HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

stainless steel sheet pan?

Do any of you have a SS sheet/baking pan instead of the aluminum ones? I am a bit of a health nut, and I am not comfortable cooking with aluminum. I have not used anything aluminum (except for the occational aluminum foil to cover something) and I was wondering about stainless steel sheet pans. They are rather hard to find, it seems. I did find one on Bed Bath and Beyonds website and amazon has a few. Just wondered how they cooked things? Since SS pans are hard to find, I am thinking that is because cooks prefer the aluminum ones. (I am not even considering the All Clad one. Way too expensive)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I bought 1/2 and full size SS sheet pans at a restaurant supply store. Love 'em, and they're appropriately heavy enough and clean well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pine time

      "I bought 1/2 and full size SS sheet pans at a restaurant supply store. Love 'em, and they're appropriately heavy enough and clean well."

      Did you get it from a restaurant supply store on line? If so, which one?

      1. re: dixiegal

        No, brick and mortar store somewhere in Missouri, I think (was traveling cross-country).

    2. Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat and does not heat evenly. SS sheet pans are available but I would not use one. Line your aluminum sheet pans with parchemnt or a Sil-Pat. One caveat, Sil-Pats while wonderful for baking are not great if you want something to be crisp. All-Clad does make a ss sheet pan with an aluminum core. be prepared to pay $85 to $125 depending on size and style.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Candy

        Candy is correct again. Get the heaviest guage 1/2 sheet aluminum baking pans from a restaurant supply store and line them with parchment for baking. I personally have 6 of them, plus another 4 air-bake pans for delicate cookies that I don't want to brown on the bottom.

        AllClad bakeware is a joke and they are selling you a fancy name. Clad metal cookware are great for direct heat applications but for the indirect heat of an oven you are buying moonglow.

        It's your nickle, so do want you want.

      2. i am going to suggest that your information asserting a causal link between aluminum and alzheimers (which i am assuming is your concern) is unsubstantiated.

        9 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          Agree. This has been debunked over and over.

          1. re: alkapal

            the only thing you don't want to do is use an aluminum pot for tomato sauce (high acidity foods).

            1. re: alkapal

              I'm with you on this one. what I have read is that the stainless steel companies started the rumor about aluminum being dangerous to cook with after Rudolph Valentino died. They claimed he was poisoned from food cooked in aluminum. He died from a ruptured appendix.

            2. re: alkapal

              "i am going to suggest that your information asserting a causal link between aluminum and alzheimers (which i am assuming is your concern) is unsubstantiated."

              Alzheimers would just be one of the concerns. As for aluminum being linked or unlinked from that disease............ maybe yes and maybe no. Until they can find what does cause alzheimers or any other disease or unwanted condition, I just like to reduce my risks when possible.
              Just like they have "debunked" vaccines being linked to autism. Have they really? or is the center for disease control just more worried about infectious diseases than they are autism.
              I don't know and I don't think anyone else does either. All I know is something is causing it and until they can find out for sure what................................

              The debates on health and health risks could go on forever. And what is a health risk for one, might not be for another. My approach is to proceed with caution with all of it. Especially the vaccines. No more vaccines for me. And maybe not for two of my grandbabies. Vaccines are on hold for them for the time being.

              And as for my worries on aluminum toxicity. Though I avoid cooking with it, I have not been worried enough to totally give up my antiperspirents. LOL Sometimes it's just worth the risk. KWIM?

              For the record, I have some concerns with plastic food containers too. But I still (cautiously) use them for certain things until I can find replacements. Such as for the freezer. I never use plastic to heat food in anymore. I would get rid of my microwave too if it were not for my husband using it to pop popcorn.

              Anyway, I really appreciate the SS sheet pan opinions. I am prepared for them to maybe not cook as well. I may try the one on Bed Bath and Beyonds website.
              I am wanting to try making kale chips and I think SS would be great for that. Maybe then I can get them crisp without browning them on the pan.

              1. re: dixiegal

                You didn't ask for this opinion but I thought you might be interested - A study shows that the buttery smell from microwave popcorn is pretty toxic.

                1. re: dixiegal

                  You may have more luck looking for stainless jelly roll pans.

                  http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Stainles...

                  1. re: dixiegal

                    Folks, just a quick request that you not latch onto the autism/vaccines example here. We know it's a controversial issue, and a position many of you would like to refute, but it's really off-topic for our food site.

