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Cookie Sheet vs. Jelly Roll Pan

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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  1. 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

      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

        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. 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. My opinion is for Jelly Roll Pan

        1. 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

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