sheet pans, toaster ovens, pizza pans, cake pans, and more—so you can find the right fit for any favorite baking vessel.
Our Editor's Pick
Our go-to choice is the original half-sheet size Silpat. It will fit just about any standard-size baking sheet, equipping you for countless dozens of perfect cookies and other baked treats for years to come.