The 3 Best Baking Sheets of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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You can’t enjoy the aroma of fresh-from-the-oven cookies or herby sheet-pan chicken thighs wafting through your house without a trusty baking sheet or two. After hours of testing and tasting—someone had to do it—we’ve concluded that the Nordic Ware Naturals Baker’s Half Sheet is the best all-purpose baking sheet. Terracotta Wall Panel

The 3 Best Baking Sheets of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

This sturdy, inexpensive sheet pan bakes evenly and lasts for years.

Includes a half sheet, quarter sheet, and jelly roll pan

This 13-by-18-inch pan performs nearly as well and looks almost identical to our main pick but usually costs a few dollars more.

If you prefer a rimless sheet to slide cookies easily onto a cooling rack, this one is less likely to char baked goods than thinner sheets, and its two handles make it easy to rotate in the oven.

Since this guide was first published in 2013, we’ve spent over 45 total hours testing 15 sheet pans. After making 24 batches of cookies, six pizzas, and pounds of oven fries, we found that the Nordic Ware pan bakes as evenly as baking sheets twice the price and doesn’t buckle at high heat like cheaper models.

This sturdy, inexpensive sheet pan bakes evenly and lasts for years.

Includes a half sheet, quarter sheet, and jelly roll pan

The Nordic Ware Naturals Baker’s Half Sheet has been our top pick since 2013, and after using it frequently for years, it still lies flat and bakes cookies to an even golden brown. Other aluminum pans may perform similarly, but the Nordic Ware baking sheet consistently costs the least for a pan of its quality. It’s a durable workhorse that can handle a wide variety of tasks, from roasting crisp oven fries to cooking a quick sheet-pan dinner.

This 13-by-18-inch pan performs nearly as well and looks almost identical to our main pick but usually costs a few dollars more.

If you can’t find the Nordic Ware pan or if cleaning the stamped logo on its surface bothers you, the Artisan Professional Classic Aluminum Half Sheet is a decent runner-up. Like the Nordic Ware baking sheet, it’s made of strong, uncoated 18-gauge aluminum that withstands high heat. But it darkened oven chips slightly faster than the Nordic Ware baking sheet, and the higher price tag doesn’t yield better performance.

If you prefer a rimless sheet to slide cookies easily onto a cooling rack, this one is less likely to char baked goods than thinner sheets, and its two handles make it easy to rotate in the oven.

We prefer rimmed sheets for their versatility, but if you like a rimless cookie sheet, we recommend the Vollrath Wear-Ever Aluminum Cookie Sheet With Natural Finish. This two-handled pan was easy to rotate in the oven, baked cookies evenly, and was simple to clean. Made of 10-gauge aluminum, it’s thicker than our main pick, which is necessary to prevent warping without the structure of rims. But it isn’t as all-purpose as our other picks, because it doesn’t contain roasting vegetables or the juices from a sheet-pan dinner.

In researching this guide, we pored over cookbooks such as The Gourmet Cookie Book and equipment reviews from a range of other publications. We also combed Amazon reviews and interviewed Alice Medrich, who wrote Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, and Jennifer Aaronson, who was formerly the head food editor at Martha Stewart Living and the lead food editor for Martha Stewart’s Cookies.

In addition to editing cookbooks (both sweet and savory), Wirecutter deputy editor Christine Cyr Clisset has reviewed a wide variety of kitchen equipment for Wirecutter. Marguerite Preston is a former professional baker and the senior editor of Wirecutter’s kitchen team.

If you cook or bake at all, you should own a solid baking sheet. Really, you should own several. A quality rimmed baking sheet is inexpensive and incredibly useful. Beyond cookies, it’s great for roasting vegetables, making pizzas, toasting nuts, catching drips from a pie as it bakes, or cooking a quick sheet-pan dinner.

