Our Shoppable Guide to Sheet Pans and Cookie Sheets
These baking sheets are the multi-tasking kitchen workhorses that bakers, roast vegetable makers, sheet pan dinner fans, and other cooks rely on.
Whether you are outfitting a new place from scratch or just want to give your baking gear a fresh update, these selections will take you through what you need to know about the unsung hero of kitchen equipment: the sheet pan or baking sheet.
Often the busiest bee in the kitchen, a baking sheet will get you through countless rounds of perfectly baked cookies, bunch after bunch of crisp-tender broiled asparagus, sheet pan dinners like the chicken fajitas shown here, and plenty of succulent roasted chicken. Get a good baking sheet and you'll both come out the other side of all that cooking (relatively) unscathed.
When it comes to choosing a baking sheet, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First is color: Darker pans will absorb more heat and then give more heat off in return, leading to food that browns faster. This is great for recipes where you want some crispness, like pizza crusts and roasted potatoes. It's less ideal for when you want to heat something gently and have even browning, like with cookies or sheet cakes. The bottom line: If you are an avid cook, buy a mix of light and dark colored baking sheets; if you're an occasional cook, stick with lighter colors since they are more multi-purpose. The second thing to keep in mind is weight. A good baking sheet should have some heft to it. Too thin, and you're just inviting warping, which is where some parts of the pan expand or contract faster than other parts, causing it to literally get bent out of shape. A price tag of $15 or $20 may seem wildly expensive for a simple sheet of metal, but we promise that a slightly pricier pan will be made from heavier materials that will endure for years if not decades—in sum, it's worth spending a few extra bucks on one that you can count on to go the distance.
With these factors in mind, it's also a good idea to have a mix of different baking sheets that vary in color, size, and material, so the right choice will be at the ready for whatever you decide to make.
Aluminum Half-Sheet Pan
This popular pan from Nordic Ware is nearly identical to the commercial grade sheets used in our test kitchen and is sure to be a workhorse in your kitchen, too. Deputy food editor Greg Lofts appreciates these pans for their heftiness and durability. "The pans will last longer and maintain a consistent temperature. They also won't warp," he says.
Shop Now: Nordic Ware Naturals Baker's Half-Sheet, $10.99, target.com.
A cookie sheet is almost completely flat to allow for better air circulation between cookies, leading to a better, more evenly baked batch. This pick from Vollrath has a slanted lip at each edge for easy gripping, and it is a solid choice at an affordable price point. Its thick, aluminum-based material ensures even heat distribution and will be resistant to warping.
Shop Now: Vollrath 68085 Wear-Ever Cookie Sheet Pan, $16.38, amazon.com.
Nonstick Half-Sheet Pan with Wire Rack
Leave it to Martha to know exactly what you'll need for a successful recipe. This sturdy nonstick pan comes with a wire rack. Use just the baking sheet to bake off these delicious blueberry scones, then cool them quickly on the wire rack. Or, combine the two pieces and make crisp-skinned roast chicken or these DIY oven-dried tomatoes.
Shop Now: Culinary Science by Martha Stewart Collection Half-Sheet Pan & Rack Set, $16.99, macys.com.
Nonstick Baking and Cookie Sheet Set
A rimmed baking sheet and a rimless cookie sheet make up this set, meaning you can deftly toggle between chewy lemon sugar cookies and crispy roasted Brussels sprouts. The micro-textured surface increases airflow to the bottom of the food and stabilizes the sheet to make it more resistant to warping. Many nonstick pans come in darker colors due to the nonstick coating, which isn't ideal for all recipes. The lighter color of this set from OXO makes this a good all-purpose choice.
Shop Now: OXO Good Grips Sweet & Savory 2-Piece Bakeware Set, $39.99, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Insulated Cookie Sheet
When you're looking for baking sheets, the term "insulated" will often show up in the main description. While it sounds like a great feature (who doesn't like to be insulated from the elements?), an insulated sheet can sometimes work against recipes where the goal is crispy edges or browned bottoms. It's still good to have one around if you enjoy baking—insulated cookie sheets are great for thin or delicate cookies like spritz or shortbread, as the central air chamber between the metal will help prevent them from browning too quickly.
Shop Now: Crate & Barrel Insulated Cookie Sheet, $18.95, crateandbarrel.com.
This mini sheet pan is perfect for everything from reheating leftovers to cooking an easy dinner for two. It's made in the USA from recycled materials.
Shop Now: King Arthur Baking Company Quarter-Sheet Pan, $16.95, kingarthurflour.com.
Jumbo Cookie Sheet
Extra-large baking sheets are perfect for when you're making large batches of cookies, or for when you have an extra mouth or two to feed at dinnertime and need a little more space on the pan. The standard half sheets are around 13 x 18 inches, whereas this big guy clocks in at 15 x 21 inches.
Shop Now: Nordic Ware Naturals Jumbo Cookie Sheet, $15.99, target.com.
If that old broiler pan that came with your oven is starting to look a little worse for the wear, consider upgrading to a new and improved version. This model from T-Fal has a nonstick coating that is dishwasher safe. Bonus: The bottom tray is flat enough to use on its own for baked treats.
Shop Now: T-Fal Nonstick 2-Piece Broiler Pan Set in Grey, $34.99, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Allergy ID Pan
Not just a pretty pan, this striking sheet is also a hero at preventing cross contamination. Keep a colorful baking sheet on hand for when you are cooking for someone with food allergies, because having one pan out of a few that is this lavender color will help keep the gluten-free or nut-free batch separate from the others.
Shop Now: USA Pan Allergy ID Sheet Pan, $24, surlatable.com.
Carbon-Steel Baking Sheet Set
This set of medium and large baking sheets is made from durable carbon steel and boasts a nonstick coating, meaning your food will brown beautifully and cleanup will be a breeze. The heat retention capabilities of the carbon steel make it particularly adept at making deeply caramelized roasted vegetables like this cauliflower dish.
Shop Now: NutriChef NC2TRBK1 Non-Stick Pan Set, $21.99, walmart.com.