The Best Cookie and Baking Sheets of 2017

By Bethany Kwoka

Whether you’re a practiced home cook or an utter beginner, you need a dependable baking sheet like our favorite Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet (available at Amazon for $12.99). It’s a vital tool for baking cookies, roasting vegetables, and cooking that frozen pizza you bought out of sheer hunger and laziness.

But no matter how frequently you use your baking sheet, you'll want something that can stand up to high heat and won't stick to your oven fries. But which baking sheets are up for the task, and which are just not worth the money?

To find out, we enlisted an avid baker and frequent easy-meals home cook (that's me!) to put seven of the top rated baking sheets through their paces. I made endless cookies, roasted oodles of vegetables, and baked enough frozen pizzas to scare me back to Seamless. I also washed everything, taking note of what was an easy clean and what required some elbow grease. By the end, I knew which baking sheet I wanted in my own kitchen.

Updated September 29, 2017

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Nordicware baker's half sheet Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet

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Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet

Best Overall

There’s a reason this American-made baking sheet tops charts around the internet. It’s lightweight, large enough to fit more than a dozen cookies, and distributes heat like a dream. Measuring 12 by 17 inches, I’m confident I can use it to cook enough vegetables for a small crowd—or for myself with plenty of leftovers. Even covered with goodies, this tray is light enough to hold with one hand while you scoop whatever you’re making onto a waiting plate.

My biggest concern was cleaning. While the pizza slid off easily, cookies and vegetables took a bit more work and left a bit of residue. However, everything came off with a few minutes of soaking. Personally, I’d use parchment paper or a Silpat mat under my cookies to ensure that nothing sticks.

Given the high-quality construction, if you take care of this pan—wash it by hand and don’t even think about touching it with a metal spatula or fork—there's no reason why it shouldn't last for ages.

Wilton baking sheets Best Value
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

Wilton Recipe Right 3 Piece Cookie Pan Set

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Wilton Recipe Right 3 Piece Cookie Pan Set

Best Value

A well-known name in the baking world, Wilton gets the recipe, er, right with this pan set. You get three lightweight pans of varying sizes for the price of one. The added versatility makes it a great deal.

The shiny sheets are nonstick to a fault and easy to clean. Veggies, cookies, and pizza all slid right off after baking, and the pans looked clean before I even took a sponge to them.

However, you'll have to watch out for a bit of warping when you bake at higher temperatures. Although any warping I experienced at high heat dissipated as the pan cooled, there's a reasonable chance this could cause more permanent effects to the pan over time. Like all nonstick pans, there's an expectation that the nonstick coating will wear off eventually anyway, meaning this is a set of sheets you're likely to get a lot of use out of and eventually replace.

Airbake baking sheet Best for Cookies
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

AirBake Nonstick Cookie Sheet

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AirBake Nonstick Cookie Sheet

Best for Cookies

For those who want to up their cookie game—or who, like me, think cookies are the most important things you’ll ever put on a baking sheet—I recommend the AirBake Nonstick Cookie Sheet. Because of AirBake's “micro-dome technology” (In regular English: the sheet has an insulated “bubble” that separates the bottom of the sheet from the top where your cookies rest), the underside of whatever you bake will be more even and far less likely to burn. During testing, I found this worked nicely for both cookies and pizza.

This is the only rimless sheet we tested, which is great for cookies, but less great for making sure a variety of roasted veggies won't slip off the side as you remove the pan from the oven. If I were to invest in two baking sheets (as opposed to simply nabbing the set of Wiltons), I would pick up this one just for cookies, while using the Nordic Ware sheet for everything else.

How We Tested

Wilton baking sheets
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar
We cooked pizza and veggies in the pans to really get a sense for what it's like to use them.

The Tester:

Hello! My name is Bethany, and I’ve been terrorizing my mother in the kitchen since I was too small to hold a baking sheet straight. Now an adult, I regularly bake too many cookies, and weekly roast vegetables and other delights for dinner.

