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Cookie Sheet vs. Jelly Roll Pan

cheesemaestro Nov 19, 2010 11:25 AM

My old cookie sheets are pretty beat up and it's time to get new ones. I'm thinking about buying jelly roll or half sheet pans instead, since they are more versatile. I've seen a couple of comments on other sites that air circulates better when baking cookies on a cookie sheet (because of the lack of sides) and thus cookies brown more evenly. I don't know if this is a real concern or not.

Also, I'd prefer metal sheets/pans without a non-stick surface. Is there any practical difference between all-aluminum bakeware (e.g., NordicWare, Vollrath) and aluminized steel bakeware (e.g., Chicago Metallic)?

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    Astur RE: cheesemaestro Nov 19, 2010 11:51 AM

    It does make a difference fro cookie to have the totally flat cookie sheet. I was opposed to nonstick until i tried the Williams Sonoma Gold line and I really like them even though i still usually use parchment for cookies. You could try them and if you really didn't like it they will take them back. Thy are a lighter color so they don't have the issues that dark nonstick pans have. If you can handle the room to have a few of each though, cookie sheets and pans that would be great. If you only bake a few dozen cookies a year as well then the pans might be best for you.

    One extra thing that i love about cookie sheets is roasting veggies. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my half sheet size pan, but I love being able to just slide off all the roasted veggies into a container after roasting instead of having to scoop them up and out. Depending on what you might use sheets/pans for most it's soemthing to consider. Have at least one pan though regardless I would say.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Astur
      Caroline1 RE: Astur Nov 21, 2010 07:45 AM

      I use jelly roll pans for cookies. I think half sheet pans are too deep, but again, you can use the bottom of the pan for cookies. It works well with my jelly roll pans. No reason why it wouldn't work with half sheet pans. Happy baking!

      EDIT Ooooops! Thought I had scrolled all the way back up to the top before I hit Reply. Well, that was my intent anyway. Sorry Astur.

      1. re: Caroline1
        cheesemaestro RE: Caroline1 Nov 21, 2010 12:10 PM

        Is the difference between a jelly roll pan and a half sheet the height of the sides? I've seen several 18" x 13" jelly roll pans advertised. That is exactly the same size as a half sheet pan, which usually has 1" sides. I thought that the two were essentialy the same.

    2. s
      SherBel RE: cheesemaestro Nov 19, 2010 12:32 PM

      I use shiny, airbake pans with no sides, just one slightly tilted edge for ease of handling. I never wash them, only wipe them down with a damp cloth, then polish with a dry towel.

      They are, of course, strictly for cookies.....although I try to avoid unitasking items, these are the exception.

      1. Chemicalkinetics RE: cheesemaestro Nov 19, 2010 12:40 PM

        My opinion is for Jelly Roll Pan

        1. PBSF RE: cheesemaestro Nov 19, 2010 01:22 PM

          Go for jelly roll/half sheetpan as you say: it is more versatile. I don't think there is any difference in cookies baked in a cookie sheet vs jelly roll pan. Some say that it is easier to remove cookies with a spatula from a cookie sheet without the sides but to me that is so minor. I've baked cookies in a restaurant on sheet pans without any timing problems. For home, I have the cheap Wearever aluminum half sheet pans. I don't see spending for Chicago Meltallic, etc but I am frugal, not anti-aluminum, practical and how cookware look is not that important.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PBSF
            dscheidt RE: PBSF Nov 19, 2010 06:45 PM

            Don't forget that, for the rare thing that requires a side less tray, it's possible to use the bottom of a sheet pan.

          2. John E. RE: cheesemaestro Nov 19, 2010 05:34 PM

            I'd buy the aluminum half-sheet pans at Sam's Club at two for $10.99.

            1. w
              will47 RE: cheesemaestro Nov 19, 2010 05:45 PM

              If you do convection, I have heard that having a high rim only on one side really helps with cookie baking... curious what other folks who have experience with convection have to say about that, as I'm about to start using a convection oven for the first time.

