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Let Your Oven Clean Your Baking Mat

By Rebecca Hays Published

Who’s got time for scrubbing?

Silicone baking mats are a terrific alternative to parchment paper. Pop the mat into a rimmed baking sheet, and you instantly have a nonstick baking (or even roasting) surface that you can use, wash, and reuse. (Our winner, the Demarle Silpat Silicone Cookie Baking Mat, is ovensafe up to 500 degrees.)

But over time, these mats can build up a sticky—and often stinky—residue of polymerized fats that no amount of scrubbing will remove. To find a remedy, we followed suggestions we found online, including soaking the sticky mats in solutions made with vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. The only successful method was placing the mat in a hot oven.

We found that leaving the mat in the oven for a full hour made it significantly easier to remove the residue with soap and water. That's because heat not only broke down the fat but also disrupted the bond between the residue and the silicone. In addition, heating longer and hotter helped break down and burn off sticky, partially polymerized fats.

How To Do It:

  • Place baking mat on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. 
  • Bake in 450-degree oven until mat no longer smokes, about 1 hour. 
  • Using tongs, transfer mat to sink and wash thoroughly with soap and hot water. 
  • If oily residue remains, scrub gently with Bar Keepers Friend or similar nonabrasive scrub.

Note: This method will not remove the brown spots that these mats acquire over time.

Equipment Review The Best Silicone Baking Mats

For cookies and tuiles, silicone baking mats are as good as parchment—and sometimes better.

HOW-TO How to Clean a Smelly Silicone Ice Tray

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.