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Silpat Baking Mat

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I'm thinking of buying one of these, since I had heard they work wonders! But I was looking up reviews on the internet, and found people either loved them or hated them.
Does anyone here have one, and like to share their experience?

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  1. I have two but so far I haven't used them for baking. I use them to roll out pastry, one above and one below the pastry. It allows me to roll out my very high-fat dough without adding extra flour. For baking I like parchment paper.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheryl_h

      I use my Exopat Matfer half-sheet pan liners for cream biscuits. (Oddly enough, I tend to use parchment paper to roll out dough as you do with your Silpats; paper's width is bigger.)

      I've noticed that I often have trouble washing my Matfers afterward - if you hold 'em up to the light you can see the triangles where the biscuits baked, and it feels oily. I don't scrub the Matfers, but I often let 'em soak in soap. Not sure whether I should worry about this.

    2. Love it. I use it for baking and cooking all types of food, such as when roasting root veggies, which tend to stick to the bottom of pans. I totally killed my first one, don't think that it won't get browned over time, but it did take a couple of years to do so. Didn't mind buying a new one - it isn't like they are that cost prohibitive. And of course, they work great for cookies and such.

      For my needs, a huge plus.

      Laurie

      1. I have two and use them whenever I'm baking cookies. Have also used them when making cream puffs and eclairs, work great. Plus, if you ever make a "brittle" (as in peanut or cashew) they are outstanding for that.

        1. Thanks for the info!

          I read about the Silpat causing smoking, and burning peoples' eyes... did this ever happen to you?
          Also, do you guys have electric or gas ovens?

          Thanks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: jayseeca

            I've never had that happen. I have a gas oven. :-)

          2. I've never had that happen. I have an electric stove.

            Laurie

            1. Hi,

              I have 4 silpats -- 3 half sheetpan sized and one full sheetpan sized. I love them. I use them a lot when baking -- scones, cookies etc. I also use them when making brittle or toffee. I've never had them smoke in the oven, and I use gas at work and electric at home. Aren't they supposed to withstand up to 550 degrees or something??

              Anyway, I highly recommend them. Although I did have one for about a year before I figured out what to do with it.

              Bruce

              1. I am in the camp that LOVES them. SO perfers parchment because he thinks cookies don't get CRISP enough with them...

                But I think they are worth it because I always get absolutely perfect cookies everytime! I also use them to roll out dough as mentioned.

                --Dommy!

                1. Hate them. I tried making sponge-cake ladyfingers on one, and got a shiny, rubbery bottom on all of my cookies. Perhaps if the cookies are supposed to be homogeneous in texture, it might work. Parchment works just great.

                  1. This is a good point. You can't use them for *literally* everything, and ladyfingers are something I wouldn't. I don't know of a good rule of thumb for deciding, though.

                    Let me ask you this: Do you hate them solely because of the ladyfinger experience? Or have you had other disappointments as well?

                    For example, I wouldn't use parchment for making brittle, and I don't have a marble slab at home so a silpat seems a wonderfull solution.

                    Bruce

                    1. I have been working at a culinary school for about a year and a half and all of the pastry instructors that i have worked with say that silpats are the best!

                      1. Thanks for all the replies! I'm definitley going to get one, as sometimes my cookies still stick to the parchment paper!

                        1. I use them occasionally for cookies and scones; however, I do have a slight concern that they may turn out to be the Teflon of tomorrow -- that is, it will be proved that they have been adding toxins to our food or to the air. On the whole, I prefer parchment paper.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kittyfood

                            Parchment paper is coated with silicone....the same stuff that Silpats are made from.

                          2. I have two of the half sheet size that I use for most baking needs. They're great under pies or other drippy items that make for nasty cleanup.

                            However, around the holidays when I am baking cookies in multiple batches, I use parchment. The convenience of sliding a whole batch off onto a cooling rack is great, and instead of having to wait for sheet pans to cool I just flip them over and run cold water on them. Slide a new sheet of parchment on with cookies and slip it right back in the oven.

                            1. We love our silpat. We use it primarily for root veggies and other cooking rather than baking.

                              as far as the safety issue. We have never had it smoke and cook at a very high temp. Also, remember the unlike Teflon, silicone (which is all a silpat is) is a very inert substance. For instance, a lot of medical devices are made from silicone because the body doesn't react from it (but don't think breast implants, which were a different story). So, I don't worry about that.

