Let’s be honest here:
Whoever says they don’t like cookies is outright lying.
How can you not like cookies? And I don’t mean the store-bought ones – I’m talking about the home-made version of one of the world’s favorite treats.
Baking cookies yourself comes with a few catches, and one of them is you have to have the best baking and cookie sheet for the job. Which one’s the best, though?
Stick around and learn all about it in this article!
As with any other type of kitchen experiments – and I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of those – it takes a bit of trial and error to get everything right. But what if every time you open the oven, you’re greeted by a batch of not-so-good-looking baked goods, even though you’re following the recipes to the letter?
What went wrong?
Many are inclined to blame the oven as if no one seems to remember that bakeware is equally as important in succeeding or failing to turn a recipe into a batch of baked goods.
So, before you start worrying if it’s time to replace your entire oven, take a long, hard look at your baking sheet.
Is it possible that’s the cause of your problems?
How To Choose The Best Baking And Cookie Sheet? Here’s All You Need To Know
To everyone who answered „Yes“ to the previous question: I give you the ultimate guide to picking the best baking and cookie sheet out of the bunch.
Know Your Options: Different Types Of Bakeware And Their Popular Uses
There’s more than one type of bakeware, and if you want to pick the best one for the job, you should take a moment to learn more about them:
Rimmed Vs. Non-Rimmed
As you can imagine, when it comes to finding the best baking and cookie sheet, there are two ways to go about it, depending on what you prefer:
Here’s where it gets tricky, though. Both of these options have benefits, but given the fact that the best baking and cookie sheet should be versatile, go with the rimmed sheets.
Non-Stick Surface: Yes Or No?
The question here is:
Should the best baking and cookie sheet have a non-stick coating?
It’s true that this type of finish ensures that your baked goods – especially delicate ones, like cookies – don’t stick to the sheet’s surface. Unfortunately, though, the non-stick coating also makes these baking and cookie sheets more susceptible to the regular wear-and-tear.
So, no, there’s no need to get a baking sheet with a non-stick finish. Opt for bare metals, instead, and use parchment paper whenever you need a non-stick surface. You’ll get a more durable baking sheet, and cleanup will be a breeze. What more can you ask for, really?
With Or Without A Rack
Another thing you should pay attention to is whether or not the best baking and cookie sheet comes with a rack. Of course, if you already own an oven-safe cooling rack, this shouldn’t be something you’re hung up on – as long as you make sure your tray fits inside your new baking sheet, you’re good to go.
On the other hand, those of you that don’t own a cooling rack should consider getting the best baking and cookie sheet that includes one as a part of the set. That way, you’ll have a multi-purpose piece of cookware – one that can be used both for cooking, and cooling everything from vegetables and meat to delicious baked goods, such as chocolate chip cookies.
Here’s how to recognize an oven-safe cooling rack:
First off, make sure there’s a label that clearly states: oven-safe. You’d also want to avoid the ones with a non-stick coating. Think about it: if you would avoid using a baking sheet with a non-stick finish, why would a cooling rack be any different? They’re filled with polytetrafluoroethylene, anyway.
Pick The Right Material
I’m guessing you bought other bakeware before, so you know the drill – materials that can conduct heat are what you want. Chances are, your new, best baking and cookie sheet will be made out of aluminum or stainless steel, just because these are some of the most common baking and cookie sheet materials.
Silicone and ceramic are relatively standard, too.
Which one should you choose, though?
Size Does Matter
I’m just going to be upfront about it:
Go with the standard size – unless you have a commercial oven, that is. But how many households have them, anyway? That’s right, you can’t think of any. Just trust me on this, and make sure your new, best baking and cookie sheet is standard-sized.
In case you were wondering, standard means 13 by 18 inches – you’ll find it under names like the „baker’s half“ or a „half-sheet,“ as well. And yes, it means what you think it does: it’s exactly a half of a full-sized sheet, which measures around 26 by 18 inches.
