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Small Rimmed Baking Sheets (Quarter- and Eighth-Sheet Pans)

Published January 2019
More on the Best Rimmed Baking Sheets
We also love the full-size version of this product. You can read our full review of rimmed baking sheets with detailed brand comparisons here. We also have a review of the small cooling rack that fits this quarter-sheet pan perfectly.

How we tested

Rimmed baking sheets, also known as half-sheet pans, are the MVPs of our test kitchen. We stock about 950 half-sheet pans and call for them in more than 1,500 of our recipes. We use them for roasting, baking, and toasting; for letting meats rest; and for cooling fried foods. We even use them as makeshift baking stones, baking peels, and grilled cheese presses.

Half-sheet pans, which have a cooking surface of 16½ by 11½ inches, are the standard size in most home kitchens, but many of our test cooks have an affinity for smaller sheet pans, including quarter-sheet pans and eighth-sheet pans. The smaller size of these pans makes them ideal for small tasks such as baking a few cookies or scones, draining fried shallots, making a small batch of granola, roasting one or two fish fillets, and toasting nuts or seeds. We also like using them to hold utensils as we cook or to ferry ingredients around the kitchen or out to the grill. A smaller pan means less to clean, and quarter-size and eighth-size pans fit easily in small sinks. 

In our review of the best rimmed baking sheets, the Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet received our highest recommendation for its sturdy, warp-resistant design. Could we also recommend its quarter-size and eighth-size versions? To find out, we tested the Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet Pan and used it to bake and broil bone-in chicken thighs, roast cauliflower, and make a half batch of focaccia. We also used the Nordic Ware Naturals Eighth Sheet Pan around our kitchen, baking pairs of cookies and biscuits, toasting nuts, and broiling toast. 

We loved the sturdiness of these pans. Their straight sides made it easy to grip and slide them into and out of the oven, and their 1¼-inch rims kept food corralled when we tossed the cauliflower and flipped the chicken in the quarter-sheet pan and shook the nuts during toasting on the eighth-sheet pan. Like the half-sheet pan, both smaller versions are made from sturdy uncoated aluminum. Though some warping is inevitable as the pan is subjected to temperature changes, we did not notice any warping during testing. Everything we made—from the chicken and cauliflower to the biscuits and cookies—cooked within the times called for in our recipes and emerged from the oven evenly browned.

If you frequently cook only one or two portions of food or want to avoid hauling out a large baking sheet for small tasks such as roasting vegetables or chicken for two, we highly recommend the Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet Pan. For an even smaller option that conveniently holds single servings of food or small batches of baked goods, we recommend the Nordic Ware Naturals Eighth Sheet Pan as well. These pans’ compact sizes and light weights make them easy to clean and easy to store, especially in smaller kitchens. They also fit comfortably inside our winning toaster oven, the Breville Smart Oven. Additionally, both pans act as convenient prep surfaces in our kitchen for tasks such as letting cooked meats rest, organizing ingredients, and drying out herbs and greens on paper towels.

Methodology

We tested the quarter-size and eighth-size versions of our top-rated rimmed baking sheet, using the quarter-sheet pan to broil chicken thighs, roast cauliflower, and bake focaccia and the eighth-sheet pan to bake pairs of cookies and biscuits, broil toast, and toast nuts. We rated how evenly the foods cooked and also noted how easy the sheets were to handle.

RATING CRITERIA

Baking: We baked different foods and evaluated how evenly and quickly the foods baked and browned.

Broiling and Roasting: We broiled and roasted different foods and evaluated how evenly the foods cooked and browned.

Warping: We observed whether the pans could withstand the high heat generated during broiling and endure rapid temperature changes without warping.

Handling: We evaluated how easy the pans were to maneuver into and out of the oven.


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The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little.

$248.64*
Recommended

Schmidt Brothers Downtown Block

This roomy block completely sheathed our entire winning knife set using just one of its two sides—and quite securely, thanks to long, medium-strength magnet bars. Heavy, with a grippy base, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use.

$141.90*

Schmidt Brothers Midtown Block

This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. With a base lined with grippy material, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.

$67.99*
Recommended with Reservations

Swissmar Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block

This small, scratch-resistant model had a stable, rubber-lined base and could hold all our knives, though the blade of the 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a bit. But inch-long gaps between its small magnets made coverage uneven and forced us to find the magnetic hot spots in order to secure the knives. Its acrylic guard made it safer to use but harder to insert knives and to clean.

$49.93*
Not Recommended

Messermeister Walnut Magnet Block

This handsome block was done in by its shape—a tippy, top-heavy quarter-circle that wasn’t tall or broad enough to keep the blades of three knives from poking out. It lacked a nonslip base, and its extra-strong magnets made it unnerving to attach or remove our heavy cleaver. Finally, it got a bit scratched after extensive use.

$129.95*

Epicurean Standing Knife Rack 12"

This magnetic block sheathed all our knives completely, though with a bit of crowding. But it was hard to insert each knife without hitting the block’s decorative slats on way down, and because the block was light and narrow, it wobbled when bumped. Worse, we couldn’t take it apart, so splatters that hit the interior were there to stay. Additionally, the outside stained easily, and when we wiped it down, the unit smelled like wet dog.

$99.95*

Kapoosh Rondelle Knife Block

This model stabilized knives with a mass of stiff, spaghetti-like bristles that shed and nicked easily after extensive use, covering our knives with plastic debris. While all our knives fit securely, several of the blades stuck out, making this unit feel less safe overall. Finally, though the bristles could be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, their nooks and crannies made this block hard to wash by hand.

$24.99*

Kuhn Rikon Vision Knife Block, Clear

This plastic block required us to aim each knife into the folds of an accordion-pleated insert that was removable for easy cleaning but got nicked easily with repeated use. Because we could only insert the knives vertically, longer knife blades stuck out; a cleaver was too wide to fit. The lightest model in our lineup, this block was dangerously top-heavy when loaded with knives.

$35.88*