Too many home kitchens have a hodgepodge of clunker baking sheets. You know the ones: Warped. Wobbly. Dented. So thin they’re apt to char the undersides of cookies before browning the tops. “If you go to a cookie party with home bakers, you’re going to get a lot of cookies that are burned on the bottom and underdone on top,” baker and cookbook author Alice Medrich told us, pointing to the prevalence of low-quality pans.

So if your pans are flimsy and bent, or if you regularly burn cookies—and you know that your oven temperature is accurate—consider replacing yours with our picks.

A good baking sheet needs to cook evenly and withstand years of regular use. After we talked to experts, tested 15 pans, and researched many more, we came up with our criteria for an excellent pan, in order of importance:

A rim for versatility: Rimless sheets do allow you to easily slide cookies onto a rack, and Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required) found that they bake cookies a bit faster thanks to better air circulation. However, we focused on rimmed sheets because they’re much more versatile; they can contain anything you want to roast.

Aluminum for even baking: Some baking sheets are made of aluminized steel or tri-ply (an aluminum core sandwiched by stainless steel), but bare aluminum pans are best. They conduct heat more efficiently, heat evenly, and cool quickly. Steel can heat unevenly and tri-ply is expensive and retains heat longer, causing burning.

Heavy gauge and warp resistant: Thicker pans tend to be more durable and bake more evenly than thinner pans––though going too thick adds weight and slows down browning. Both of our favorite rimmed sheets are 18 gauge, which we’ve found to be a good weight. Our rimless cookie-sheet pick is a thicker 10 gauge, which helps it stay flat without the structural support of sides.

No nonstick coatings: We’ve ruled out nonstick baking sheets because the finish degrades at high temperatures and inevitably scratches. Lining your pan with parchment paper creates a nonstick surface, makes cleanup a cinch, and adds insulation to minimize the risk of burnt bottoms.

Also, many nonstick pans are dark, so they absorb heat and can burn cookies on the bottom before the top is cooked.

Usability: Rimmed jelly-roll baking sheets are often thin, wobbly, and not as big as half-sheet pans, which are around 18 by 13 inches. Half sheets are the biggest standard size that can fit in most ovens (except the tiniest apartment ranges). And as a bonus, rectangular cooling racks often fit inside half-sheet pans—a handy setup for roasting meat or glazing cakes.

Simple is better: Baking sheets with extra features often cost more but don’t perform better. Insulated baking pans, which have an internal air pocket between thin sheets of metal, bake cookies more slowly. This is nice for delicate cookies that burn easily, but it’s unnecessary for most other things. Plus, experts say that a regular sheet pan lined with parchment works just as well for delicate bakes.

Pans with perforations or ridges are meant to circulate air for even browning and minimal sticking. Though we like the ridges on our favorite cake pans, those pans are also nonstick. Without that coating, food sticks to a baking sheet, and the ridges are a pain to clean.

We designed our tests to assess pans’ durability and evenness of baking. We baked honey florentines (delicate cookies that can burn easily) and thicker sugar cookies to see how evenly they brown from top to bottom. For consistency, we baked one parchment-lined baking sheet at a time on the middle rack and rotated it 180 degrees halfway through.

Pans can warp at high temperatures, so we tested their sturdiness by baking at 450 °F to 500 °F for at least 25 minutes. We assessed pan flatness and ease of cleaning after roasting.

Though most manufacturers advise against using the dishwasher for sheet pans, we’ve washed our pans in the dishwasher as well as by hand dozens of times in the Wirecutter test kitchen. They’re a bit discolored, but it hasn’t affected their performance.

This sturdy, inexpensive sheet pan bakes evenly and lasts for years.

Includes a half sheet, quarter sheet, and jelly roll pan

The Nordic Ware Naturals Baker’s Half Sheet performed as well as or better than every other baking sheet we tested. It baked cookies more evenly than sheets twice the price and didn’t warp at high heat.

Although you might find a comparable pan at a kitchen-supply store, the Nordic Ware baking sheet is readily available online. It also happens to be one of the most-consistently inexpensive high-quality aluminum pans we’ve found.