However, if you prefer making smaller batches – using only a portion of the dough, and freezing the rest for another occasion – smaller sheets will work, too.
Set A Budget Limit And Compare Prices
Also, don’t forget to compare the prices. That should be the first thing you do.
It will help you get a better feel for what the market has to offer in the price range you’re comfortable with, that's for sure. If you’re not quite sure where affordable ends and expensive begins when it comes to the best baking and cookie sheet, it will help you set a limit in the first place.
More expensive does not equal better. Many factors decide if a particular baking sheet is good, but the price tag isn’t one of them.
Best Baking And Cookie Sheets On The Market: My Top 7 Recommendations
To help you out, I’ve decided to put some of the best baking and cookie sheets to the test. Here’s how my top seven choices performed:
#1. Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack) – The Best Of The Rimmed Variety
The combination of pure, uncoated 18-gauge aluminum and a steel rim makes these baking sheets outstandingly durable. Even at temperatures as high as 500 °F, these baking sheets were capable of maintaining their shape – not a single warp!
Due to their rimmed design, these sheets are the epitome of versatility. And when it comes to cookies, in particular, they were uniformly baked, batch after batch. Thanks to the light-colored sheets, they browned just right – not too dark, and not too pale.
Surprisingly enough, I didn’t notice any significant, deal-breaking issues with the Nordic Ware’s best baking and cookie sheet. These things seem to be virtually indestructible – not a single trace of rust or warping.
The product is ideal for:
It’s pretty much safe to say that this Nordic Ware baking sheet is perfect for, well, everyone. It’s a bold statement, I know, but the fact that this multi-purpose aluminum sheet performed so well, without any signs of the typical wear and tear, makes me think that it would be a perfect addition to any home. Whatever you have in mind, these sheets can take it, for sure.
#2. AirBake Natural 2 Pack Cookie Sheet Set – Baking Cookies Has Never Been Easier
These aluminum cookie sheets might be thin, but they still managed to perform exceptionally well when tested. Thanks to the insulation and the Micro-Dome technology, which traps the air between the two aluminum sheets, and prevents them from overheating. You won’t burn your cookies ever again!
And in case you’re tired of the same old recipes you’ve been following for years, you’ll be glad to learn that this set includes a free recipe book, as well.
Two primary issues you’ll encounter are the non-stick coating peeling off and the pan picking up some discoloration along the way. Longer baking time is just a minor inconvenience, though.
The product is ideal for:
Are you a fan of cookies? If the answer is yes, then let me assure you that, as far as cookie sheets go, this 2-piece set is the best. Baking and transferring delicate treats is always a lot easier when you remove the rims out of the equation, don’t you think? Also, there’s no way of burning cookies with this one, which makes it the perfect choice for the less-skilled bakers.
#3. Rachael Ray Oven Lovin' Bakeware 3-Piece Nonstick Pan Set – Budget-Friendly Multi-Purpose Bakeware Set
The 3-piece set of versatile carbon steel baking sheets is the perfect way to replace old, worn down bakeware. And an affordable one, for that matter.
Wide, brightly colored handles will make these sheets a lot easier – and not to mention safer – to handle, which is a huge plus when you’re working around hot ovens.
What truly sets them apart is that with every purchase, a certain percentage of the profits goes to Rachael Ray’s nonprofit organization, Yum-o!. You get to buy yourself a new set of bakeware and give to charity at the same time.
Unfortunately, though, these sheets are prone to some serious issues, such as rusting and warping, and the non-stick coating isn’t known for being extremely durable, either.
The product is ideal for:Not everyone is invested in baking enough to spend a significant amount of money on bakeware, even if it’s the best baking and cookie sheet we’re talking about here, and that’s perfectly fine. That’s why the Rachael Ray’s 3-piece set is the best choice for them – with three versatile pans, you’ll have everything you need, and at a reasonably low price, too.
