Why We Love Rimmed Baking Sheets

This week’s buying guide has all the tools you need to get the most from these versatile pans.

I use a handful of reliable pots and pans frequently, but the one I reach for the most is this rimmed baking sheet. It's incredibly versatile—as I quickly learned when I first started working in the test kitchen five years ago. A rimmed baking sheet can be used for baking, roasting, toasting, and broiling. It can also be used in conjunction with our winning wire rack to hold foods before and after frying and to drizzle chocolate over desserts. With all the cooking tasks this pan can tackle, is it any wonder it’s our favorite? Recently we reviewed nonstick rimmed baking sheets and discovered that they’re great for cooks who love the convenience of nonstick surfaces and the ease of quick cleanups. However, they require a bit more care than their traditional counterparts, and they shouldn’t be used in ovens with temperatures higher than 450 degrees (this includes broiling, too).

—Carolyn Grillo, Associate Editor, ATK Reviews

This extremely sturdy, warp-resistant baking sheet turned out evenly cooked and browned chicken, cauliflower, and focaccia. Its lightweight, compact size made it easy to maneuver into and out of the oven. Its size is ideal for preparing recipes that serve two and for kitchen tasks that require only a small amount of space, such as toasting a handful of nuts or a few tablespoons of sesame seeds.

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The textured surface of this PTFE-free nonstick pan impressed us by producing evenly baked cookies, and its standard size ensured that there was enough space for Parmesan cauliflower to brown nicely. Sticky caramel was no match for the nonstick coating; the caramel-coated popcorn slid off the pan easily. This pan was easy to hand-wash because its coating prevented food from sticking.

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This gold-colored, textured baking sheet produced picture-perfect results. Cauliflower browned evenly, and cookies were a beautiful golden-brown hue. Even very sticky caramel-coated popcorn released easily from the surface. Because we recommend washing all nonstick cookware by hand to preserve the coatings, we didn’t mind that this sheet is not dishwasher-safe. The nonstick coating contains PTFE.

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Although the grid pattern on this rack is slightly larger than on the other two models, it’s reinforced with an extra support bar that runs perpendicular to the three main bars. It had a touch more wiggle room in the baking sheets, but it kept pace with the other racks during recipe and durability testing.

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Like its larger counterpart which fits our favorite rimmed baking sheet, this small rimmed baking sheet lid snapped on and off quickly and was easier to use than plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The lid kept sliced eggplant looking fresh in the refrigerator and sliced strawberries and bananas free of freezer damage. However, we wished the lid latched onto the baking sheet on all four sides, instead of two, as this felt less secure. The lid was also fairly durable. It bowed a bit when we stacked 10 pounds of food items on top of it, but not nearly enough to damage the lid. It snapped back into shape a couple hours later.   More on this test

The plastic lid snapped on and off our winning rimmed baking sheet quickly, and we liked that it cut back on our use of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. In all our tests, it kept both frozen and refrigerated foods as fresh as disposable wraps did. The lid bowed slightly when we stacked heavy items on it but not enough to touch food on the sheet, and it didn't crack or warp. Our one criticism: The lid latches onto the sheet in two places, along the short edges. This was sufficient, but the lid would have felt much more secure if it attached on all four sides.

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Our former winner continues its reign: Its perfectly proportioned head supported foods of all shapes and sizes and maneuvered nimbly even in tight spaces. And because it's also moderately thin and flexible, it excelled at getting under food. The head's pronounced curve provided extra leverage for prying up food and kept our hands higher above hot pans. All users found its handle easy to hold, though some wished the otherwise comfortable plastic were grippier.

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This fish spatula was nearly identical to our winner, with one small but important difference: Its head was almost flat, lacking the curvature that would allow users to summon extra leverage and keep their hands higher above hot surfaces. It still excelled at every task we gave it and was comfortable to hold, although its handle, like the one on our winning model, was a bit too smooth.

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Our former favorite triumphed again. Made from a resin/fiberglass composite, this fish spatula had a relatively thin, smooth head that was long, narrow, and provided ample room for picking up food. Its straight, moderate-length handle brought our hands close to the action and was fairly comfortable to grip, if a little slicker than we preferred. Just don’t leave it on a hot pan—it melted at 450 degrees.  More on this test

This spatula was great for flipping eggs and pancakes, and the flexible silicone head was especially good at gliding in the pan—even navigating rounded sides with ease. The silicone material kept cookies stable during transport, and we liked the generous handle. The spatula’s head was an ideal length, though we found it too wide to easily scoop up brownies. And while this spatula’s flexible head was ideal for skillet cooking, it was too pliable to scrape up leftover brownie bits.

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These precut parchment sheets, which come in a large plastic zipper-lock bag, are the only ones in our lineup that are stored completely flat. They're also sized just right to slide easily into a standard rimmed baking sheet, although we did have to use two overlapping sheets when rolling jelly roll cakes into coils. Their superior convenience made them the runaway favorite. Don't let the purchase price distract you: The per-sheet cost falls squarely in the middle of our lineup.

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These oven mitts kept our hands comfortably cool and in control when holding hot equipment or reaching into a hot oven. When compressed, they were the thickest of the models with a silicone exterior. The silicone is heavily textured for better grip, and because it flexed with our hands, we could easily pinch thin cookie sheets and small handles or knobs. The fabric lining moved around inside the mitts at times during use, but it stayed put better than the linings of other models. The mitts can be machine-washed, but they have to be laid flat to dry. The silicone became permanently stained.

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