Whether you’re baking cookies or roasting vegetables, a good cookie sheet should heat evenly without warping, bake quickly, and clean up easily.
Stainless steel, cast iron, silicone, and pure ceramic are all non-reactive and unlikely to leach toxic chemicals like PFOA and PTFE into food. Besides being a good choice for your health, these materials are also beautiful and display-worthy.
1. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a safe, durable material that does not release toxins during cooking. It also heats evenly and retains heat well, which can help reduce baking time.
In addition, a non-stick stainless steel pan is more resistant to warping than other metals. This is especially true when compared to ceramic sheets, which tend to warp because the coating reacts to different temperatures and may cause your food to stick.
These non-stick sheets are perfect for snickerdoodles, gingersnaps and chocolate chip cookies; they’re also great for roasting vegetables as well as making sheet-pan meals such as chicken pot pie or mac and cheese.
Another positive about these baking sheets is that they’re easy to clean. They also hold up incredibly well under heavy use and come in a range of sizes to suit your needs.
Its matte finish keeps your food from sticking and helps prevent charring, which can result in burnt bottoms on cookie sheets. Plus, these sheets are dishwasher-safe and come in a variety of colors, so you can easily match them to your kitchen decor.
Aluminum is an excellent choice for a cookie sheet because it’s lightweight and a great conductor of heat. It’s also very durable, which means it can handle a lot of abuse.
But you have to be careful when using aluminum, as it can release toxic fumes and affect your health. The best way to prevent this is to choose a safe non-stick baking sheet that doesn’t contain PFAS (which contains PFOA), GenX, or other synthetic chemicals that are known to cause a variety of health problems.
To avoid this, look for a natural aluminum baking sheet that isn’t coated with a chemical coating. Then, you won’t have to worry about the toxic fumes that are released by Teflon or other non-stick baking pans.
Another consideration is thickness. A thicker sheet is better for a range of cooking tasks, including cookies, brownies, and more.
When choosing a baking sheet, it’s important to gage its thickness accurately by feel. You can do this by checking the sheet’s “gauge” number, which indicates how thick it is on a scale of 10 to 18. A lower gauge indicates that the sheet is more hefty and will stand up well to high heat.
3. Non-Stick Ceramic
Non-stick ceramic coatings are a healthy alternative to Teflon, which is full of harmful chemicals. They’re also much easier to clean than traditional nonstick pans, so you can spend more time baking and less time cleaning.
Nonstick ceramic trays are dishwasher and metal utensil-safe, so you can use them without worrying about damage. Plus, they don’t react with acidic ingredients and don’t rust.
But ceramic pans can lose their nonstick layer over time. That’s a big deal, especially for baking sheets, since they get hot and have to come into contact with other foods that could damage the coating.
For that reason, we recommend using a non-stick silicone mat when you have a ceramic pan in the oven. These non-stick silicone mats can be used thousands of times, and they’re safer than Teflon or aluminum foil.
If you’re looking for a durable, non-stick sheet that won’t warp, look no further than the Oxo half sheet. It felt sturdy out of the box, and it heated evenly without warping in our tests, which included roasting carrots and tomatoes.
4. Non-Stick Aluminum
Nonstick aluminum baking sheets are often recommended by professional chefs for a number of reasons. One is that they’re able to distribute heat more evenly than insulated sheet pans and can help reduce cook times by 25 percent or so.
This makes them a great choice for roasting vegetables and meats. They also work well for baking cookies and other sweets without risking them sticking to the pans.
But beware: Uncoated aluminum can leach metal into the foods you bake on it, so avoid scratching it with abrasive scrubbers or other metal utensils. Similarly, baking acidic foods on this type of pan can lead to a foul metallic taste and even toxicity if you have kidney problems or an impaired ability to filter metal from your system.
Despite the risks, we still believe non-stick aluminum is one of the safest cookie sheet options around. It’s PTFO- and PFOA-free (indicating that the chemicals didn’t end up in the coating), and it’s easy to clean. You can simply handwash it with hot water and a standard sponge or dish soap. However, if you have a stubborn smudge on the surface, you may want to try soaking it in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.
5. Non-Stick Stainless Steel
Whether you prefer baking cookies or roasting vegetables, a non-stick stainless steel sheet pan is a must-have in your kitchen. Not only does it distribute heat evenly, but it also has a scratch-resistant coating that’s easy to clean.
This non-stick cookie sheet is crafted from 18/10 stainless steel, which resists warping and offers excellent heat retention capabilities. It also maintains its high shine for easy cleaning and won’t react with acidic ingredients.
Aside from its impressive performance, this sheet also comes in a variety of colors, so you can match it to your existing kitchen. In our test, it turned out delicious potato wedges and cookies with perfectly golden bottoms that slid easily off of the pan after cooling.
Another advantage of this type of cookie sheet is that it can be used to bake a wide variety of foods, including biscuits and breads. It also works great for sheet-pan suppers, which are a popular way to make meals at home.
This cookie sheet is thick and made of 18-gauge stainless steel, which is a good indication of its durability. Its thick construction makes it more resistant to warping, and its stainless-steel surface absorbed heat evenly for even cooking results when we tested baked focaccia and roasting vegetables.
6. Non-Stick Aluminum & Stainless Steel
A non-stick aluminum or stainless steel pan with no PTFE-based coating is the safest cookie sheet to use, as they don’t off-gas toxic fumes. This makes them safer for people with allergies or kidney disorders to handle.
While traditional nonstick baking sheets use a slippery chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon, the PFAS in these products are dangerous to ingest. The toxic chemicals can break down into PFOA and GenX in a baking sheet and release toxins into the air when they heat up to 464degF (240degC).
If you’re concerned about off-gassing, look for natural aluminum baking sheets that don’t contain PTFE or PFAS. EPA studies have found that the chemical can cause serious health effects including adverse liver, blood, and kidney conditions.
Alternatively, some rimmed baking sheets have reinforced rolled edges that help prevent warping when heated up and twisting when not in use. Likewise, some rimless sheet pans have a bumpy surface that helps increase airflow underneath baked goods to keep them from browning too much.
Rimmed and rimless cookie sheet pans both work well for a wide range of recipes, but some may prefer a rimless version for convenience and to slide baked items onto a cooling rack more easily. Alternatively, a smaller rimmed option called jelly roll pans can be used for a variety of cookies, bars and shortbread.
7. Non-Stick Stainless Steel & Non-Stick Ceramic
The best cookie sheets aren’t just non-stick, but also free of toxins like PFOA and PTFE that leach into your food. Instead, choose a sheet that is made of stainless steel, cast iron, silicone bakeware, or pure ceramic.
Stainless steel is the top choice because it is non-reactive and unlikely to leach potentially toxic chemicals into your baked goods. It conducts heat evenly across the surface and is generally durable.
If you notice dark spots or white calcium buildup on your stainless steel baking sheet, use vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend to clean it up.
Another good choice is aluminized steel with a nonstick ceramic coating, which is typically made of sand-derived silica. These pans have an attractive, matte finish that’s easy to clean.
This 15 x 21-inch pan is large enough for large cookies or extra-long loaves of bread that wouldn’t fit on a standard half-sheet. It’s made from aluminized steel with a light-colored nonstick ceramic coating that holds up well to high heat, making it perfect for baked foods.
Professional kitchens usually prefer light-colored nonstick bakeware, which allows more air and moisture to circulate throughout the dough to ensure that cookies cook quickly but thoroughly. A darker-colored option, however, can attract and spread heat quicker and hold it longer, which can result in overcooked foods.