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How to Choose the Right Baking Pan

How to Choose the Right Baking Pan

When finding the right baking sheet to use, you may be overwhelmed by the options out there. Never fear! The experts at Ann Clark are here to help you navigate your baking journey so that you can choose the right pan for the right application.

Baking Pan vs Cookie Sheets

Baking pans, sometimes called roasting pans or jelly-roll pans, have a thin lip around the edge of the pan. These are ideal for roasting vegetables, and can also be used for cookies. Cookie sheets, on the other hand, have a small lip on one side of the sheet, and the other three sides are flat. This is to reduce the amount of lifting you have to do when transferring delicate cookies from the sheet to a wire cooling rack--in some cases, you can slide the cookies right off of the sheet.

How to Choose the Right Baking Pan

Dark Pans vs Lighter Pans

Yes, it does make a difference! Darker colored pans will absorb more heat, and will transfer that heat more quickly to whatever you're baking. If using a darker pan to bake your cookies, you may find that they take less time in the oven to bake. We do not recommend turning the oven temperature down for cookies, but we do recommend checking them in the last 2-5 minutes of baking to ensure that they aren't over-browning. Lighter colored pans will bake the cookies more slowly, and we recommend using a lighter pan when possible for baking your cookies. You can put a parchment paper sheet when baking cookies on your dark pan to create more even heat distribution.

How to Choose the Right Baking Pan

Aluminum vs Stainless Steel

Stainless steel baking sheets are durable and wonderful for roasting veggies or meats. However, we recommend aluminum baking sheets for cookies. Stainless steel takes longer to heat up and cool down, making it difficult to adhere to baking times and also to handle the sheets as you make batches of cookies.

Aluminum cookie sheets will heat up and cool down more quickly. We love the cookie sheets made by USA Pan. The heavy gauge aluminized steel means these are durable-they'll be the last baking pans you'll ever buy. They are resistant to warping, and are made right here in the USA. The ridged baking surface also distributes heat evenly throughout the pan.

How to Choose the Right Baking Pan

Insulated vs. Non-Insulated

Insulated cookie sheets diffuse heat by having an air gap between the top and bottom layer of the baking sheet. These are great for very thin and delicate cookies that are susceptible to burning. Due to the heat diffusion, you may find that you need longer baking times for your cookies.

For the average baker, a non-insulated cookie sheet will work just fine for most cookie recipes.

How to Choose the Right Baking Pan

Nonstick vs. Uncoated

This is a personal preference. Some bakers prefer the ease of nonstick baking pans, but some would rather have uncoated bakeware. If going uncoated, we do recommend that you use parchment paper sheets when baking cookies-this will prevent them from sticking to your pan. There is nothing more frustrating than breaking cookies that have adhered to a baking sheet.

How to Choose the Right Baking Pan

There are endless baking pan options out there, and it can get overwhelming. However, by learning the different properties of each pan, you can make an educated decision on which pan to use when baking cookies.

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