Reusable Pan Liners

Published November 1, 2007. From Cook's Illustrated.

The choices are growing for this relatively new product—can any really beat out parchment paper?

Overview:

Reusable nonstick baking-pan liners are relatively new and the choices are growing. We baked biscuits, ultrathin lace cookies, and berry-filled tarts on five nonstick liners made from various grades of silicone, silicone-reinforced woven fiberglass, and nonstick fiberglass to see if any could impress us more than a sheet of basic parchment paper.

The liners fell into two classes: lightweights and heavyweights. Baked goods made on lighter liners had bottoms with spotty browning. These liners can be cut to fit any pan, a definite plus, but the flimsy materials creased easily when washed by hand.

Other heavier mats imparted plastic and chemical flavors to the cookies and biscuits. We did find one acceptable liner; however, all of these mats stain over time and can transfer flavors from previous uses. Also, unlike parchment, these mats cannot be cut to fit specific pan sizes. Bottom line: We prefer parchment.

Reusable nonstick baking-pan liners are relatively new and the choices are growing. We baked biscuits, ultrathin lace cookies, and berry-filled tarts on five nonstick liners made from various grades of silicone, silicone-reinforced woven fiberglass, and nonstick fiberglass to see if any could impress us more than a sheet of basic parchment paper.

The liners fell into two classes: lightweights and heavyweights. Baked goods made on lighter liners had bottoms with spotty browning. These liners can be cut to fit any pan, a definite plus, but the flimsy materials creased easily when washed by hand.

Other heavier mats imparted plastic and chemical flavors to the cookies and biscuits. We did find one acceptable liner; however, all of these mats stain over time and can transfer flavors from previous uses. Also, unlike parchment, these mats cannot be cut to fit specific pan sizes. Bottom line: We prefer parchment.

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