              5 Replies
              1. re: will47
                cheesemaestro RE: will47 Nov 20, 2010 08:22 AM

                I don't have convection, but this is my primary concern about pans with sides vs. cookie sheets--irregular browning across the pan, because the sides somewhat block air circulation to the cookies nearest to them. I wonder if this would be less of a problem in a regular oven than in a convection oven.

                1. re: cheesemaestro
                  sunshine842 RE: cheesemaestro Nov 20, 2010 09:20 AM

                  I bake cookies on a jelly roll pan in my convection oven all the time, and don't notice any difference whatsoever

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    Caroline1 RE: sunshine842 Nov 21, 2010 07:50 AM

                    That's my experience with my convection too. And I don't turn over the jelly roll pans If I'm using convection. Only if I'm going to do regular baking.

                    1. re: Caroline1
                      sunshine842 RE: Caroline1 Nov 21, 2010 09:40 AM

                      I rotate my pans (180 degrees and top-for-bottom) halfway through the baking time -- but it's more because I always have than because I really think there's a need.

                      My US baking sheets are also THIS CLOSE to being too big for my little oven, so rotating them changes the air convection in the oven, too.

                      1. re: sunshine842
                        ZenSojourner RE: sunshine842 Nov 21, 2010 10:09 AM

                        I have a pizza stone in the oven 24/7. The stone seems to regulate the oven temp. I've found if I'm using a heavy duty cookie sheet, I don't have to rotate. If I use a typical lightweight cookie tin, I don't HAVE to rotate, eg it won't burn or undercook on opposite sides though there is a noticeable difference in color. So I rotate if I remember but don't worry if I forget.

              2. i
                Island RE: cheesemaestro Nov 20, 2010 09:17 AM

                Another vote for jelly roll or sheet pan. I've never had a problem baking cookies with those and they are much more versatile. Never owned a cookie sheet other than a couple of air bake which I hated and gave away.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Island
                  ZeroSignal RE: Island Nov 20, 2010 09:22 AM

                  Vollrath #5314 (13 guage alum) 1/2 size sheet pans. Are one of my favorites.

                2. k
                  KingoftheCastle RE: cheesemaestro Nov 20, 2010 09:59 AM

                  I have one of the old All clad gold bonded cookie sheets which I love. to bad they stopped making them.

                  1. s
                    SherBel RE: cheesemaestro Nov 20, 2010 11:06 AM

                    A consideration for a cookie sheet with no raised sides is the ease of removing the cookies. It's a big deal for me, because I primarily bake shortbread cookies which are thin and fragile. I can cool them slightly on the pan, and then slide them off onto the cooling area.

                    I make several thousand cookies, though, in a two month period, so I need to be efficient.

                    1. Chemicalkinetics RE: cheesemaestro Nov 20, 2010 11:08 AM

                      What is/are the rationale behind steel baking pans? I understand aluminum baking pan due to the higher heat conductivity, so the temperature of the pan is more uniform. Why steel baking pan?

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        RGC1982 RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 21, 2010 07:29 AM

                        Ease of maintenance. You must handwash aluminum pans, and although I have many, I make sure that my family uses the steel quarter sheet pans when I am out of town because they will invariably end up in the dishwasher. The DW ruins the finish on aluminum pans.

                        Chem, not everything is about performance during cooking. Some of it is about care. Many people are lazy and really shouldn't keep things that require fussing or higher maintenance. If they are not lazy, they may just not know how to take care of things. That is pretty common too.

                        1. re: RGC1982
                          Chemicalkinetics RE: RGC1982 Nov 21, 2010 10:05 AM

                          I see, but cheesemaestro mentioned something interesting: aluminized steel bakeware which sounds like aluminum exterior and steel interior. If so, I am guessing the advantageous of an aluminized steel baking pan over pure aluminum baking pan is the construction (maybe stronger or tougher), maybe? I have no idea. I am just guessing.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            Caroline1 RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 21, 2010 10:08 AM

                            Warping would be my guess.

                            1. re: Caroline1
                              Chemicalkinetics RE: Caroline1 Nov 21, 2010 10:11 AM

                              I am thinking about that too, and according to a few sale sites, it seems that is the case. Thanks. What are your bakewares made of? I am not sure about mine. I think they are aluminum.