#4. Vollrath 68085 Wear-Ever Cookie Sheet Pan – The Best Among The Unrimmed Variety
Of all the cookie sheets out there, this has to be one of the most durable ones. Vollrath went all in with the 10-gauge aluminum and a simple, yet functional non-rimmed design. The results were nothing short of fantastic – a high-quality, heavy-duty cookie sheet. So, no need to worry about warping – ever!
Only two curved edges (instead of four) are a smart design trick, intended to make these sheets easy to use, as well as to maximize airflow.
That level of quality and durability makes these sheets quite heavy, though. It takes them a while to cool down, too, but these are all minor inconveniences, rather than actual issues.
The product is ideal for:If you’re here today to find the best baking and cookie sheet that will make it easy to transfer your baked goods from the pan onto the cooling rack, look no further. When it comes to unrimmed baking pans, Vollrath is, without a doubt, one of the best on the market. It’s not that versatile, but it’s the best in its category, and what more can you ask for, right?
#5. GreenLife Ceramic Non-Stick Cookie Sheet – Make Healthier Choices
Featuring a heavy-duty steel body, with a beautiful finish that will look good on any table, these GreenLife cookie sheets, although relatively new on the market, already have a rather large fan base.
What truly sets this cookie sheet apart from the rest is its non-stick coating. Although I’m not a huge fan, this one made me think twice. Free of PFOA, PFAS, cadmium, and lead, this ceramic finish will ensure that you cut back on oil and butter, without ever risking your baked goods sticking to the sheet. It’s the first step to making healthier choices.
But, like many other non-stick coated baking sheets, it does peel, and when it does, it might even reveal some rust under it, which is a huge minus in my book.
The product is ideal for:
Those of you that are ready to make some healthier choices in life, but not quite willing to give up cookies altogether will love this ceramic baking sheet. If you’re eager to ease up on the grease, but you don’t trust most non-stick coatings because of all the toxins, GreenLife might be the best baking and cookie sheet for you.
#6. Baker's Secret Essentials 2 Piece Small Cookie Sheet Value Pack – Perfect For Baking Smaller Batches
Remember when I said that size of the baking sheet matters, and that sometimes, smaller is better? Well, the Baker’s Secret 2-piece set is an excellent example of that.
This lightweight cookie sheet, made from 0.5-gauge steel, has proven, time and again, that it’s more than capable of delivering when it comes to basic baking tasks. The fact that it’s dishwasher-safe is a huge plus, too. Instead of scrubbing the sheets, you can jump right to enjoying some freshly baked cookies.
They do warp, though, so make sure you don’t expose these baking sheets to temperatures higher than around 350 °F, to be on the safe side.
The product is ideal for:
If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but you still want to have some delicious treats ready when you have guests over, a small cookie sheet, such as this one by Baker’s Secret, should do the job. On top of that, the low price for not one, but two baking sheets makes this an excellent offer for everyone looking to get some new bakeware without breaking the bank.
#7. USA Pan Bakeware Cookie Sheet, Large, Warp Resistant Nonstick Baking Pan – There’s No Chance Of Sticking
It seems like everything about the USA Pan’s aluminized steel bakeware is focused on one thing – creating a non-stick surface. And an outstanding one, for that matter.
First off, there’s the Americoat Plus silicone coating. It doesn’t sound like much until you realize it’s PFOA, PTFE, and BPA-free. As if that weren’t enough, the surface of the pan is corrugated, not only to improve the non-stick properties but to add some warp resistance and enhance air flow, as well.
Be careful, though – you’d be surprised how easy it is for food to slide right off of this sheet. The manufacturer promised a non-stick surface, and they did deliver it, indeed.
The product is ideal for:If you want your best baking and cookie sheet to have a non-stick coating (even though I pointed out the issues these coatings present), this one is the way to go, primarily because it’s free of toxic chemicals, such as PTFE, PFOA, and BPA. Nothing – and I do mean nothing – sticks to the sheet’s surface, making this the ideal bakeware option for delicate treats, such as cookies.
