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The best baking sheets are versatile kitchen workhorses that are good for everything from baking chocolate chip cookies to roasting an entire dinner. Then there’s all the delicious stuff in between: roasted veggies, crispy bacon strips, slab pie, the list goes on. You can even make grilled cheese on a baking sheet. But of all the baking sheets out there, which one will give you the best results and be easiest to clean?
Over the last few years, we’ve tested more than a dozen highly rated rimmed baking sheets to find the best baking sheet for home cooks. Read on to find out which one takes the cake (sorry, we had to). For the pros and cons of the pans we didn’t recommend, and how to use a baking sheet for more than just baking scroll down toward the bottom.
Table of Contents
The best baking sheet overall
The best nonstick baking sheet
Another great nonstick baking sheet
How we tested baking sheets
Factors we evaluated
Other baking sheets we tested
What to do with a baking sheet
The best baking sheet overall: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Half Sheet
This year the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Half Sheet has reclaimed its spot as our top pick in this category. The pricier pan we chose in 2022 has since been discontinued, and this extremely close second is a high-quality pan at an accessible price that we continued to recommend even after it had been unseated. It reliably produces evenly cooked food at both high and low temperatures and for uncoated aluminum pan, it’s easy to clean.
The 16-gauge bare aluminum conducts heat efficiently, which means food cooks evenly, and the pan itself warms up and cools down quickly. Rolled edges help keep the pain fairly warp-resistant when exposed to high heats and sudden temperature changes. The light color makes it less likely to produce cookies or cakes that are too dark, yet it’s thick and sturdy enough to turn out crispy crusts.
After roasting oiled vegetables at a high heat, we were able to get this pan close to spotless with just a cellulose sponge, dish soap, and hot water—though after three test cooks, it did stain a little. Luckily, natural wear and tear is mostly an aesthetic issue and generally won’t lead to undesirable results when cooking and baking. (To get a nonstick surface for delicate cooking projects, or simply to prevent discoloration, you can line the pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.)
Bare aluminum is the best and most versatile option for most sheet pan uses, but the material is prone to staining and scratching, and acidic foods like tomato can cause discoloration, pitting, and corrosion. As mentioned above, the staining is mostly aesthetic, but if you crave a clean slate, these don’t cost much to replace. (“Retired” stained sheet pans are great for using on a kamado grill and for containing messes when kids help in the kitchen, by the way.) Like most sheet pans, this one needs to be hand-washed, but it likely wouldn’t fit well in most home dishwashers, anyway.
The best nonstick baking sheet: Oxo Nonstick Pro Half Sheet Pan
Every once in a while, a snarky social media follower will accuse us of shilling for Oxo, but the truth is it just makes really great products, and the Nonstick Pro Half-Sheet Pan is no exception. The ribbed surface combined with the “ceramic reinforced” PFOA-free nonstick coating means nothing really sticks to this baking sheet, and the subtle texture also encourages (a little) airflow below the food.
Though it’s made of aluminized steel (as opposed to pure aluminum), everything we prepared on this pan cooked evenly. The square-rolled edge prevents warping and is tall enough that you could get away with using this pan for shallow sheet cakes or anything that needs to be slightly more contained than it would be on a standard sheet pan. As with so much nonstick cookware, this pan isn’t dishwasher-safe, but it’s incredibly easy to hand-wash.
Like most of the nonstick sheet pans we tested, the Oxo shouldn’t be subjected to temperatures above 450ºF. That’s a generous maximum for most baking projects, but this isn’t a baking sheet you want to stick under the broiler or use to fire pizza at high heat. And though it has a nice gold-toned color that’s preferable to the standard drab gray nonstick coating many brands use, it’s not quite as aesthetically pleasing as some of the direct-to-consumer sheet pan options, like the Caraway below.
