What kind of cookie sheets/pans do you use?

lakemayorMay 12, 2012

What is you favorite pan for baking cookies. Dark colored or light/shiny colored? I have all dark colored pans and just read recently that cookies will not brown so fast if you use a light colored pan.

What is your experience? Also, do you have any certain brand recommendations?


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Best are the 1/2 sheet pans, shiny heavy aluminum. About $8 each at restaurant supply stores, maybe even available at Walmart. They are inexpensive, so get several.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cook's Illustrated

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 7:22PM
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DI like the really heavy aluminum sheet pans too. They are not as easy to come by as you might think.....at least not here.

Every once in a while Costco has them in a 3 pack for a good price. When I see them I stock up because I use them for so many things other than cookies and they tend to get yucky over time . Actually , when I think of it , I rarely use them for cookies!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 9:04PM
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I agree, the heavy aluminum ones. I got mine at Sam's Club, a two pack. I use parchment paper so these have stayed pretty shiny. I also have a dark one, there are times when I need it for, for roasting veggies in the oven, for example.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 9:29PM
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I use air-bake sheets.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 9:29PM
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I also have the heavy aluminum half sheet pans with sides, shiny and mine came from Sam's Club, less than $10 for a package of two. They say "Made in the USA" on the bottom, and are in the section with the restaurant cooking supplies, aprons, disposable foil pans, etc.

I have 6 of them and always seem to need more, plus my kids "borrow" them and don't return them, they always seem to need more too....


    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 11:47PM
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I've got 5 of them. Even if I don't use them all the time, when you are doing serious cookie baking, you can have a couple of them cooling down while the next batch is in the oven. They nest and don't take up much room, so it's all a bargain. Get 5 or 6.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 12:50AM
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The half sheet pans are very useful,
But I don't like sides on cookie sheets.

The pans I prefer for actually baking cookies
Are made by Chicago Metals.
They are very shiny, and textured.
One end is raised,
So they are easy to grab hold of.

And yes, they 'stack',
I have 6 of them,
they take up very little space.

I also have a couple of the air-bake pans.
But I guess I don't know the 'trick'
to getting good cookie results with them.
So I very rarely use them.

Seems like every time I've baked cookies on dark pans,
I end up with burned cookie bottoms.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 1:34AM
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My rimless baking sheets are air-bake aluminum. I'd never use anything else after nearly 4 decades of use and who knows how many thousands of cookies were baked on them. I have them in 4 sizes, including one for my toaster oven. They were once manufactured locally, but the company was sold and moved elsewhere.

For use in my Sharp Convection/Microwave Oven I use pierced 12-inch round air-bake pizza pans (covered with a sheet of parchment paper) and can cut baking time by 25-50-percent and bake two pans at once.

Here are the standard choices and the baking results you can expect...

Shiny Aluminum are the #1 choice because you'll get consistent shape, color, diameter and eating quality. If you get really thin sheets and you find your cookies burn easily, you can nest two sheets together to create an insulated sheet.

Insulated (aka cushioned or double layered) sheets. Cookies take a little longer to bake. The bottoms of cookies remain light color. Cookies can be a little more difficult to remove from the pan because the bottom of the cookie is more tender. [Personally, I never have a problem removing cookies because I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper (which I have a lifetime supply of after buying a box from a restaurant supply store and cut the sheets in half to fit my baking sheets).] The downside to insulated pans is that it's a little more difficult to use a finger-test to see if the cookies are done because the bottoms tend to "set" differently than on darker pans, or thin single-layerd pans.

Dark Nonstick. The diameter of the cookies tend to be smaller than on shiny aluminum. The cookies tend to be more rounded. Tops and bottoms are more browned, especially the bottoms. Bottoms of cookies may be hard. You often need to reduce the oven temperature 25-degrees F or you can quickly burn cookies baked on dark nonstick pans.

Black Surface. Cookies bake faster since black absorbs heat. The diameter of the cookies may be smaller and the shape more rounded. Another pan where you often need to reduce the temperature by 25-degrees F or you'll find you get burned cookies.

I took a baking class once, and as part of the class we made chocolate chip cookies on all these baking sheets to test the results and the insulated aluminum pans won hands down. As a foods judge at County Fairs I can now tell which type of pan a cookie was baked on. It's not so much about what's right or wrong, but about what characteristics you want your cookies to have.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Thanks for all of your advice. I just got a new convection oven on Friday. Yesterday I baked chocolate chip cookies hoping for big, thick, chewy cookies, as I was promised with convection cooking, but I really got thin, overbrowned flat cookies. I baked at 25 degrees lower than the recipe but that didn't seem to help. Once again, it's that forever quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

I really do need new pans so thanks for the help.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 6:56AM
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I like the shiny half sheet (jelly roll) aluminum pans, too, as well as some air bake insulated sheets. I don't especially like the air bake pans because the cookies take longer to bake. OTOH, if you're prone to forgetting that last pan of cookies that went into the oven (like me), the air-bakes are fantastic. You can 'roast' that pan of cookies for half an hour or more & they're still edible. Definitely dunkers, but least ways they're not burned to a crisp!

The air bake pans were a gift from my mom and all the other pans have been accumulated from garage sales over the years. I have quite a few and agree with the others that 5-6 is a good number to have because they are so useful for so many other tasks. I also have a few full sheet pans; those won't fit in my oven but they still get a lot of use for other kitchen and workshop duties.