                              1. OK, I'm convinced from the informative discussion that I should get a couple. Approx. how much do they cost in the half-sheet size? Is this a proprietary brand or are there knock-offs? Do they carry them at Bed Bath & Beyond or do I need to go to a specialty cooking store? Any best deals from an internet provider?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: nosh

                                  I don't know if the prices are the best (they seem petty good to me), but this web site has so many different liners for all the different size pans. Worth looking into. http://www.thefind.com/query.php?quer...

                                  I have two of the silpats, use them for everything and love them. I just found a smaller size at Amazon, 13x9 which is perfect for my smaller pans.

                                2. Nosh, if you do a search online, you'll find they cost the same just about everywhere, I've never seen a sale on them anywhere. If anyone has, please let me know where it is! And yes, Bed Bath and Beyond carries them. There is another brand out there too, can't remember the name off hand, haven't used it but I remember the price is the same give or take.

                                  Laurie

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: sivyaleah

                                    Silpats go on sale at Amazon on occasion, but the waiting requires patience. Seen it for as low as $10 for the half sheet size. Matfers go for $10 more often.

                                    Just today, they had Silicone Zone large pastry mats (16.25 x 24.5) on sale for its Friday sale for $9.99 but sold out pretty early in the morning. Now back up to their normal $25 retail price.

                                  2. BTW, since BB&B carries them you can use those 20% coupons they send all the time for it.

                                    Laurie

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: sivyaleah

                                      That's how I bought mine...I use the really large one to knead bread; it keeps the counter clean and when the dough stops sticking to the silpat, it's fully kneaded and ready to rise.

                                    2. Silpats kick ass! They turn everyday baking sheets into something that actually works.

                                      They are especially wonderful for baking cookies or other items that you want to brown evenly, without crisping or burning on the bottom.

                                      I wouldn't use them for ladyfingers or such things for that very reason.

                                      I've also had great success using it to roast my Beef Wellington on.

                                      1. Silpats are wonderful! I have two and use them for many different baking tasks. And as far as safety, silicone is used all over the place in our world; it even helps medical needles and things slide better under the patient's skin ... the breast implant cases were cases of very very good plaintiffs' attorneys ... not good science.

                                        On the other hand, do NOT try one of those new colorful silicone mats that don't have the Silpat's fiberglass netting inside. They warp and ripple underneath your cookies and make them look pretty silly. I think mine will still be OK for use as an anti-baking spill mat, but no more baking cookies or pastries!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: k_d

                                          I have a classic Silpat mat and two of the colorful silicone mats, which I bought on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond (can't remember the brand). I've only had them for a year, but I haven't had any problems with them at all -- they perform exactly the same as my older mat. No problems with warping or ripples underneath cookies at all.

                                        2. Silicone pan liners are THE BEST. I have Silpat and also a Canadian brand (Exopat, I think) that has a flat rather than the raised edge. I've been using them both for 10 years or more and haven't worn one out yet and I've done some *serious* cookie production with them over the years including 10-12 doz at a time. The Exopat eventually developed some cracks (that don't effect their use much), still, I cut them down with a rotary cutter to fit in small baking pans and they've kept on going.

                                          My favorite things: working with sugar, removing the whole pan of cookies from the hot pan at once, forming the next pan-load in advance to just slide onto the next empty pan, kneading bread and taking the remaining flour mess right to the sink to clean, rolling pastry without adding additional flour.

                                          Never had any discernible odor.

                                          1. My mother has a silpat, and I have something from Amazon that was significantly cheaper, called Matfer. Cannot tell the difference between Matfer and Silpat - aside from the name printed on them, they look identical.

                                            I really like my Matfer, but one thing I didn't expect: they get stained quite quickly - cookie marks, burnt pastry, etc. Doesn't effect my baked goods, but the Matfer does not look pretty! Just so you know...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Gooseberry

                                              Exopat=Matfer. Stains come with the territory, doesn't affect function.

                                            2. I have 2 Silpats, 1/2 sheet size. Recently bought another so called silicone baking mat (King Arthur brand) and was quite disappointed that the cookies and scones came out of the oven burned on the bottom. Be VERY careful of what you buy; ONLY the Silpat Baking Mat has the correct thickness to prevent this. Any of the other brands are much too thin!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: uluro

                                                I have four Matfer Exopats. 1/2 sheet size and they perform beautifully. Use them quite frequently. And they can often be found on Amazon for much less then the Silpats. (I paid about $8.95 each.)

