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