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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Get great advice


michele cindy Apr 4, 2008 05:00 AM

I just read a post from "Vanillagirl" which mentions using a silpat. Never had heard of one so, I looked it up on the internet, and they seem like a wonderful tool to have. Do you agree? What do you like to use them for the best?

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  1. MMRuth Apr 4, 2008 05:06 AM

    I have one - I don't use it often, but it's handy when baking certain cookies like tuiles, or this lacy cookie I make sometimes. Also for making frico. Easy to clean too!

    1. flourgirl Apr 4, 2008 05:58 AM

      I have 4 silpats that fit half sheet pans. I love them! I use them all the time for baking cookies. (Some cookies don't work as well on silpats especially if they have a real lot of butter in them - they can end up tasting kind of greasy.) I also use them for things like making brittle, pouring caramel decorations inside cookie cutter shapes, piping melted chocolate garnishes, etc. I'm also planning on trying to use them for rolling out tortillas.

      2 Replies
      1. re: flourgirl
        shallots Apr 6, 2008 12:28 PM

        Please report on their usefulness with tortillas. My tortilla press is small and I'd like to make larger ones, but not with the waste of many sheets of wax paper, or some such.

        1. re: shallots
          flourgirl Apr 6, 2008 03:30 PM

          I'll be happy to. Maye I'll plan on trying that this coming weekend.

      2. scubadoo97 Apr 4, 2008 09:32 AM

        Great for baking on and having nothing stick. You can even do parmesan crisp and they will slide off. I have a Silpat and a silicone mat that is sold for the same application. The silpat is a little better but the silicone mat is much cheaper.

        1. h
          hkye Apr 4, 2008 12:11 PM

          I also use mine all the time for baking cookies mostly, but also for making chicken wings or anything that might stick to a greased foil.
          I even considering buying a smaller one that fits my toaster oven pan.

          I have a question though for others -- I find that even after a through cleaning with soap, when it dries it's still very greasy. I have to store it in a plastic bag rolled up to keep it from touching other items in the drawer. Do you guys have the same problem? Am I doing something wrong?

          4 Replies
          1. re: hkye
            Mother of four Apr 6, 2008 08:24 AM

            Try rolling it up and putting it in a cardboard tube from your paper towel roll. It keeps them neat and tidy. I have two of them and use them all the time, from cookies to french fries.

            1. re: Mother of four
              michele cindy Apr 6, 2008 09:54 AM

              How do you cook the fries?

              1. re: michele cindy
                Mother of four Apr 8, 2008 01:24 PM

                I mix them up with a little oil and salt and lay them on the mat in a 425 oven for about 40 min., turning them occasionally.

              2. re: Mother of four
                MMRuth Apr 6, 2008 10:26 AM

                That's clever - I'm going to go get one out of the recycling bag now. Um -that would be my recycling bag ....

            2. d
              dagwood Apr 4, 2008 12:43 PM

              I have two and I love them. I use them for everything from baking cookies to toasting nuts to heating up fish sticks for the kids. I just wipe down with a hot soapy sponge when I'm done. That greasy feel never really goes away 100%. I store them right on the half-sheet pans, they're always ready to go.

              1. c
                caviar_and_chitlins Apr 6, 2008 08:52 AM

                Love them, use them often, give them as gifts to every cook I know. I know they are a bit pricey, but think of all the parchment you'll save!

                1. AntarcticWidow Apr 6, 2008 10:19 AM

                  I find my silpats a perfect tool for rolling out pani puri and other Indian breads, just dust them with a bit of flour first. I've yet to try it out with pastry dough, but I am sure it would work for that as well.

                  1. d
                    Diane in Bexley Apr 7, 2008 11:25 AM

                    Use the silpat lots for baking, but very useful for making candy as well. I love pralines and they help in ensuring the pralines don't stick to the pan.

                    1. m
                      mar52 Apr 8, 2008 08:32 PM

                      I'm loving mine more than ever.

                      I marinate skinless boneless chicken breasts in olive oil, garlic and rosemary then put them on the Silpat. I surround them by peeled wedge potatoes in the same marinade with the addition of Kosher salt. Fifteen minutes or less on each side and I have very moist chicken breasts, potatos and an easy clean up.

                      Tonight I roasted carrots, olive oil a little sugar and dillweed on the Silpat.

                      I Love it!

                      1. michele cindy Apr 9, 2008 04:12 AM

                        Thanks for all of the feedback. I'm totally convinced that I need to get one! What size is best? Do you find one place has them cheaper then another? Are all brands made pretty much the same?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: michele cindy
                          MMRuth Apr 9, 2008 05:07 AM

                          I would just get one that fits into your current cookie sheets. Can't help on the other fronts, though I've only seen this brand:


                          1. re: michele cindy
                            flourgirl Apr 9, 2008 05:29 AM

                            I have four Matfer Exopats. I got them all on Amazon a few years ago. They are usually cheaper than either silpats or demarle and they work great. I use mine all the time and they've held up perfect so far (a couple of them are at least 5years old now.)

                            1. re: michele cindy
                              Sherri Apr 9, 2008 10:33 AM

                              Agree that you need a good sheet pan and get the Silpat to match the size.
                              NB: do NOT cut the Silpat. Read their website if you have any doubts. People will tell you that it's OK but they are confusing brands. With Silpat, you cannot cut the mat so it needs to fit your sheet pan. Happily, they're made to do just that. I have a couple and use them in my half sheet pans for just about everything; from cookies to roasting vegetables to bread. I'll even admit to throwing them in the washing machine on the "delicate" cycle which is probably heresy but worked like a charm.

                              1. re: Sherri
                                dagwood Apr 9, 2008 11:17 AM

                                That's brilliant!

                                (and I agree, cutting is a huge no-no. I think they have something akin to glass shards on the inside?)

                              2. re: michele cindy
                                dscheidt Apr 9, 2008 01:00 PM

                                There are two types on the market. The first are silpat and its clones. These are a silicone outer surface, with a fiberglass core. that means they're fairly fragile -- you can't store them folded, wadded up, can't trim them to size, can't put them in the dishwasher. It also means they're quite thin, and have good heat transmission properties, so things brown on them to some extent. the other are made entirely of silicone. These are thicker, less fragile, can be trimmed to fit a particular sized pan if you want, can be stored wadded up in a ball, can be put in the dishwasher; they're also much cheaper. Things don't brown on them as well. For lots of purposes they're interchangeable.

                                1. re: michele cindy
                                  Mother of four Apr 9, 2008 01:44 PM

                                  Go to BB&B or L&T and use your 20%off coupon.

                                2. p
                                  purpleskys May 3, 2009 12:50 AM

                                  I didn't know anything about them untill I was given it a few months ago. I used my silpat for the first time today (cookies) and it cracked and melted around the edges. I am not sure if I was using it wrongly but i am pretty sure that was not ment to happen.

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