The 9 Best Baking Sheets for Baking Sheet Pan Chicken, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Everything in Between

·7 min read

Among the usual skillets, saucepans and Dutch ovens, few pieces of cookware are as utilitarian as the baking sheet. What else can make chicken dinners a breeze and handle a boatload of roasted broccoli and is essential for making a batch of cookies? So when buying a baking sheet, you don’t want any flimsy sheet of metal. Here’s exactly what to look for, plus our picks for the best baking sheets on the market.

What is the best material for a baking sheet?

The most common material for baking sheets is aluminum, and it’s also our material of choice. It heats up fast and cools down just as quickly, which is key for both even cooking and avoiding burnt food. (Plus, as anyone who’s baked four dozen cookies knows, having to wait for the sheet to cool between batches is the worst.)

Beyond aluminum, you’ll also find baking sheets that are either nonstick or “natural” (aka uncoated or not nonstick). While nonstick baking sheets make for convenient cleanup, they’re not the best for certain tasks, like making cookies—the dough will spread and flatten too much on the smooth surface, and the dark-colored finish can speed up baking times and cause overbaking. We recommend a natural finish for better results; if cleaning is a concern, you can line it with parchment or aluminum foil (or try Bar Keepers Friend).

And what’s the deal with baking sheet sizes?

Half sheet, full sheet, quarter sheet—we’re as confused as you are. The baking sheet you’re probably thinking of for your home kitchen is a half sheet, but here’s a quick rundown on dimensions:

  • Half sheet: 13 inches by 18 inches

  • Full sheet: 18 inches by 26 inches

  • Quarter sheet: 9 inches by 13 inches

  • Jelly roll: 10 inches by 15 inches

A full sheet pan is too large to fit into home ovens, but smaller quarter sheet pans are handy for roasting a few types of vegetables in one oven or caddying ingredients for a more complicated recipe or baking project. Jelly roll pans are ideal for making rolled sponge cakes (think bûche de Noël), hence the name.

Baking sheet vs. cookie sheet: What’s the difference?

Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference between baking sheets and cookie sheets. For home cooks, baking sheets (aka “half sheet pans”) are 13 by 18 inches with rimmed edges. They’re ideal for everything from roasting broccoli to baking a batch of cookies. Cookie sheets, on the other hand, have no rim. They’re completely flat, save for a raised handle on one or two edges, and they’re meant to accommodate a big batch of cookies…but not much else. The edgeless design makes it easy to slide said cookies right onto a cooling rack, but it can prove unwieldy for other tasks. (Sheet pan chicken thighs are out.) We prefer a baking sheet because it’s more versatile.

Our Top Picks at a Glance:

Scroll down for in-depth reviews of each.

  1. Best Overall: Nordic Ware Naturals Half-Sheet Pan

  2. Best Bargain: Good Cook Cookie Baking Sheet

  3. Best Splurge: Sur La Table Platinum Pro Heavy Duty Half Sheet Pan

  4. Best Aesthetic: Caraway Large Baking Sheet

  5. Best Set: Nordic Ware Naturals Half-Sheet Pan, 2-Pack

  6. Best Rimless: USA Pan Warp Resistant Nonstick Aluminized Steel Cookie Sheet

  7. Best Nonstick: OXO Good Grips Nonstick Pro Half Sheet

  8. Best Textured: Nordic Ware Prism Half Sheet

  9. Best Perforated: Nordic Ware Naturals Perforated Half Sheet

RELATED: 30 Sheet-Pan Meals You Can Make in an Hour or Less

The 9 Best Baking Sheets to Buy in 2021

1. Nordic Ware Naturals Half-Sheet Pan

Best Overall

We’ve tossed too many warped baking sheets in our time, but we’ve never had a Nordic Ware pan warp on our watch. That’s thanks to the thick construction and reinforced rims, which resist the warping that can occur in a high temperature oven. The uncoated aluminum surface yields evenly browned cookies and vegetables alike, but is still easy to clean. Plus, it’s reasonably priced enough that you can stock up.

