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Equipment Review: Best Rimmed Baking Sheets (Sheet Pans, "Jelly Roll Pans") & Our Testing Winner

ribbed baking sheets or half sheet pans

are arguably the most frequently used

Pam in the Test Kitchen we have stacks

and stacks of them that we use every day

for everything

they're obviously perfect for tasks like

baking cookies or roasting oven fries

and vegetables or baking chicken and

fish and we use them for toasting nuts

and seeds and baking jelly roll cakes

but they're also great for sorting dried

beans or spreading out cooked rice or

pasta to cool before you're making

salads in a pinch you flip it over and

that baking sheet can double as a pizza

peel or baking stone and that's just the

start

stick a wire grid style cooling rack

inside to lift food up for better air

circulation or to catch drips and this

becomes your go-to set up for roasting

and broiling meats holding breaded foods

before and after frying and drizzling

chocolate over desserts and finally

outside the oven it also works as a tray

for holding your meson plus all your

chopped and measured foods before you

start cooking to find the best rimmed

baking sheet on the market we bought

eight standard sized models priced from

seven dollars and 43 cents to 23 dollars

and then we baked our way through jelly

roll cakes and dozens of sugar cookies

we roasted thirty pounds of chicken

thighs and more parsnips than anyone

should ever have to look at and for each

recipe we examined how evenly foods

browned across the surface of the pan as

well as how cleanly they released

throughout testing we kept a close eye

on warping and evaluated how comfortable

each pan felt and was loaded with heavy

foods at first I have some good news

it's actually possible to bake roast and

broil using all the pans we tested but

some pans made it harder to get good

results first exact size did matter now

we chose pans that were standard sized

or about eighteen by thirteen inches

from edge to edge and that meant the

actual usable cooking surface on most of

these pans was about sixteen and a half

by eleven and a half inches one pan was

bigger with a cooking surface of

eighteen by 12 inches so a jelly-roll

cake that we baked in this pan spread

out too much making it too thin and even

worse this pan didn't really fit a

standard wire cooling rack so it slid

around in the pan

scratch it up rack set nice and snug and

secure in most of the other models now

the rims of the pan also made a

difference one had really low sloped

sides just 7/8 of an inch tall and when

we walked around the kitchen with this

it was hard to keep liquid from spilling

over the edges and that would be really

scary if it was a pan full of hot pan

juices our favorite pans had straight

smooth sides or an inch or taller these

were tall enough to hold in liquids they

made nice straight sided cakes and that

gave us a good sizeable edge to grab

when we're carrying the pan with a bulky

pot holder we also like to preheat

baking sheets in a hot oven so we get

better browning on vegetables and meats

but preheating a sheet pan can put

stress on the metal and that leads to

warping and then when you add cooler

pieces of food it makes the metal cool

and contract in those spots so you get

twisting every pan we tested warped at

least a little but most bounced back

once the temperature equalized only one

pan warped permanently enough to have an

effect on cooking it twisted too much

exceeding what the metal industry calls

its elastic limit in practical terms

that meant that oil ran away from the

center of the pan and pooled in the

corners leaving some of our food like

roasted parsnips dry and leathery now we

can recommend almost all of these pans

but our overall favorite was this one

the Nordic Ware bakers half sheet pan it

baked and roasted everything from

cookies to chicken evenly and well it

was one of the most warp resistant pans

in the lineup sturdy and solidly built

has nice tall straight sides that make

it easy and comfortable to handle and

best of all it's one of the most

affordable pans in the lineup at just

under $15 to double this usefulness it

works perfectly with our favorite

cooling rack the Liberty we're a half

sized sheet pan cooling rack which is

$15.99 for a set of two this is a

practical hard working combination no

kitchen should be without