A baking sheet is a baking sheet is a baking sheet – right? Not quite. Different baking sheets are made of different materials and are different thicknesses, and baking the same cookie on ten different sheets can result in ten differently finished cookies – from undercooked to burnt. For their most recent issue (Nov./Dec. 07), the Cook’s Illustrated staff decided to test baking sheets to try and find the best, most consistent pan. They stuck with only rimmed baking sheets, which their test kitchen swears by because they find them to be the most versatile pans available, and they preferred to use pans that were a full half-sheet size (18″x13″).
The testing involved trials with cookies, oven fries, jelly rolls and oven bbq pork, as well as an evaluation of the pan’s design, how much “wiggle and warp” it had. The overall winner was the Lincoln Foodservice Half-Size Heavy Duty Sheet Pan, which came out tops in every category and caused the test kitchen to say that “the search [for a good pan] is over.” The runners up included the Norpro Heavy Gauge Aluminum Jelly Roll Pan (pictured), the Anolon Commercial Bakeware Jelly Roll Pan and the Nordic Ware Commercial Bakers Half Sheet .