If you only have one kind of baking tray in your kitchen cupboard, make it a rimmed baking sheet. Why? Because it is arguably the most versatile (and plain old useful) variety you can own. What sets it apart, as its name suggests, is the rim that works its way around the perimeter. And that feature isn’t decorative, but rather extremely practical. From baking cookies to roasting mountains of carrots to catching any overflow from a deep-dish apple pie, it’s got you covered.
Usually made from steel, it is hefty enough to allow for long cook times without scorching foods but light enough to allow for proper browning when desired. But the exact gauge of that metal can transform the results much the same way it can in a saute pan. Not only does it change the cooking itself, but the best designs resist warping during temperature changes.
To get you baking or broiling like a pro, we’ve rounded up our four favorite models available on Amazon.
1. Calphalon Nonstick Baking Sheet
Crafted from heavy-gauge steel that won’t warp at high temperatures and cooks evenly, Calphalon’s baking sheets are simple but well designed. The duo has a non-stick coating that makes clean up a breeze and tackling messy jobs like homemade toffee or candy much more feasible. Even whole pieces of delicate fish will slip off effortlessly when roasted. Measuring 12 inches wide and 17 inches long, these models are plenty spacious so food can heat through properly without overcrowding. And if you’re a baker, consider using them to make tender sheet cakes.
Pros: It’s never a bad idea to have two of a good thing in the kitchen.
Cons: Non-stick coatings tend to wear out over time.
2. USA Pan Large Baking Sheet
If you need to tackle big cooking jobs, this sheet fits the bill. Measuring 14 inches wide and 20 inches long, it is large enough to roast or bake just about anything. And while its generous size is a major reason why it’s on this list, it’s not the only one. This model also comes with a non-stick cooking rack that fits neatly within. When most people think cooling racks, they think baking––specifically cookies––and though this sheet can most definitely be used for that, it can also be used to cook a spatchcocked chicken keeping the bird above the collecting juices beneath. Ditto for a hearty meatloaf where you want to develop a deep crust without a soggy bottom layer.
Pros: The included cooling rack creates a whole new array of cooking options.
Cons: The pan’s dimensions might be too large for some ovens.
3. Nordic Ware Natural Commercial Baker’s Sheet
Most of the models on our list are crafted from stainless steel. While that’s an excellent choice of material, it’s not the only option as proven by this two-piece set from Nordic Ware which is forged from aluminum. Just as durable, aluminum has the upper hand when it comes to heat conductivity and absorbs it much faster than most other metals to create superb browning. Measuring just shy of 18 inches long and 13 inches wide, it is naturally resistant to rust and corrosion. Its dimensions also make it compatible for use with parchment paper or silicone baking mats for easier cleanup.
Pros: The duo’s sturdy build is likely to last years of regular use.
Cons: The aluminum might conduct too much heat for certain foods and risk scorching.
4. Wildone Baking Sheet and Rack Set
Sometimes you need a complete kit to get your kitchen appropriately stocked. Luckily, Wildone has you covered with its four-piece set consisting of two baking sheets and matching cooling racks. Measuring 12 inches wide and 16 inches long with 1-inch depth, these examples do a superb job of catching any drips or accumulating liquid from foods, like large meat roasts. Though they are made from pure stainless steel without a coating, they do sport a mirror finish that not only looks attractive but also diminishes any chance of sticking. The racks come in especially handy when cooling batches of fresh cookies but also work well when broiling tenderloin.
Pros: The stainless steel construction will hold up well over time and has a mirror finish to resist sticking.
Cons: The addition of multiple racks could make storage trickier in some kitchens.