A rimmed baking sheet is essential for baking but also for roasted veggies, proteins, and more. We found the best models in every size.
Last Updated Nov. 28, 2023. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 21: Autumn Supper
Stainless-steel sheet pans are becoming more widely available, so we tested four models. The Williams Sonoma Thermo-Clad Stainless-Steel Ovenware Half Sheet with Cooling Rack is our favorite stainless-steel baking sheet. It’s sturdy and bakes, broils, and roasts food well. That said, we still think that an inexpensive aluminum baking sheet is the best option for most people. The Nordic Ware Naturals Baker’s Half Sheet remains our favorite.
Our favorite rimmed baking sheet is the Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet. It bakes and roasts food beautifully and is affordable, lightweight, and easy to handle. To maximize its use, we recommend getting a wire rack and a lid for it.
If you have less storage space or regularly cook for just one or two people, we also recommend the quarter-sheet pan and eighth-sheet pan versions of our winner. For larger jobs, we also recommend the Big and Big Batch versions of our winner.
If you often use your baking sheet to cook acidic ingredients such as tomatoes or citrus, we recommend the Williams Sonoma Thermo-Clad Stainless-Steel Ovenware Half Sheet with Cooling Rack. Although it’s heavy, this stainless-steel baking sheet has comfortable handles and cooks food well.
You can also check out our review of nonstick baking sheets, which are great for people who want easy release when cooking delicate foods and low-effort clean-up. And if you bake a lot of cookies and don’t do much roasting or broiling, you might want to consider a cookie sheet instead.
What You Need to Know
Rimmed baking sheets, also called half-sheet pans, are true workhorses in the test kitchen. We have stacks of them that we use every day for tasks such as baking cookies or roasting oven fries or root vegetables. But we also use them for baking chicken or fish, toasting nuts and seeds, roasting vegetables such as green beans and asparagus, and baking jelly roll cakes. In a pinch, an inverted baking sheet can even stand in for a pizza peel or baking stone. And that’s just the start. Slipping a wire rack inside (to elevate food for increased air circulation and also to contain mess) makes these pans even more versatile—it’s our go-to setup for roasting and broiling meats, holding breaded foods before and after frying, and drizzling chocolate over desserts.
What Size Baking Sheet Should You Get?
Baking sheets typically come in half, quarter, and eighth sizes. (Full-size baking sheets can be found in professional kitchens and bakeries but won’t fit in home ovens.) Half-sheet pans are the most useful all-purpose size for most cooks. We recommend that every cook have at least one, and ideally two, for baking full recipes of cookies at a time or large batches of roasted vegetables or meat. You’ll usually see the dimensions of a half-sheet pan listed as 18 by 13 inches, but in practice, the actual cooking surfaces measure closer to 16½ by 11½ inches.
Quarter-sheet pans, with a cooking surface measuring about 8½ by 11½ inches, and eighth-sheet pans, with a cooking surface of about 8¾ by 5½ inches, come in handy for smaller jobs such as toasting nuts or baking a few cookie...
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