Which One’s The Best Baking And Cookie Sheet And Why?
Okay, so, you know what to look for in bakeware, and you’ve seen some of the best products on the market in 2018. I’d say it’s about time we picked out our winner, don’t you think?
But which one of these products deserves the title of the best baking and cookie sheet?
In my final attempt to help you out, before we wrap things up I’m going to compare all the previously reviewed baking sheets against these three criteria:
Versatility: As I pointed out already, the main difference between the rimmed and non-rimmed baking sheets lays in their functionality. Three out of seven baking sheets on my list of recommended products are rimless, meaning there’s not much to talk about regarding how versatile they are.
That leaves us with four.
Out of the remaining four, Rachael Ray Oven Lovin' Bakeware seems like a decent choice, favored by many. However functional, though, it has its issues when it comes to durability (I’ll explain everything in a second). Because of that, while it remains a great candidate for the title of the best baking and cookie sheet, it doesn’t exactly make the cut.
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet does, though. It’s suitable for baking cakes and cookies, or roasting veggies and various types of meats, and sturdy enough to withstand heavy use.
Durability: Take a look around your kitchen. I’m sure you have some old, worn down baking pans laying around in there. And if you’re looking to replace them, it would be best to do so with a sheet that won’t rust or warp when exposed to higher temperatures.
And yes, most pans will do that, but I’ve managed to find a couple that doesn’t. If you paid attention to the reviews, I’m sure you can guess which ones they are. That’s right: the Nordic Ware and the Vollrath Wear-Ever.
While none of the other bakeware on the list was able to withstand temperatures higher than around 350 °F, I pushed the limit with these two by going up to 450 degrees, and they performed flawlessly – no bending.
Another common enemy is the rust. Again, while most of these sheets had non-stick coatings that peeled off and exposed rusty patches underneath, these didn’t – made of pure aluminum, they stayed rust-free, even after prolonged use.
Affordability: I tried to keep my list of recommended products as affordable as possible – the prices don’t differ that much. How can I even compare them regarding affordability, then? Well, here’s the thing:
I’m not here to compare numbers; I’m here to compare the values you get for these seemingly similar prices, and trust me, that’s where some significant differences become apparent.
For instance, the cheapest baking sheet on the list is the Baker's Secret Essentials 2 Piece Small Cookie Sheet Value Pack. Are they good? Yes. But are they great? No, not really; they have some issues with rusting and warping, two of the bakeware’s worst enemies.
Sometimes it’s better to spend a few extra bucks on a higher-quality set that’s built to last than to have to repeat this entire process every few years, don’t you think? I’m not saying that expensive means better, but in this particular case, when all the products pretty much fall into the same price range, you should focus on getting the best value for your money.
That said, Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack) performed exceptionally well on all three counts, so there you have it: the best baking and cookie sheet in 2018.
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, the market is full of options. Don’t let that overwhelm you, though; as long as you know what to look for, finding the best baking and cookie sheet should be a piece of cake. The buying guide covered all of that, so no need to stress about that.
I took the liberty of comparing all of my favorite baking sheets using these criteria: affordability, durability, and versatility. You’ve seen how that went. While many of these baking sheets had their times to shine, none of them – except one, that is – was able to deliver an outstanding performance on all three counts.
That’s why I feel that out of the seven baking sheets I included in this round-up, the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack) is the only one that truly deserves to be called the best baking and cookie sheet on the market.
Sure, there were some more affordable choices, but if you ask me, this one’s worth spending your hard earned money on, for sure.
And even if you didn’t find what you were looking here (although I think that’s highly unlikely), you can always use the carefully constructed buying guide I provided to search the market on your own. I’m sure you’ll find the best baking sheet for your needs.Anyway, keep me posted. I’d like to know if you found this article to be helpful, so feel free to leave a comment below! And don’t forget to let me know which one’s your favorite and why – who knows, maybe you’ll manage to change my mind.