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In terms of cookie sheet pans, ‘best’ really is relative, and what’s right for one baker may not be the optimal choice for another. When choosing a cookie baking sheet, it’s important to think about all the different types available, and find a sheet that meets your needs and your preferences.
We’ll run through considerations like the size of the baking sheet, materials – when to use aluminum and why choose stainless steel, color and why this is important, weight, when to use a baking tray rack and why these choices will make a difference to your cooking.
Size of the baking sheet
It’s important to think about the average cookie batch size that you tend to make regularly. Consider that a very large cookie baking sheet may be difficult to store, and may heat unevenly should large areas of the sheet not be covered by dough.
However, also think about the problems associated with small cookie sheet pans – that they may not be large enough to allow adequate space between the cookies, which is important due to cookie spread.
If you tend to make cookies with baking fat like lard or margarine, a smaller sheet may suffice, but if you use a recipe that calls for oil, these cookies will spread more*, and will require a larger cookie baking sheet.
Many cookie sheet pans are made from aluminium, but does this material really make for the best cookie sheets? That really depends upon the type of cookies you make on a regular basis.
For plain cookies, chocolate chip, or any other type of common cookie, aluminium is an excellent choice.
However, if you frequently make more unusual cookies that contain acidic foods like lemon or orange, remember that aluminium and acid react, and that your citrus cookies might have a bit of a metallic taste to them.
If aluminium isn’t a good choice for you, don’t despair. Stainless steel cookie sheet pans are easy to find, or you could simply line an aluminium cookie sheet with some baking paper.
Alternatively silicone baking sheets will work very well.
When it comes to color, prettier does not always mean better, and the best cookie sheets might be those that don’t look as attractive as others.
Darkened metals look good, and they fit in with many different kitchen decor styles, but it’s important to remember that the darker the color, the more heat that’s retained. This means your cookies keep cooking long after you’ve switched the oven off causing over-browning or even burning.
Always look for cookie sheet pans that are light in color and shiny so they reflect the heat, rather than absorbing it.
Insulated or uninsulated sheets?
Some bakers will tell you that insulated sheets are the best cookie sheets.
Insulated cookie trays contain two layers of metal with a gap in between. This regulates the temperature of the pan, controlling heating levels and ensuring the cookies bake at a lower temperature, which creates cookies that are evenly cooked, and browned to perfection. However, if you regularly make cookies that have a high fat content, insulated cookie pans can prove a bit troublesome.
What happens is that the fat inside the cookie dough melts when warmed, but if the dough isn’t hot enough to begin to solidify, that fat will leak out of the dough, and leave you with soggy-bottomed cookies that are dry and flakey in the middle.
Lightweight cookie trays are very inexpensive, and they’re great if you’re making cookies with children and they want to help lift the pan into the oven. But, they’re not considered to be the best cookie sheets. They can easily buckle when exposed to high temperatures.
A heavy duty cookie baking sheet will keep its shape in the oven and, if cared for properly, should last a lifetime.
Depending on circumstances, it’s recommended that bakers purchase heavier, more durable cookie sheets for optimal results and unrivalled ease.
Baking rack for tray
This baking tray rack is a must for your kitchen. Add versatility to your baking sheets with this baking tray.
1. Use the baking rack for cooling your cookies when you’re wanting to get airflow around them to get that perfect crunch on the outside.
2. Use the rack for baking to lift your vegetables or meats and chicken out of the tray for an even cook all round. Elevating your chicken or meat gives a crispier result because of the airflow underneath. You’ll also have a healthier cook. Oil drips down from the food into the tray. For easy cleaning, line the tray with baking paper.
The baking rack is easy to clean, after the first few uses, you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
If you have a limited amount of space in your kitchen you’ll find an organizing rack for your baking tray or sheets very handy. Simply stack your baking trays and cookie sheets until needed. They’re inexpensive and well worth the investment.
No more having to search awkwardly in the very back of your cupboards to find the baking sheet your after; and keep your cupboards organized long after the spring clean.
Finding the Best Cookie Sheets
The good news is the industry is diverse, and whether you’re open to any sort of sheet or have particular requirements, you’ll find it easy to find cookie sheets and trays that tick all the boxes for you.
Remember what constitutes the best cookie sheets really is relative. What’s right for one baker may not be the best choice for another.