                  2. re: alkapal

                    You know there is a lot of things the government is hiding from us and not letting us know will kill us BUT, from experience and what I have read aluminum is a key issue in alzheimers disease and my grandmother was raised and always used aluminum pans and she died of the Alzheimers disease and believe me I will do anything to avoid that because it is awful.

                    1. re: mchataway

                      mchataway,

                      I'm very sorry for your loss. You are absolutely right that Alzheimer's is a horrendous disease. Heavy aluminum cookware was very common among my mother's generation. That doesn't mean the two things are linked. The NIH, AMA, and other reputable medical authorities have all told us that there is no proven link between aluminum and alzheimers disease.

                      If you choose not to eat food prepared in aluminum pots and pans, you'll want to stop going to restaurants. Almost every restaurant in the nation uses aluminum cookware.

                      You might also want to check out your cookie sheets and other metal baking pans. Chances are some of them are made of aluminum.

                      Some precautions are reasonable, others are overblown or based on junk (or nonexistent) science. My suggestion, before believing any claims dealing with our health, is to see what the real medical experts have to say about it. Good luck to you.

                      Duffy

                  3. dixiegal,

                    Stainless steel pans are not difficult to find. I have seen them in restaurant supply stores. Aluminum and steel pans have their advantages. Aluminum is a better heat conductor. Usually it is not a huge problem for oven since the oven space temperature should be relatively uniform. Steel pans are more durable. They do not easily wrap. I think another reason people prefer aluminum pans over stainless steel pan is that stainless steel pans are expensive.

                    Of course, there are the aluminized steel pans (aluminum exterior - steel interior), but that is the opposite of what you want.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I cannot imagine an aluminum sheet sandwiched with steel in the middle. It makes no sense. Norpro does make all stainless sheet pans and cake pans. We sell very few, as I said above, they are very poor conductors of heat and you will not be able to depend evening browning or good even baking.

                      1. re: Candy

                        "I cannot imagine an aluminum sheet sandwiched with steel in the middle"

                        I think it is for strength purpose.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Candy, maybe I've just been lucky, but my SS pans produce evenly browned & consistently good products. Just my opinion, I know.

                          1. re: pine time

                            Luck has nothing to with this. You have a nice oven.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Conductivity (and its twin sister evenness) is virtually a non-issue inside an oven. This is precisely why so many hard-core copper users are totally fine with a stainless roaster in the oven. Now, when moving to the stovetop for gravy, it's a different story.

                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        There are also pans which are opposite of the norm for SS cookware - those made of aluminized steel (steel with a thin aluminum coating, and in some cases, a nonstick (non PFOA) silicone surface, though apparently the coating will wear away eventually). Supposedly this makes an improvement in the thermal properties (vs. regular steel), however it's probably undesirable for the OP. Mafter makes a black steel baking sheet, however, looks like it's full sheet pan size entirely.

                        I use aluminum and aluminized steel sheet pans, cookie sheets, and muffin tins; with the sheet pans, I often line them with parchment for baking. Not only do they work well, but even the most heavy-duty professional grade ones tend not to be expensive.

                        I would imagine that heat conduction isn't quite as good with SS pans, but wouldn't that just mean it takes longer to come to full temperature, but should get about as hot once it does? I have used stainless steel (with no aluminum core) roasting pans, and haven't had major problems.

                        To the OP - I know you said you don't want to go this route, but if you really insist on using stainless, and can't use something to line the pan, paying big bucks for something similar to All Clad is probably your main option.

                        1. re: will47

                          Will,

                          I agree with your points. I believe the logic of aluminized steel bakeware (aluminum outside, steel inside) is different than that of a stovetop cookware. For a stovetop cookware, the heat is applied from the bottom and the cooking surface is on the top, so a highly conductive metal (e.g. aluminum) is need to both transmit the heat from bottom to top, and to spread the heat evenly. This is different from a bakeware where the heat is coming from all directions, so it makes sense to have the aluminum on the surface. Moreover, the temperature gradient in an oven is much more uniform than that of a stove.

                          Aluminized steel bakeware will provide better thermal conductivity than plain steel, and will provide better structural strength than regular aluminum bakeware. Here is a FAQ from Chicago Metallic:

                          "
                          Q. Why are some products made of aluminized steel and some of aluminum?

