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Cooking Tips

Why You Shouldn't Bake Cookies on a Still-Hot Sheet

We've all done it. Learn why it's such a no-no.
By Published Dec. 18, 2022

If you’re like me, you’re baking a lot of cookies these days but own a limited number of cookie sheets. And if you tend to get impatient during the holiday baking frenzy (me again!), you may be tempted to load more batches onto the sheets before they’ve fully cooled. But this isn’t a shortcut that I recommend. 

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In the test kitchen, we conducted an experiment to find out the degree to which placing dough on a hot or warm cookie sheet would impact the cookies’ spread. 

We made the dough for our Chewy Sugar Cookies and baked three batches. We then arranged the first batch on a room-temperature cookie sheet (72 degrees), the second on a sheet that we let cool for 5 minutes (110 degrees), and the third on a hot sheet (172 degrees) that we did not allow to cool at all after removing the previous batch. 

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Why Cookie Sheets Need to Cool Between Batches

Cookies baked on the warm sheet spread more than those started on the cool sheet; while not ideal, the cookies did not run into each other. But the cookies baked on the hot sheet spread so much that the cookies fused together.

HOT SHEET: Cookies fuse together

WARM SHEET: Cookies spread too much

COOL SHEET: Cookies spread just enough

For the best results, let your cookie sheet cool completely before reusing it. If time is tight, you can get away with letting it cool for as little as 5 minutes. To expedite cooling, you can also rinse a warm—but not hot or the metal may buckle—cookie sheet under cold tap water until it is no longer hot. Dry it with a kitchen towel before proceeding.

The bottom line: Never reuse a sheet straight from the oven, as its high heat will cause the dough to spread and the cookies to fuse together. 

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.