                              Edit: I take that back. Just tested them with a magnet. I think they are aluminumized steel as well.

                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              cheesemaestro RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 21, 2010 12:39 PM

                              In Wikipedia's short article on aluminized steel, the primary advantage cited is resistance to corrosion, not that this is a common problem with bakeware.


                              It's interesting that aluminized steel is basically the reverse of tri-ply for cookware. Instead of being an aluminum core sandwiched between layers of stainless steel, it's a steel core with an aluminum exterior.

                              1. re: cheesemaestro
                                Chemicalkinetics RE: cheesemaestro Nov 21, 2010 01:04 PM

                                :) Yeah, I read that wikipedia part, it is written from the assumption of using steel as the given, as the default. When steel is the starting material, then aluminumizing the steel prevents the steel from rusting and of course improves thermal conductivity on the surface. In short, it was written for "pure carbon steel" vs "aluminumized steel", and it wasn't really written for cookware per sa.

                                However, if we are concerning about bakeware. Then a more interesting to treat aluminum pans as the default. The question then becomes very different. It becomes "pure aluminum" vs "aluminumized steel". My guess is that aluminumized steel offers additional structural strength or toughness.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  dscheidt RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 21, 2010 02:09 PM

                                  Aluminized steel (for older things and still a few applications, tin-plated steel) is the gold standard for commercial bakeware. Steel is preferred for its mechanical properties, it's durable and will last decades even in a factory setting. aluminizing or tin plating gives substantial corrosion resistance, which is the only real problem with steel bakeware. If you've ever eaten a baked product that came out of an industrial bakery, it was cooked on such a thing.

                                  1. re: dscheidt
                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: dscheidt Nov 21, 2010 02:11 PM

                                    Thanks. That is what I read too. Aluminized steel bakewares are often used in commercial settings.

                        2. c
                          cheesemaestro RE: cheesemaestro Nov 23, 2010 02:27 PM

                          Thanks to everyone who gave their input. After weighing the pros and cons, I'm going to go with all-aluminum half sheet/jelly roll pans, either the Vollrath pans mentioned by one poster or the Nordic Ware pans that have garnered excellent reviews on Amazon and other sites. I like the added versatility of the pans. I don't think that the ease of sliding cookies off a cookie sheet onto a cooling rack is enough of an advantage for me to choose cookie sheets over pans. I considered aluminized steel construction, but most of these pans have a silicon coating that can wear off over time and also limits the maximum oven temperature to somewhere between 400 and 450 degrees F.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: cheesemaestro
                            wekick RE: cheesemaestro Nov 23, 2010 07:04 PM

                            My BIL is a professional baker and uses full sheets. They let the cookies cool a few minutes and then bang the sheet to "pop" the cookies off the sheet. I think they cool them a little more and then remove them from the sheet. I use the half sheets w/parchment. I have jelly roll pans that are a little smaller.

                            1. re: wekick
                              pdxgastro RE: wekick Dec 2, 2010 10:49 PM

                              Since I use (and re-use) parchment paper for baking, I lift the paper with all the cookies on it and put it on the cooling rack. After cooling like that for about 5 mins I take the cookies off the paper and onto the cooling rack alone. The paper goes back on the half sheet pan for the next batch of cookies.

                              1. re: pdxgastro
                                wekick RE: pdxgastro Dec 3, 2010 03:50 AM

                                He reuses and reuses. I do what you do.

                            2. re: cheesemaestro
                              cheesemaestro RE: cheesemaestro Dec 2, 2010 03:05 PM

                              Update: I wound up buying two cookie sheets and two half sheet pans. I had already ordered the Nordic Ware half sheets from Amazon when Cutlery and More ran a CyberMonday special on a pair of the DoughMaker cookie sheets (the ones with the pebbly surface), which have been highly praised. We'll see if one does a better job than the other when I start baking the holiday cookies.

                              1. re: cheesemaestro
                                sunshine842 RE: cheesemaestro Dec 2, 2010 10:40 PM

                                We are definitely at the time of year when all our cooking and baking gear will be getting a hard-core trial!

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