                          A. Aluminum is a fine conductor of heat. It's ability to heat and cool quickly makes it a preferred material by some bakers. Aluminized steel is steel that has an aluminum coating. Aluminized steel is preferred by some bakers because it can withstand the daily wear and tear of commercial baking. "

                      3. I have some that I purchased from a restaurant supply. Kind of expensive but still cheaper than the big box stores. http://www.zesco.com/Half-Size-Sheet-...

                        1. We have used a set of SS sheet pans to make cookies for 40 years and I have no complaints about how well the cookies turn out. If it's in the oven, the differences in thermal conductivity are all but meaningless. They even make aluminum cookie sheets with an air gap, I assume to reduce the thermal efficiency. Be comfortable, buy the SS sheet pans and they will do just fine.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: mikie

                            "Be comfortable, buy the SS sheet pans and they will do just fine."

                            Thanks mikie, I think I will.

                            1. re: mikie

                              We use both alu and inox (stainless steel) sheets, which are really only supports for what ever we are baking.

                              Go with what you like and feel comfortable using.

                              The metal from either sheet does not come in contact with our food. We always use silicone sheets from France on the metal sheets, so no food is ever actually placed on either pan. Bread for baking is placed right on the silicone pad, and clean-up is much easier.

                              Sheets in Europe usually have built-in handles on both sides, unlike those in North America. The metal handle is formed with the sheet using a press stamping, so it is essentially one piece.

                            2. I've always used aluminum baking sheets, and I'm still alive to tell the tale. :-) Cooking in or on aluminum is not hazardous to your health, whatever the grapevine may say.

                              1. I recently went on the same search for my wife. These seem to be the most economical USA made option for stainless:

                                https://www.heirloomcookiesheets.com/...

                                We haven't tried them yet, but she'll be ordering a couple shortly.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jp_over

                                  Update: we've had these pans for a while now and my wife loves them. Extremely well made in the US and bakes cookies & other goodies with no issues.

                                2. The Kitchen Collection has a variety by Hamilton Beach. They have a website you can get them at. I have several types and Love them! Pretty good price and they do cook well. I make cookies and never have problems, just might have to check on them a little more. as far for pizzas and breads they heat and toast them great as well! The Kitchen Collection has a website you can order from. There's all sorts of types (loaf pans, jelly roll pans, cookie sheets). Check for Promo Codes :)

                                  1. And Aluminum is the only substance PROVEN to be contributing to Alzheimer's disease. If you read about it on a reputable site you will read that there is a correlation, but because Aluminum is found in nature we are unable to avoid exposure. Scientist don't think avoiding pans will prevent it. Stainless Steel has Chromium and Nickel in it, also dangerous but luckily stainless steel can handle the highest temperature's before there is metal leakage. If you read the article I posted below you will see in each study in the past 50 years there has been a relation discovered. It's Washington Post.

                                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/nationa...

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: zylinski07

                                      You've misread the article. The take-away is that about half the studies done have found some relationship between aluminum and Alzheimer's, but even the three scientists quoted in the article, all of whom are doing the research. don't think it's a major link, if there is a link. They're more concerned with water exposure than from other sources.

                                      The article closes by noting that none of the three have stopped using aluminum cookware.

                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                        So get a Brita too. It's good to avoid as many exposures as you can. Your not crazy, just educated. You have to be now a days.

                                        1. re: zylinski07

                                          Filtering water makes sense to me. One of the points made in the article is that "aluminum is the 3rd most abundant element on earth", which makes it very difficult to avoid. It's found in soil, commonly in water, also in some vegetables.

                                          I think cookware is the least of our worries, especially given that the link hasn't been proved.

                                        2. re: DuffyH

                                          You have a choice to use it or not, it will only be the future to tell who was right or wrong. I just like to take the safe approach and not use it, instead of going on what someone else says whether a scientist or not don't make them God all knowing.

                                          1. re: mchataway

                                            Are you also taking the safe approach and avoiding drinking water, which is also a source of aluminum?

                                        3. re: zylinski07

                                          No, it isn't "proven" to be a contributing factor and that is clear from the article to which you linked. There are studies which show association but causality has not been shown. If there is a causal relation it must be very small, as stated in the article, otherwise it would be possible to show that it exists. The upshot is that while there are interesting associations worthy of study, results are inconclusive.