                                              2. I am a chef and I use my silpats all the time. I have about 8 of them. Most I use for baking, but some I use for savoury. No roasts sticking to the bottom of a roasting pan, no chicken parts glued to the pan, roasting squashes and beets, asparagus, cauliflower in the oven etc.... easy as pie, and clean up a cinch. I use them for everything I do in the oven!!!

                                                I have a gas stove in my commercial kitchen and alas electric at home, and I have never ever had a smoke/burning problem.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: maisonbistro

                                                  I've never had smoking/eye irritation/fumes issues with my exopats and use them all the time for many of the baking apps maisonbistro and others cite, but I also use them to line sheet pans on which I 'individually quick freeze' ( IQF ) items for freezer storage. Works very well.

                                                  1. re: maisonbistro

                                                    Will the mats allow the veggies to brown/caramelize?

                                                    1. re: Claudette

                                                      absolutely - I do a mean oven roasted citrus asparagus that caramelizes beautifully - the caramelization depends more on the sugar content of the vegetable being roasted than the mat it's on.

                                                      And the silpat is great because even though they caramelize - they never ever stick.

                                                      1. re: maisonbistro

                                                        Thanks, maisonbistro! Actually, my veggies don't stick to my pans because I preheat the pans first, but using the mats would make cleanup easier. Can I just pop them into the dishwasher? I've been handwashing them all these years...

                                                        1. re: Claudette

                                                          I've never put mine in the dishwasher and don't think I would recommend it. They clean up soooo easily. Dish soap, warm water, a sponge and you are done. Since nothing sticks, it's super easy.

                                                          You're welcome

                                                  2. I have a pair of half-sheet Silpats, and as others here have mentioned, they are wonderful for kneading bread and baking cookies. My DH and I also find them invaluable for baking fish fillets. No need for extra fat, and no sticking!

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: WendyBinCT

                                                      I am so ate in the game, but I cooked fish on mine and I can't get the smell out -- do you know how Wendy????

                                                      1. re: buzzbuzzbee

                                                        Wish I could help, buzzbuzzbee, but I haven't had your problem of lurking fishiness, and can't guarantee a solution. My best suggestion: give your Silpat a soak with some dishwashing liquid and baking soda.

                                                        1. re: buzzbuzzbee

                                                          try fresh lemon juice and let it sit on your liner a few minutes on both sides but mostly the top before rinsing & cleaning, and if you zest the peel in a little soap to get the oil of either lemon or orange incorperated this also can help especially with fish and other oderous or rancid oils. hope this helps! P.S. someone stated on earlier post about silpat & temps of 550, I unerstand the limit to be 480 & I've never went higher than 450 to be safe.

                                                          1. re: rahscoh

                                                            thanks so much for the advice, wendy and rahscoh!

                                                      2. I use parchment for baking but love love love my giant Silpat for kneading things and rolling out doughs. Things don't stick and you don't have to add more flour than you might want. I think I got my giant-sized one from Baker's Catalog.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: kary

                                                          kinda nice when an old thread gets revived...I use Silpat AND parchment. I like to build pizzas and really tender free form loaves on parchment because I can put 'em on a peel and slide it off onto a stone in a hot over (450 is safe with parchment...remember Farenheit 451!). Silpat is great for biscotti and cookies. I am not in the camp that uses liners for things like roasting vegetables (or anything). I can always do something with the fond, and my ancient Chicago Metal whatever jelly roll pans (brown with age) are easy to scrub.

                                                          1. re: tim irvine

                                                            I love mine. I do use for cookies, but the best use so far, baked sweet potatoe 'fries" with almost no cleanup

                                                        2. I have two that I use all the time for cookies, saves me a ton of parchment or aluminum foil. There are theories out there regarding cookies spreading on different surfaces; some people claim they spread more on Silpats. Can't say that I've seen any evidence of it, but I've never had that problem with cookies. I only have one cookie sheet (all you need, really) and it's a bit smaller than the Silpats, a minor nuisance. I also use them for handling very sticky doughs on; they stick less than just about any other surface.