Oxo Nonstick Pro Half Sheet Pan
Another great nonstick baking sheet: Caraway Large Baking Sheet
If you use your baking sheets for more than just baking, or if you have an affinity for pretty things that are also highly functional, Caraway’s ceramic-coated, aluminized-steel large baking sheet is a worthy splurge.
We love the sturdy stainless-steel handles and beautiful color options, but this is also a really nice baking sheet with a high temperature tolerance.
Though not our favorite for cookies (more on that below), it is by far our favorite baking sheet for sheet-pan dinners because it’s the most nonstick and the most heat-tolerant pan we tested. Literally nothing stuck to the gray ceramic coating so it was a breeze to clean. And while all of the other nonstick baking sheets we tried have a 450ºF maximum, the Caraway baking sheet is oven-safe up to 550ºF.
The super-slick nonstick ceramic coating on this pan is one of the reasons it’s so great for sheet-pan dinners, but both times we used it to bake cookies, the dough balls spread out so quickly we ended up with thin, crispy cookies. They certainly weren’t bad (think Tate’s Bake Shop cookies) but one of Caraway’s main marketing claims is that you don’t need to use as much butter or oil when using its ceramic-coated cookware sets on the stovetop, and it seems the same is true for the bakeware (which includes cake pans, loaf pans, and muffin tins). Ceramic-coated cookware is also fairly delicate, especially when hot, so you should never use metal utensils on it or put it on the dishwasher. And keep in mind that even with proper care, ceramic coating will eventually wear down.
How we tested baking sheets
Within the catchall sheet-pan category—which includes full-sheet pans, half-sheet pans, quarter-sheet pans, jelly roll pans, and rimless cookie sheets—our testers worked with only rimmed half-sheet trays with rolled edges. They’re what we use in the Epicurious test kitchen and what most home cooks use, whether they call them sheet pans, baking sheets, or cookie sheets.
To test bare aluminum baking sheets, we first placed empty, room-temperature pans in a 450ºF oven set to convection-bake. We left them in for 10 minutes and listened for a loud pop that would indicate warping. None of the pans we tested in 2022 warped in testing. We left the oven set at 450ºF and cooked lightly oiled and seasoned broccoli, cauliflower, and onion directly on the ungreased pans. We observed how evenly the food cooked (and charred) on each. After the pans cooled, we attempted to clean each with just a cellulose sponge, dish soap, and hot water.
We then used store-bought sugar cookie dough (for consistency’s sake) and baked cookies on each pan according to the instructions on the package—which, for an uncoated, ungreased pan, was 350ºF for 12 minutes. We removed each to a cooling rack and after cooling inspected the cookies for evenness, texture, and color, and noticed how much the cookies stuck to the pan and how easy (or hard) it was to clean each pan by hand.
With so many popular direct-to-consumer brands now offering nonstick baking sheets, we also added a nonstick category. To test nonstick pans, we cooked the same sugar cookies according to the directions for a nonstick pan (325ºF set to regular bake for 12 minutes). We observed how much cookie actually stuck to each nonstick pan and washed each by hand with a cellulose sponge.
We also cooked lightly oiled sliced zucchini rounds with the oven set to 400ºF on convection-bake for 17 minutes. After the pans cooled, we tried to remove the rounds with a silicone spatula, observing which pans held on to char and food as well as how evenly the zucchini was cooked on each pan. We then hand-washed each pan.
Everything was tested on its own on the middle oven rack for consistency’s sake and the oven was allowed to return to its target temperature between batches of cookies and vegetables.
Factors we evaluated
Because a baking sheet serves so many purposes, it has to be sturdy, reliable, and easy to clean. It should be able to survive some wear and tear—this isn’t a piece of kitchen equipment we want to be delicate with—and deliver the results we’re looking for, whether that’s a crisp, brown bottom on a grandma-style pizza, a golden-hue on tender sugar cookies, or charred florets on broccoli blasted at high heat.
Here’s what we considered when testing baking sheets.
