A set of heavy baking sheet pans with good heat conduction qualities are a must in the kitchen. Use them for reheating foods, crisping baked goods, roasting vegetables, baking biscuits and pastry and even serving canapés. They will last a lifetime if you invest well, take care of them and as they age, they’ll develop a patina that will increase their ‘non-stickiness’.
In the gréatfood kitchen we use all sizes of baking sheets. A set of strong baking sheets makes everything easier: food browns evenly on them; the sheet won’t buckle in a hot oven meaning that one side of the food is nearer to the heat and cooks before the rest of the food; and you can cook a whole sheet pan dinner in one pass which reduces the washing up.
The most useful ones are shallow and measure about 32cm x 24cm for the larger size and about 17cm x 25cm for a smaller one. You need a few of each.
The large ones are good for making trays of roast vegetables and for crisping up roast potatoes that have been pre-cooked or cooking frozen chips (handy if you don’t want to go to the chipper!). You can cook a roast chicken with vegetables on one tray or roast chicken breasts and veg in one go.
The smaller ones are excellent for cooking sausages and rashers (sausages on one tray, rashers on the other while tomatoes roast on a third tray).
We have two sets of sheet pans/baking trays – one for savoury and one for sweet recipes.
The discount supermarkets often sell a non-stick anodised range during the year that are excellent value and as long as you don’t scratch them, hold their non-stick quality forever with the added advantage that you can wash them in the dishwasher. The food literally peels off them so they are a doddle to clean.make some of the best cookware in the business (they are also a favourite in the New York Times test kitchens). We use their bundt cake tins – and their baking sheets are heavy enough not to buckle under the pressure of intense heat. This is especially important when you are grilling foods. If the baking sheet or tray feels as if it will bend in the shop, just think what it will do when you heat it under a 300C grill! We like this because it has a patterned surface that helps to keep the food in place without sticking.
You are investing for a lifetime of use so choose well. It’s no economy to buy a cheaper one and have to repeat the purchase again in a few years.
Measure your oven to make sure that the tray will fit inside. When you buy online it’s easy to make a mistake and order one that will never fit.
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