It’s highly consistent. In every test, the Nordic Ware pan baked evenly, with no noticeable hot or cool spots. Slice-and-bake cookies came out golden brown on their tops and bottoms, delicate honey florentines caramelized without darkening too fast, and the bottom crust of a pissaladière baked uniformly.

In comparison, several other sheets we tried browned the bottom of our cookies slightly unevenly.

It holds up at high temperatures. During our high-heat tests—roasting at 425 °F, 450 °F, and 500 °F—the pan didn’t warp, buckle, or bend. And all the Nordic Ware pans in our test kitchen still lie flat after several years of use. In comparison, other pans (even the thick, pricey 13-gauge Vollrath 5314 half-sheet pan) warped slightly after just one round of roasting at 450 °F.

It comes in multiple sizes. The Nordic Ware pan also comes in quarter- and eighth-sheet sizes. These are useful to have in addition to the half-sheet size. They’re good for little things like toasting nuts or baking a few pieces of fish, and they’re easier to fit in your fridge.

They’re also excellent for toaster ovens and better quality than the pans that typically come with the appliance. The eight-sheet fits in all of our favorite toaster ovens, and the quarter-sheet also fits in our larger picks.

It has a lifetime limited warranty. However, the warranty “does not include damage caused by accidents, misuse, [or] overheating,” and Nordic Ware isn’t specific about what it means by “overheating.”

After years of heavy use at home and in Wirecutter’s test kitchen, all our Nordic Ware Naturals Baker’s Half Sheets (and quarter- and eighth-sheet pans) still perform great. We’ve roasted vegetables at 500 °F without the pans warping and used them to support heavy casseroles and pies.

The well-used pans do show their age. The smaller-size pans in our test kitchen are all tarnished from being tossed in the dishwasher. And, as discussed below, some have started to develop a dark patina of baked-on oils. But that patina actually isn’t a bad thing.

The stamped logo is hard to clean. The surface of the pan has a slightly raised logo stamped on one end, which can be tricky to clean. Baked-on oils may accumulate faster in that spot. But it’s just a small area, and a bit of staining doesn’t affect the performance. If the logo bothers you, our runner-up, the Artisan Professional Classic Aluminum Half Sheet, is completely smooth.

It’s hard to keep it stain free. As with all bare aluminum sheet pans, oils and fats will adhere to the surface during cooking, causing the pan to develop a dark brown patina over time. This seasoning (which is similar to the seasoning on a cast-iron pan) may be unsightly, but it’s actually a good thing—it contributes to better browning and makes the pan more nonstick. You can scrub it off with some effort if you want. Or just line your pan with foil or parchment every time.

The dishwasher tarnishes the pan. It’s ok to put the Nordic Ware pan in the dishwasher, but doing so causes it to dull and discolor over time. Nordic Ware’s use & care instructions note that the “discoloration is merely cosmetic and will not affect baking properties or safety of the pan.”

This 13-by-18-inch pan performs nearly as well and looks almost identical to our main pick but usually costs a few dollars more.

If our main pick is unavailable, the Artisan Professional Classic Aluminum Half Sheet is a wonderful alternative. It also has a completely smooth surface, so it’s a good choice if you think the stamped logo on the surface of the Nordic Ware pan will drive you crazy (it’s hard to clean and accumulates stains).

The Artisan baking sheet performed about on par with the Nordic Ware pan and tends to be the closest in price. It evenly baked cookies to a nice golden brown and never warped in our battery of high-heat tests.

We did, however, hear some crackling when the pan was hot and sitting on the counter, suggesting that it moves slightly as it adjusts to the temperature change. It’s also less readily available than the Nordic Ware pan in smaller quarter- and eighth-sheet sizes.

If you prefer a rimless sheet to slide cookies easily onto a cooling rack, this one is less likely to char baked goods than thinner sheets, and its two handles make it easy to rotate in the oven.