For heat conduction, a bare aluminum sheet pan is ideal. It heats up quickly and cools down fast, which means your food will start cooking when it goes into the hot oven and stop cooking when it comes out. It’s also light in color, which gives you more control over just how brown the bottom of your cookies, cakes, or pizzas become. Aluminized steel, which is essentially steel sandwiched in aluminum, is more prone to uneven heat distribution. While stainless steel is a preferred material for many cookware pieces, it’s widely known to be a poor performer in the baking sheet category. When testing nonstick baking sheets, we looked at how functional and durable the nonstick coating was.
What we’re calling baking sheets are technically half-sheet pans. While a standard half-sheet pan is 18x13", not all rimmed half sheets have these exact dimensions. Of the sheets we tested, one was 16x12", another was 17x11¼", and some were a true 18x13", with more sizes in between. Two had prominent handles that protruded beyond the cooking surface area too. This may not affect whether your veggies get a nice char, but if you’re cooking in a small home oven, it could determine whether the sheet fits inside. (By the way, if you do most of your cooking in a toaster oven, we recommend getting a quarter-sheet pan.)
Nonstick coatings can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth. Many are not super effective and, even if they are effective, they’ll wear away over time. Nonstick baking sheets also tend to be darker in hue when compared to bare aluminum models. Darker trays absorb and radiate more heat, producing—no surprise here—darker results (cookies that were more brown than golden brown, for example).
Superior to flat rims, rolled edges reinforced around a steel rim reduce the risk of warping with dramatic changes in temperature, though they can sometimes accumulate rust on the underside of the pan if not thoroughly dried after washing.
Other baking sheets we tested
As much as we want to love the gorgeous, colorful sheet pans from Great Jones, in our side-by-side testing, the Holy Sheet didn’t perform as well as some of the other nonstick pans. Roasted broccoli and cauliflower stuck to it, as did sugar cookies—and it was harder to clean than other nonstick baking sheets too. With long-term use, we’ve noticed that even with exclusive hand-washing (as recommended by the brand) the coating began to chip and wear away within about a year.
Holy Sheet Half Sheet Pan
For as much as we love the Nordic Ware uncoated sheets, we were surprised to find that everything we cooked stuck to the Nordic Ware Naturals Aluminum NonStick Baker’s Half Sheet. It was also the hardest nonstick sheet pan to clean. We might as well have been using the bare Nordic Ware pan—and we recommend just going that route.
Nordic Ware Naturals Aluminum NonStick Baker's Half Sheet
The All-Clad Nonstick Pro Release Half Sheet is another baking sheet made from heavy-gauge aluminized steel with a PFOA-free ceramic-reinforced nonstick finish. The pan performed well in our testing, though not quite as well as the Oxo, and the gray coating had some minimal staining after the first cook. We thought the three wide handles might come in, er, handy but they were actually kind of awkward to use with bulky oven mitts.
All-Clad Nonstick Pro-Release Half Sheet
The USA Pan Bakeware Half-Sheet Pan is a heavy aluminized steel baking sheet with a ceramic nonstick coating and a texture similar to the Oxo. The USA Pan produced nicely browned vegetables but the cookies we made on it were too crisp.
USA Pan Bakeware Half Sheet Pan
Unsurprisingly, the Chicago Metallic Elite Nonstick Carbon Steel Baking Sheet—yet another heavy aluminized steel baking sheet—also turned out too-crisp cookies.
Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Baking Sheet
The bare/uncoated Bellemain Heavy Duty Aluminum Half-Sheet Pan is comparable in price to the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Half Sheet, but it was almost too thin (19-gauge compared to the Nordic Ware’s 18-gauge material) and didn’t sufficiently brown anything we cooked on it. It’s also out of stock as of our most recent update.
The Vollrath Wear-Ever Half-Size Sheet Pan is another uncoated pan that’s similar to the Nordic Ware, but it’s much thicker (13-gauge), about twice the price, and produced middle-of-the-road results.