I’ve been baking for years, adventures that run the gamut from elaborate wedding cakes to tasty flatbreads. I’ve become a harsh judge of baking equipment in particular, as nothing scares someone away from the kitchen more than burned cookies or messy baking trays. I want everyone to love baking as much as I do, so I’ve learned a lot about what makes a great baking sheet that will serve at-home bakers and cooks like myself.

The Tests:

To find our winner, we tested seven baking sheets of various styles (rimmed, rimless, AirBake, nonstick), materials (aluminum, aluminized steel, carbon steel, steel), and sizes. We used each pan to cook frozen pizzas, sugar cookies, and mixed veggies and scored each based on size, weight, warp resistance, ease of food removal, how much effort it took to clean, and the overall experience of using the pan.

Size is an important factor in a baking sheet, particularly if you’re only planning to own one. So we judged the baking sheets on how many cookies comfortably fit, whether or not a frozen pizza would squeeze in, and of course whether or not they would fit in a standard oven.

While I don’t mind a baking sheet with a bit of weight—solid construction means it’s less likely to warp—a heavy sheet is tough to hold on to. We tested how easy it was to handle each tray with one hand, and whether you could hold the sheet while also removing your food.

We also judged the nonstick factors after cooking. Specifically, how easy was it to remove things from the tray? And how easy was it to clean?

Through it all, we paid close attention to the overall experience of using each pan. Was it easy to grab? Did it hold food securely? Was baking even? The worst thing you can do for your kitchen is stock it with equipment that you don’t like, so I asked the above questions with an eye towards which pan I would be happy to use every day.

Nonstick testing
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar
We tested nonstick capabilities and how easy each pan was to clean.

Other Baking Sheets We Tested

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 11-Inch x 17-Inch Cookie Pan

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Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 11-Inch x 17-Inch Cookie Pan

This baking sheet's aggressively nonstick surface was a breeze to clean with everything we tested, and it had slightly extended side rims that made it easy to remove from the oven.

However, this pan warped notably at higher heats, leaving me doubtful that it would last a long time in an active kitchen.

USA Pan Half Sheet Pan

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USA Pan Half Sheet Pan

Unlike the other smooth-bottomed sheets, this pan had some curves. Specifically, the bottom was corrugated. While this didn’t cause things to cook any differently, it made it trickier to clean, as there were more corners where grease could hide. Luckily the nonstick coating works well.

The pan bakes well and offers lots of space for your meal, but is also on the heavier side. For that reason, it’s solidly in the middle of our list.

Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Cookie/Jelly-Roll Pan

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Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Cookie/Jelly-Roll Pan

The solid construction and smooth nonstick coating of this pan would have won my heart, if only it wasn't so small! Just a few inches longer than a sheet of paper, this pan was the smallest we tested—and the difference was noticeable. Cookies baked nicely and slide off easily, but I couldn't fit many on the sheet. A standard-sized frozen pizza wouldn't fit either, and I had to balance it precariously on the rim of the sheet, rather than the bottom, where it proceeded to ooze into a folded rectangle during baking.

If you want a baking sheet sized for an incredibly small oven, or one that will fit nicely on crowded counters, this is your sheet. But if you want to make a regular amount of food with it, you'll be sorely disappointed.

Artisan Professional Classic Aluminum Baking Half Sheet Pan with Lip

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Artisan Professional Classic Aluminum Baking Half Sheet Pan with Lip

This sheet looked almost exactly like the Nordic Ware, but warped at 400°F and made hilarious popping noises after I took it out of the oven to cool. It also fell victim to a classic aluminum pan pitfall, which is looking not-quite-clean after washing. I worry about how easily it seemed to pick up scratches just from sliding in and out of my oven.

If you buy this one, treat it carefully, with a plastic or silicon spatula rather than a metal one (which I recommend with all pans, anyway). And while I wouldn’t warn you to avoid this sheet altogether, I would caution you to only use it with parchment paper and at lower oven temperatures.

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