The Vollrath Wear-Ever Aluminum Cookie Sheet With Natural Finish isn’t as versatile as a rimmed baking sheet, but it’s terrific for cookies. This heavy-gauge sheet bakes gently and evenly and has two open sides that allow you to slide cookies directly onto a cooling rack.

Raised handles on the short ends make it easy to rotate the pan in the oven and to get a secure grip when you’re ready to pull the pan out. It also has a small hole on one end for hanging.

Rimless cookie sheets tend to be more awkward to maneuver than rimmed sheet pans. When pulling sheets like this one from the oven, parchment paper is more likely to slide off. However, of the three rimless sheets we tested, our also-great pick from Vollrath was the easiest to use because its two handled ends prevented parchment sliding.

Unfortunately, the warranty on Vollrath Wear-Ever bakeware only covers use in “commercial foodservice,” so this pan isn’t covered for use at home. But it should hold up well for many years of normal use.

The Focus Foodservice Commercial Grade Aluminum Half Sheet Pan is mostly well-reviewed on Amazon, and in our tests, it performed on par with our top pick from Nordic Ware. It tends to be a little more expensive, however, and we also noticed that most of the negative Amazon reviews mentioned pans arriving dented. But this would be another good option if our top two picks are both unavailable or overpriced.

We tested the Nordic Ware Prism Half Sheet to see how the ridged surface compared with the smooth aluminum of our top pick. It browned cookies slightly less (a plus if you’re baking delicate cookies), but stuck-on food was difficult to remove.

The USA Pan Large Cookie Sheet and USA Pan Jelly Roll Pan have corrugated bottoms to promote even browning. Unfortunately, the nonstick coating doesn’t withstand higher temperatures or frequent abuse from spatulas. The cookie sheet also has only one handle, so it’s awkward to rotate in the oven.

The Member’s Mark Half-Size Aluminum Sheet Pan from Sam’s Club was the runner-up in our 2013 guide. It bakes as evenly as the Nordic Ware baking sheet, and you get a two-pack for the price of one of our main pick. But the pan did buckle in high heat and is available only at Sam’s Club.

The Vollrath 5314 Half-Size Wear-Ever Heavy-Duty Aluminum Sheet Pan With Natural Finish is a thick, 13-gauge pan. But surprisingly, it warped slightly while baking honey florentines at just 375 °F. It warped even further while roasting sweet potatoes at 425 °F.

The 18-gauge Vollrath 5303 Half-Size Wear-Ever Heavy-Duty Aluminum Sheet Pan With Natural Finish is well reviewed on Amazon. It performs similarly to other 18-gauge sheets, but it browned cookie bottoms unevenly.

The Chicago Metallic Commercial II Traditional Uncoated Large Jelly Roll Pan overly browned honey florentines in our tests.

Circulon’s carbon steel 11-Inch x 17-Inch Nonstick Cookie Pan baked cookies evenly, but our potato chips wound up burned in spots. It feels sturdy, but the nonstick surface wears off over time.

At around $100, the All-Clad D3 Stainless 3-ply Bonded Roasting Sheet 10 x 14 inch is too expensive. It also has a rim on one side, making it hard to maneuver and less versatile than a fully rimmed sheet.

This article was edited by Lizzy Briskin and Marguerite Preston.

Marguerite Preston is a senior editor covering kitchen gear and appliances at Wirecutter, and has written guides to baking equipment, meal kit delivery services, and more. She previously worked as an editor for Eater New York and as a freelance food writer. Before that, she learned her way around professional kitchens as a pastry cook in New York.

Christine Cyr Clisset is a deputy editor overseeing home coverage for Wirecutter. She previously edited cookbooks and craft books for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and she started reviewing kitchen gear back in 2013. She sews many of her own clothes, which has made her obsessive about high-quality fabrics—whether in a dress or bedsheets.

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The 3 Best Baking Sheets of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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