Vollrath Wear-Ever Half-Size Sheet Pan
The 18-gauge Artisan Professional Classic Aluminum Half Sheet did a decent job of crisping the bottom of our baked goods, but it was really hard to clean. Browned bits from bread and vegetables stuck and held on, even with vigorous scrubbing.
Artisan Professional Classic Aluminum Baking Sheet
At the time of publishing, Misen’s Aluminum Half-Sheet Pan—our 2022 top pick—is no longer available on the brand’s website. The Misen was more expensive than the Nordic Ware aluminum baking sheet, and the differences in performance were negligible. But we preferred the Misen’s weightier 16-gauge aluminum and appreciated the option to buy a $40 set that included one half-sheet pan and one quarter-sheet pan.
For most uses, we recommend uncoated aluminum baking sheets with rolled edges, and the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Half Sheet is our top pick in that category. If you’re in the market for a nonstick baking sheet, the Oxo Nonstick Pro Half-Sheet Pan outperformed the other nonstick pans we tried when baking cookies, while Caraway’s Large Sheet Pan is our favorite nonstick option for roasted veggies and sheet pan dinners.
What to do with a baking sheet
Now that you know which sheet pans to buy, it’s time to put them to work. Here are some of our favorite ways to use this versatile piece of cookware.
Cookies are the obvious choice here. But we wanted to mention them to point out that you don’t need any kind of special cookie sheet to bake cookies—you don’t need something that’s nonstick or edgeless or insulated or anything. A half-sheet pan is the perfect tool. Depending on what you’re baking, just line it with parchment or a silicone baking mat, or simply grease it with butter or oil. You can also make slab pie in a sheet tray. You can’t do that on that edgeless insulated cookie tray!
If you’re already using a sheet tray for anything other than making cookies, you’re probably using it to roast vegetables, right? For extra-crispy roasted vegetables, put the sheet tray in the oven while it preheats so it’s nice and hot. This is especially good for potatoes, but you can really roast anything on a sheet pan. The fact that the sides are only an inch high means that more direct heat can circulate around what you’re roasting, yielding crispier surfaces all around. It’s so much better than roasting in a deeper roasting pan, cake pan, or other baking pan.
The more air you can get moving around the food you’re cooking in the oven, the crispier that food will get. So instead of putting meat and vegetables directly on the baking sheet, you can add an oven-safe wire rack into your sheet tray and proceed with roasting. This is great for baking breaded cutlets or for finishing a pan-seared a pork chop in the oven. This is also the best way to cook crispy bacon for a crowd.
Similarly, a wire rack fitted into a sheet tray in a warm oven is great for anything that you want to keep warm without condensation forming on the bottom (think pancakes or waffles). And whenever you’re deep-frying, that sheet tray fitted with a wire rack is your best friend: Have it ready right next to the stove to let freshly fried chicken drip and cool without getting soggy.
Editor’s note: We recommend using uncoated baking sheets for this trick because a metal rack on top of a ceramic-coated nonstick baking sheet in a hot oven will likely result in damage to the baking sheet.
You don’t need a pizza stone to make great pizza at home, just heat an overturned sheet tray in your oven as hot as it will go and spread the dough on top for thin crust pizza, or bake it inside for a thicker grandma-style pie.
Similarly, you can get a crispier crust on a frozen pizza by cooking it directly on your oven rack and placing a baking sheet on the rack below to catch crumbs, melting cheese, and other toppings.
Line a sheet tray with a clean dish towel and spread freshly washed herbs, greens, veggies, or berries out to dry. (Paper towels work, too, but using a sheet tray and a towel eliminates unnecessary paper waste.)
If you want to cook a big batch of whole grains that will keep in the fridge for cold salads or other meals throughout the week, we recommend lining a sheet tray with parchment paper and spreading the hot grains out over the tray to cool faster so they don’t overcook. Sure, you could run your cooked grains under cold water to stop the cooking, but that’ll make them all wet and soggy.