Few pieces of equipment get more use in the test kitchen than rimmed baking sheets. They’re indispensable for roasting, baking, and all kinds of kitchen prep work. When we learned that our favorite model, the Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet ($14.97), had a lid, we were intrigued. After all, we often wrap sheets in plastic wrap or aluminum foil when preparing food to cook later, transporting dishes to a party, or storing leftovers. A good lid would be a handy alternative. And if the plastic was sturdy enough, we could stack things on top of it, maximizing space in a crowded refrigerator. We purchased several copies of the lid ($10.13) and started testing.
First things first: Does the lid keep food fresh? To find out, we sliced eggplants into planks and divided them among three rimmed baking sheets. We covered each one with a different material—the lid, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil—and then stored them in the refrigerator overnight. We performed a similar test with fresh fruit, stored in the freezer for a week. In both cases, the lid performed similarly to our usual disposable wraps. The eggplant didn’t discolor or dry out. The fruit was also in good form.
We did two additional food tests to gauge the height and sturdiness of the lid. First, we baked a sheet cake, frosted it, placed a lid on the sheet, and stacked 10 pounds of cans and bowls on top. We left it for 24 hours, periodically jostling those heavy items. Although the lid sagged a bit in the middle, it didn’t touch the top of the cake, and the plastic didn’t crack or look damaged afterward. The cake was still tender, too. Next, we proofed two balls of pizza dough in a covered baking sheet in the refrigerator for three days. They fit neatly and turned out perfectly soft and tender. We typically proof pizza dough balls in medium bowls covered with plastic wrap, which hog space in the refrigerator. The baking sheet took up much less room, and we liked that we could stack things on top of it.
In addition to allowing stacking, the lid had another advantage over the wraps: It was easier to use. Rimmed baking sheets are fairly bulky, and covering them often requires multiple, overlapping sheets of foil or plastic. It was a breeze to snap the lid into place. We liked that we could quickly remove and replace the lid instead of peeling back plastic or foil and then trying to smooth it into place again. The lid was also easy to wash. Even when we deliberately stained it with oil, curry powder, and garlic, it cleaned up quickly. It emerged from 10 rounds in the dishwasher looking like new.
That said, we do have one criticism. The lid attaches to a baking sheet in two places with slim plastic strips that slide underneath the edges of the sheet’s short sides. It was enough to keep food fresh, and nothing spilled when we carried the sheets around the kitchen, but it would have felt more secure if it attached on all four sides.
For years, we’ve maintained that a rimmed baking sheet and a wire rack is a must-have combination. A lid also increases the sheet’s usefulness by converting it into a food storage container. Whether you’re storing food, cooking, or baking, the Nordic Ware Half Sheet Cover is sure to come in handy. It’s available à la carte ($10.13) and as part of a set with our winning rimmed baking sheet ($26.50).