Pros

  • Reinforced rims prevent warping

  • Light aluminum surface promotes even browning

  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • None

Buy it ($12)

2. Good Cook Cookie Baking Sheet

Best Bargain

You can still buy a decent baking sheet even if your budget is tight. Case in point: This under-$10 option, which is nonstick (yet scratch-resistant) and easy to clean. However, you won’t get quite the same durability as our top pick, which means warping is still a possibility.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Not as durable as top pick

$10 at Amazon

3. Sur La Table Platinum Pro Heavy Duty Half Sheet Pan

Best Splurge

If money is no object, go ahead and splurge on this extra-thick, ultra-durable sheet pan. With a wide bar band added to the rim and commercial-grade gauge, it’s all but guaranteed to stay flat with repeated use. Our only qualm? We’d prefer an uncoated finish.

Pros

  • Commercial-grade aluminum is sturdy and won’t warp

Cons

  • Not available in an uncoated finish

Buy it ($38)

4. Caraway Large Baking Sheet

Best Aesthetic

We get it: You want your kitchen to look like a Nancy Meyers movie from the top down. That’s where this ceramic-coated baking sheet from Caraway comes in. It’s available in five colors, has shiny stainless-steel handles for easy rotating and features a ceramic coating for a slick surface and easy cleanup. Again, we wish there was an uncoated option, but we’re suckers for good design.

Pros

  • Available in five colors

  • Handles make for easy use

Cons

  • Not available in an uncoated finish

  • Expensive

Buy it ($55)

5. Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet, 2-Pack

Best Set

It’s everything we love about our top pick, times two. Seriously, there’s not much more to say than that if we could buy the Nordic Ware Naturals half sheet in a pack of ten (or if our kitchen would fit that many), we would.

Pros

  • Reinforced rims prevent warping

  • Light aluminum surface promotes even browning

  • Good value

Cons

  • None

$28 at Amazon

6. USA Pan Warp Resistant Nonstick Aluminized Steel Cookie Sheet

Best Rimless

If sliding those chocolate chip cuties onto a cooling sheet is a high priority, you’ll want to go the rimless route. This textured cookie sheet is designed to allow increased air circulation for even heat distribution in your baking. Even better, the heavy gauge construction and steel-wire reinforcement will prevent warping at high temperatures (up to 450°F).

Pros

  • Heavy gauge aluminum and reinforced edges resist warping

  • Generous edge provides grip

  • Fluted surface encourages even baking

Cons

  • Not as versatile as a rimmed baking sheet

  • Nonstick design can alter baking times

$26 at Amazon

7. OXO Good Grips Nonstick Pro Half Sheet

Best Nonstick

TBH, we usually like our baking sheet with parchment when making sweets. But nonstick has its benefits, especially when you don’t plan on lining the sheet (which we recommend when roasting vegetables). OXO’s nonstick baking sheet combines a slick, nontoxic coating with a textured surface—this yields better browning than traditional smooth nonstick pans, but is just as easy to clean. Watch out for warping at high temps, though.

Pros

  • Nonstick, textured surface browns evenly with easy cleanup

Cons

  • Can warp at high temperatures

$26 at Amazon

8. Nordic Ware Prism Half Sheet

Best Textured

Though most baking sheets are smooth, the surface of this one is embossed with a grid pattern, and not just for looks (although we admit it’s appealing). The bumpy texture is meant to improve air flow around your food for uniform crisping. This is ideal for cookies and other baked goods, but it can sometimes make for difficult removal if you don’t line it with parchment first.

Pros

  • Embossed surface improves airflow for better baking

Cons

  • Foods can stick if you don’t line the pan

  • Can be hard to clean

$18 at Amazon

9. Nordic Ware Naturals Perforated Half Sheet

Best Perforated

We know you’re wondering, so what’s with all those holes? Similar to a textured baking sheet, perforated baking sheets are designed to maximize airflow for efficient heat transfer and distribution. This can shorten baking times and yield satisfyingly crisp textures, so it’s ideal for things like pizza. However, those holes also make the baking sheet less versatile, since anything juicy will drip right through.

Pros

  • Great for crispy textures

Cons

  • Not versatile

Buy it ($13)

RELATED: The 10 Best Cookware Sets for Every Type of Home Cook, from Newbies to Seasoned Pros

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