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scared of silpat

bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 02:42 PM

thinking about picking up a bunch of silicone stuff (mats, oven mitts, etc.) but just scared. can you all please allay my fears, or confirm them? thanks.

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  1. ScubaSteve RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 02:54 PM

    they are awesome! so good, can't make certain cookies without them.

    wut, exactly, are Ur fears?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ScubaSteve
      bigjeff RE: ScubaSteve Jan 10, 2007 04:39 PM

      I guess just a fear of modern science and putting plastic-y things in the oven. But all the commentary below has completed allayed my fears, so off I go to get baking! that's folks . . .

    2. k
      kcchan RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 02:57 PM

      The mats are really great for cookie baking - silpats give my chocolate chip cookies a really nice bottom side that has the slightest crunch, and a nice chewy gooey center. They also have some mats that make nice trivets. The oven mitts, however, I find to be a bit awkward if you're using them as regular mitts for the oven. However, if you do a lot of cooking on a grill or in a smoker, they do come in handy (for example, taking a turkey out of a smoker or grill when the turkey just sits on the grill - if you're doing stuff like that, then I recommend getting a left hand and a right hand silicone mitt. But if you do a lot of cookie baking, the mats are definite must-haves.

      1. jbyoga RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 02:59 PM

        RE: the oven mitts - some find they are hard to grab with - check it out in the store and imagine what you are grabbing is really hot!

        2 Replies
        1. re: jbyoga
          d
          DGresh RE: jbyoga Jan 10, 2007 03:09 PM

          I have a silpat potholder (liked the idea of throwing it in the dishwasher) but I find it uncomfortable to use; too stiff. I end up using my cloth ones mostly (even though they aren't as heat resistant). BTW the NYTimes had a whole article today about these things (picks and pans)

          http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/10/din...

          1. re: DGresh
            bigjeff RE: DGresh Jan 10, 2007 04:46 PM

            link is perfect, thanks.

        2. b
          BellaDonna RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 03:00 PM

          I have had 3 silpats...destroyed 2 of them (not completely destroyed but they were turning brown and burnt looking).

          My chocolate chip cookiers BURNT on the silpat but did not on on a direct cookie sheet

          2 Replies
          1. re: BellaDonna
            k
            kcchan RE: BellaDonna Jan 10, 2007 03:04 PM

            Did you use your silpats a lot? How did they burn? That's quite odd that your chocolate chip cookies burnt on the silpat - has this happened to anyone else before? Do you have the Silpat brand mat, or did you use another brand?

            1. re: BellaDonna
              bigjeff RE: BellaDonna Jan 10, 2007 04:40 PM

              that's what I was scared of; that it turns brown, weird; how do you know when they're no good, or overused in the oven? any upper limits to temperature? I suppose it wouldn't go much higher than 350 for cookies and backing and stuff anyway . . .

            2. phofiend RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 03:20 PM

              Today's New York Times has a good article.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/10/din...

              I love my Silpats for cookies and for rolling out pastry. Haven't tried the bakeware. I also have two sets of oven mitts: One pair with opposable thumbs, great for gripping oven pans, and another with thumbs parallel to the hand, which are more useful for flipping a chicken or turkey, which I roast breast side down at first. I can get a good grip on the hot, slippery bird without damaging the skin. I find the flat potholders to be too stiff, and only use them as trivets.

              1 Reply
              1. re: phofiend
                bigjeff RE: phofiend Jan 10, 2007 04:42 PM

                btw, I did a turkey breast side down this year also and the mitts would've been perfect for that flip; I ended up doing a flip and slide thing to get it on a plate and then back on the rack. also I used a really strong and thick glaze after the flip and it totally hid the ugly indentations in the breast for cooking upside down. lovely!

              2. a
                ali patts RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 03:27 PM

                silpats, great for biscuits, cakes and pastry cases (in bottom-less rings) great for puff pastry. I love mine, don't know how I lived without them.
                But. Biscuits are crisper on the bottom with just the tray or with paper, the mats never feel 'clean'.
                As for the silicon bakeware, there were a couple of posts about this in the autumn. People seemed to have mixed feelings, from memory the comments were that things didn't brown as well against the silicon and floopy mats were pretty irritating. I have a silicon mini cake 'tray' and a madeleine one, I like them but understand why others don't.
                So in short, silpat (type) mats wonderful, but keep paper in the cupboard for certain things. Silicon bakeware, buy one and see how you feel!

                2 Replies
                1. re: ali patts
                  bigjeff RE: ali patts Jan 10, 2007 04:43 PM

                  if they're so floppy, is it weird to put them on top of regular baking trays? does the metal interact somehow with the silpat in a bad way or its prefectly fine to stack them like that?

                  1. re: bigjeff
                    a
                    ali patts RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 04:47 PM

                    nah, I don't see a problem with putting them on a metal tray. But then I don't have any 'big' silicon bakeware - all of mine is for small things i.e. I don't have the 'oh god three pints of cake batter in something floppy' problem. Make sense?

                2. l
                  lvnvflyer RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 03:27 PM

                  Agree with the above...the silpats for cookie sheets are terrific, and I would get as many as you feel you can reasonably use, since it allows you to get batches of cookies in and out of the oven quickly. The cookies slide right off and are nicely brown on the bottom. The mitts only have a few uses for me, such as while grilling or flipping turkeys; the greater heat protectiveness is offset by the greater awkwardness which makes me worry about losing my grip on things like skillets coming out of the ovens. The flat guys are great as trivets, or can be used to move a casserole around a table when it is still hot. They are also useful for opening jars in a pinch. As for the bakeware, I have six small silicone cups that one uses to make chocolate lava cakes, and those have worked quite nicely, but I am not inclined to get any other silicone bakeware.

                  1. k
                    Kagey RE: bigjeff Jan 10, 2007 03:36 PM

                    I love my silicone mitt, and I see now that they're making them in a more flexible shape where you can move your thumb better (mine is sort of that shark-shape). I think it's great because you can clean it so easily.

                    Wasn't impressed by the bakeware. I had a silicon bundt cake pan but I got rid of it after two uses because it was too difficult to handle the floppy shape when it was full of batter.

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