hazelnut cookies
Credit: Yossi Arefi

The Best Baking Sheets, Sheet Pans, and Cookie Sheets for Baking Cookies and So Much More

These multitasking workhorses are essential for bakers, roast vegetable makers, sheet-pan dinner fans, and more. Here are our picks to buy now.
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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 these chicken fajitas), 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.

Choosing the Right Baking Sheet

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. 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. Shop our picks for the best baking sheets, sheet pans, and cookie sheets to build your collection of these essential multitasking pans.

The Best Baking Sheets for Every Purpose

half-sheet pan
Credit: Courtesy of Nordic Ware

Best Aluminum Half-Sheet Pan: Nordic Ware Naturals Baker's Half-Sheet

$11.99, Target.com

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. "They will last longer and maintain a consistent temperature and they also won't warp," he says.

Cookie sheet
Credit: Courtesy of Vollrath

Best Cookie Sheet: Vollrath 68085 Wear-Ever Cookie Sheet Pan

$28.60, Amazon.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. Its thick, aluminum-based material ensures even heat distribution and will be resistant to warping.

Best Quarter-Sheet Pan: Sur La Table Platinum Pro Quarter Sheet Pan

$27.95, Surlatable.com

This USA-made mini sheet pan is perfect for everything from reheating leftovers to cooking an easy dinner for two. It's a commercial quality pan of thick aluminized steel that has even heat distribution and a textured surface that allows airflow under baking food aiding in even results and easy release.

flat cookie sheet
Credit: Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Best Insulated Cookie Sheet: Crate & Barrel Insulated Cookie Sheet

$21.95, Crateandbarrel.com

When you're shopping 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.

cookie sheet
Credit: Courtesy of Nordic Ware

Best Jumbo Cookie Sheet: Nordic Ware Naturals Jumbo Cookie Sheet

$15.99, Target.com

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.

Broiler pan
Credit: Courtesy of T-Fal

Best Broiler Pan: T-Fal Nonstick 2-Piece Broiler Pan Set in Grey

$37.99, Bedbathandbeyond.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.

Allergy ID sheet pan
Credit: Courtesy of USA Pan

Best Allergy ID Pan: USA Pan Allergy ID Sheet Pan, Purple

$18.60, Amazon.com

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.

Two nonstick baking sheets
Credit: Courtesy of Nutrichef

Best Carbon-Steel Baking Sheet Set: NutriChef NC2TRBK1 Non-Stick Pan Set 

$21.99, Walmart.com

Made from durable carbon steel, this set of medium and large baking sheets also 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.