Karen, I wonder if lowering the oven temp & using parchment paper on your dark pans would retard the cookies from browning so fast?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 6:58AM
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We can always count on Grainlady to have lots of information about all kinds of stuff! I've never seen such a comprehensive analysis on baking sheets. Thanks, Grainlady.

I have one thin brown non-stick cookie sheet that I only use as a pizza peel. I hate it for cookies. Although, now I know what I need to do if I ever choose to use it for cookie sheets. Unfortunately, it was a gift from dh, so I can't get rid of it. ;)

I, too, use the (used to be, when brand new) shiny half sheet aluminum pans for cookies and everything else. I only have 2 here, and one up in Tahlequah, but they are almost constantly in use, whether it's for roasting veggies, baking cookies, or heating up DS's junk food from a box out of the freezer. I think I paid $7 each at Walmart for them. My niece is getting married in a few weeks, and I think I'll get her a couple, as a bonus present, even though I doubt she knows she wants them, lol. When she gets them, she'll figure it out that yes, they were exactly what she wanted! If not her, her groom will figure it out, cause he's a cook. (Lucky her!)


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 8:29AM
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Have no idea what "brand" mine are... dark, non-stick (sorta), kinda heavy. Were probably not very expensive... knowing my frugalness. Can't see me needing to get more any time soon, but if I needed replacements... would head to restaurant supply place. Have been a total convert to parchment paper, even though pans are "non-stick".

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 8:58AM
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I had a couple of the air bake sheets and hated them. By the time the bottoms were brown enough, the rest of the cookie was overbaked. We like our cookies chewy with crispy edges, and by the time the bottoms were browned the cookie was pretty much hard as a rock.

Mine also had a non stick coating that came off on the bottoms of the cookies, which was altogether icky, IMO. Now they still serve a purpose, I put them in the oven on the shelf under pies or other things that might bubble over, adn they catch the drips. It's the only thing I've found that mine were good for.

I've never liked flat sheets either, because I can't grab them as easily. I find the edge gives me a good "handle", LOL.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:59AM
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I'm looking for cheapo ones at yard sales just to put under scalloped potatoes etc.

I have a shiny aluminum baking sheet with the edges, and a non-stick Wilton one, also with edges and large handles at the ends for easy grabbing. I use them both, and use parchment just to keep them looking pretty. Like Annie, I have no desire to use the flat ones, nothing to grab. What do you do when the pan is in the oven sideways?

I need to buy some silicone for roasting veggies. Even though it gets slimy and greasy and oily, I prefer it for roasting vs parchment. Parchment slips and slides and I hate that it curls up on me. Have never seen the flat sheets here, and there's a restaurant supply store in my city.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 11:34AM
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I use really cheap ones that I've had forever(the ones that warp as soon as you put them in the oven). I line them with parchment. I also have a $3 16" pizza pan from WM that I love for baking cookies. It has a rolled edge and is easy to rotate for even cooking in my crappy oven.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I pretty much do as Grainlady posts although I don't have a lifetime supply of parchment paper (I wish I did though).

Those black pans are excellent, however, for browning potatoes and anything else that needs a crisp crust.
I have a heavy, large Wilton cookie sheet that is black and it's one of my most used of pans.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 1:34PM
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I have several thick aluminum cookie sheets from the restaurant supply store. I line then with parchment when making cookies.

I have a convection oven which really helps with baking (I never need to rotate my pans). Sometimes the fat used (as well as baking time) determines the chewiness/softness of a cookie. I bake exclusively with butter, but that sometimes results in a flat crispy cookie, especially if you don't under-bake a bit.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 2:35PM
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I have two plain, uncoated/unanodized aluminum half-sheet size jellyroll pans (with the 1" lip). I'm on my second set in 40 years. Both were purchased from restaurant supply stores; we live in the SF Bay Area so there are half a dozen to chose from.

I hardly ever bake cookies, LOL, but I use these all the time - at least twice a week, sometimes both at once. Everything from roasting 3 lb. of asparagus to oven-baked breaded chicken thighs, or roasting raw pine nuts to store in the freezer for salad topping.

I have one "open" smaller cookie sheet (the kind with sides that slant upwards, but open corners) in a lighter weight that is easy to grab and works well for 'holding', such as draining bacon on paper towels and keeping the strips warm in the oven.

I also have a new Circulon non-stick 10x15 pan, very heavy weight, that is perfect when I am sear-roasting steaks. I heat the sheet pan up in the oven until it's sizzling, then sear the steaks on the stovetop. Finish them off in the oven, and they're perfect.

I have carpal tunnel, so I use the above technique in lieu of a cast iron pan, which is too hard on my wrists to lift easily.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 2:05PM
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I have these and love them. Two holds a whole batch of cookies.

Made in Terre Haute, Indiana!

Here is a link that might be useful: Best cookie sheet

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 6:29PM
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For that price, red_lover, you can buy three of the restaurant-supply sheets!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:05PM
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For that price I can buy FOUR of the restaurant supply sheets. I just checked the bottom of mine, it says "Polar Ware, Made in the USA".


    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 1:09AM
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Lucky me, I live close to where they are made and get to buy them at a cheaper price at their annual factory sale.

I also have several other styles of their pans. Love them.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 6:18PM
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