                                          Plain aluminum cookware is very common. If it were a direct cause of any illness, it should be evident. Many people use alumunum cookware for a lifetime with no ill effects. My own mother, who is in her 90s, has been cooking in the same plain aluminum pan for perhaps 50 years and her mind is still sharp.

                                          Aluminum may be harmful in sufficient amount, but it is so common in the natural environment that aluminum cookware contributes an insignificant part of the total that is ingested. It would be very easy to reduce it further in baking by using a sheet pan coated with nonstick or Bakalon.

                                          1. re: GH1618

                                            You sound like someone who wants to defend their side and continue to use aluminum no matter what. As I said that's fine and only time will tell. Yes I have reduced it in other sources also like deodorant. Water there is not much you can do and it's natural so I'm not so concerned, but if your drinking bottled water watch out for your hormones because if the bottle gets set in heat like the sun some plastic components will leak into the water and cause issues with your hormones.

                                            1. re: mchataway

                                              <Water there is not much you can do and it's natural so I'm not so concerned,>

                                              I think I must be misunderstanding this, because it makes no sense to me. Are you saying that you don't worry about aluminum in water, because water is a natural source of aluminum? That's how it's reading to me, and I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant.

                                              That aside, I fall precisely where GH does on the issue of aluminum, and I don't own any bare aluminum pans, aside from a few baking pans that are normally lined with parchment. I still think it's wrong to tell people that their aluminum cookware will make them ill.

                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                All you can do with water is put a purification system on it and I have that other than that there is no need to focus on it.

                                              2. re: mchataway

                                                I'm on the side of science. If you want to reduce your exposure, that's fone with me. It's easy — just get a coated baking sheet.

                                                1. re: mchataway

                                                  Why is naturally occuring aluminum not a concern when aluminum leaching from a man-made object is? One atom of aluminum is exactly like every other atom of aluminum, whatever its source.

                                            2. I use stainless steel and it's great. Avoid aluminum and no stick pans if you are health conscious (your not a nut) More people need to watch out, but they want it easy, not right. There is a connection between aluminum and Alzheimers and my grandmother is proof she lived using aluminum and got it bad, and for those that say they use it and nothings wrong with them (how old are they and how long have they used it because like smoking it don't catch you right away, but you will get cancer eventually it just a matter of time. Also the non stick pans are outlawed overseas because they cause cancer and other diseases, and the government does not want to pay for the health risk, but here in the USA its free reign and its just less people the government will have to sustain if people start dying earlier, the same issue for the additives put in food that people don't pay attention to.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: mchataway

                                                Hi mchataway,

                                                There are a few flaws in your arguments. Not everyone who cooks with aluminum develops Alzheimer's, and not all Alzheimer's disease patients used aluminum cookware. It is equally false to write that if you smoke, you'll eventually get cancer. While it is true that smoking and cancer have proven links, not everyone who smokes develops cancer. Many live to die of other natural age-related causes.

                                                Morever, the smoking/cancer link is well proven, unlike the aluminum/Alzheimer's link, which is not proven.

                                                Nonstick pans are not "outlawed" in other countries (I presume you mean Europe), but the PFOAs used in their manufacture often are.

                                                1. re: mchataway

                                                  My family has seen Alzheimer's, as well. It truly is horrible. But my aunt was exposed to a lot of the same things as her 5 siblings, husband, and daughter. She was the only one who suffered this disease. Her father may have. He most certainly suffered dementia, but that is different with different brain injuries. Her sister, my Grandma, is also a victim of dementia. She held her own until around 90 and didn't use aluminum for most cooking or ate out very often. She probably used aluminum baking pans/sheets (most of those treats were purchased) but her regular cookware was something akin to stainless Revereware. Anyway, Alzheimer's and dementia are not the same.

                                                  I don't know what the answer is and, apparently, science doesn't either. I try to restrict packaged foods because of the additives but still use some for convenience. I certainly won't think less of someone who restricts aluminum or Teflon-like coatings. After reading the articles about the studies, I've relaxed. There isn't any evidence to uphold the warnings I see so often. It's really up to the individual and their comfort level. I do think that warning others about the "dangers" is premature without evidence.

                                                  Non-stick is not outlawed outside of North America, as Duffy pointed out. PFOAs will not be used in the manufacturing process after 2015. PFOAs are not present in those coatings, though. That's PTFE.